Well granted, it's kind of cheating. But hey, baby steps count! I couldn't take any more orders no matter what, but I DID have to tell some potential buyers "no".
As you can see from this:
there really weren't any buyers to be seen.
So I'm even more grateful for the Philly show.
I had two galleries come by that currently sell my work and I had to tell them I couldn't make any promises, but that on my waiting list current customers definitely get top priority. That seems right.
Hell, I don't know how to do this! I'm flying by the seat of my pants.
For some behind the scenes interest (or not) here is a shot of my "desk" area with everything packed in, along with my knees. Not much space, the work is more important so I get squished in a corner:
Telling customers "no" was a brand new experience.
Most of the buyers brightened up and said things like: "oh! I am so happy for you! Congratulations!" This is an amazing example of this community, artists and buyers alike, supporting each other in what are really two sides of the same coin.
I was so touched by their responses when they clearly had enough interest in my work to stop in my booth long enough for me to consider it important to warn them.
One potential customer kind of scowled and asked me why I was even AT the show, if I wasn't interested in selling. I explained that I had never in my wildest dreams expected to be in this situation, and that I had already committed to doing the show.
She started walking away, then turned around, studied my work some more, and took my card.
Flying by the seat of my pants.
I slept poorly last night. I was feeling some anxiety, and was generally unsettled. I realized at some point in the middle of the night that I was overwhelmed at the thought of getting home late next Monday night, going to sleep, and getting up early Tuesday to hit the ground running again. I would have missed being in my home for 3 weeks, having worked very intensely in ever-changing environments, and others (wonderful others, but others non-the-less) will have been in my home the whole time. Which is EXACTLY what I had hoped and planned for, but...
I feel a little out of control of my world, left out of my home, and I realized I need (at the very least) a whole day alone in my (rarely!) clean house that I'd paid to have cleaned just before I left, so that it would be clean to come home to.
to pee in the corners, mark it again as my own.
to get snuggled up with my kitty again!
to have a whole day in my jammies if I choose.
to not answer the phone, not look at orders, not think about business for an entire day.
to take as many naps as I feel like!
to reclaim my home, my life, my work, my self.
I realize that's a very tall order for one day, but it soothes me and helps me feel a little more sense of control, and that feels good.
So I cancelled work for next Tuesday.
I expect to sleep better tonight.
I'm heading off to bed right now, to test that theory.
I'll let you know!