The Big Crafty!

The fair was wonderful.

The night before the fair, at about 9 PM, I had a little freak out. I was thinking through all that had been done the last two weeks to get ready for the fair. I made a little checklist of everything left I wanted to do and had a passing thought that no amount of money I could make would make it worth it. Then I checked my email and the organizers of the event had sent out booth assignments. I scrolled through the 100 vendors and found my name. #67. I scrolled through the map of the museum and found my spot. It was in a room that appeared to be out of the way of the beaten path. I groaned. Then out of curiosity I looked up the two vendors who were stationed on either side of me and checked out their sites they had listed on the Big Crafty website. Two very intimidating painters (here and here). When Alex came down I was staring at the computer screen bleakly. I was picturing my booth, with the Christmas lights that would be wrapped around it all pretty, and my artwork looking frilly and silly next to these two serious artists. (Okay, before you go clicking at the comment section to reprimanded me that I am a serious artist too, please remember this was a momentary lapse in confidence.) I told Alex the bad news: I am in a remote location, stationed next to two very scary looking men. He asked to see them. I pulled up the first page and he nodded.
"Not exactly scary Kelcey..."
"Look at those dark circles under his eyes"
"Well, I do like his work. Show me the other guy.......Him???" He looked at me laughing as he scrolled down through this guy's flicker site.
"Okay" I conceded. "He does have a photo collection of heart-shaped things..."

So that was my weakness. My strength came the next day after we set up the booth and Alex left me alone as he took Lili for a walk. The fair opened and people started walking by my booth. Before anyone had given me any feedback I felt this overwhelming belief in what I had created, even if it was just making ornaments and not something more "serious".
I ended up having some good conversations with the scary guys- and of course (as really I had known all along) they are just a couple of artist's trying to forge there own way. They were not scary.

Although I didn't sell any paintings I sold 5 transfer prints and 63 ornaments. I felt more than satisfied. Best of all, I made some new friends, I made some great new contacts, I won a prize from the craffle-raffle, and tons of my business cards left my table. As I was convinced before my freak-out, the marketing alone made the fair worth it to me.

Asheville has some AMAZING artists, and they all seemed to come out of the woodwork for this one. I was very honored to be part of it. I was so busy and caught up with the excitement of the day that my camera never left my purse :(
So unfortunately not one tiny picture of my cute booth and how all my art looked so good. But I searched the The Big Crafty flicker group and uploaded a few key pictures to give you a taster:

Three kegs of free beer...
That is my dear friend Becca Johnson behind the suitcase, selling her one-of-a-kind journals.
The Carmonas! doing there Christmas shopping local.
(I have to say it is weird to find pictures of people you know in random places...)
Courtney Murphy
Align CenterJeff Martin's pottery


Linda said...

I SO wish that I could have been there to see you, your booth, your artwork and the radiant energy that must have emanated from your little corner of the artsy/crafty world of the Big Crafty! How great that you also found peace with your outward expression ie: your artwork and chose to be real and truth-filled about it. It seems to be a struggle that many humans endure. And many, it seems, never come out the dark end of that tunnel. I know that I can sure relate to your "lapse" of confidence. My life seems to be a teeter-tottering act between those two states of being. I am so proud of you. And miss you.
Hey, I hope you didn't sell all of those ornaments. They'd make great presents! Love you :)

Liz said...

Congratulations Kelcey!
I loved reading your account. And I loved reading your mom's comments. It is so sweet the two of you can share in these experiences and how she can be an encouragement to you. You have such a sweet Mom. You inspire me, Kelcey. It seems like such fun to do this and you make me want to jump right in there, too. Maybe next year?

Anonymous said...

Bravo Bravo Bravo! You are forging your way, learning with each new experience and gaining confidence that will always be there ( if not sometime illusive:) )
I am very happy for you. Everything becomes fodder for your art, your life, your soul.

Peace, sweetie!

NeNe and Papa said...

Hey! I have dark circles under my eyes, and you're not scared of me...or.. ARE YOU?
Awesome story. You rock!

Erin said...

yeah! What fun! I am so proud of you. I should have told Jed to go and see you and buy one for me. For our ornament exchange. Oh well. We hung up one of your original ornaments this weekend on the tree. It's unbreakable, no small parts, and therefore Corbin safe! Love you!!!