There is now a whole new level that I now have to grow into (personally, spiritually, emotionally, and practically).
It will be no small challenge.
I want (need!) to do it mindfully as what I most love most is making pretty things, and I DON'T want to be simply a manager of people.
I love the making of things.
I will need to hire some fabulous helpers.
I am blown away. Tonight while I was sitting at the hotel bar eating and drinking "the usual", I heard that many, actually most of the other artists had written very few orders. And more than a few absolutely nothing. I am very, very,very sorry for them, as I KNOW, I KNOW, I know. I am astonished by the courage it takes each and every one of us to follow this path. And I'm very, VERY grateful for my current good fortune. Which is not to say I will be rich. No, unfortunately not, my profit margin is such that I had to borrow money to even do these shows.. But I will continue for another year as a working artist, making my living doing something I love, which I suspect is one of the hardest and rarest things in this current world to do.
I got an enormous order today, probably as much from one buyer as I've ever gotten in an entire year from several buyers combined. And as they spoke amongst themselves, the owner said: "It doesn't matter what or how much we order, we know we will sell it all".
I am both thrilled and terrified. I have SO much to grow into!
SO much to learn.
And such a challenge to do it mindfully and from a centered place.
I am getting photos taken tonight by my excellent photographer Karl Seifert, who I met here last year when he answered my craigslist posting for set-up/tear-down help. He joined the crew again this year. Another example of someone who has amazing skills & talent, who is willing to do whatever it takes to make a living while pursuing he passion. He will be working all night to do this so he can have the work back in the morning for the last day of this show.
This evening after the show I went to my favorite hotel bar with my very first artist-show friend from the first big show I ever did (with my brothers help). When we went to the lounge after breaking down that show to have a drink, one at a time other artists from the show joined us. I was a total baby in this world. Talking, and listening, I was moved to tears as I realized that I had finally, after so many years of doing so many things, that "I had finally found my tribe".
Mia (in the center below) simply assumed that I belonged. It was very powerful for me. (click to enlarge).
I know for a fact that there is much more I could write, but it was a 2 martini night, and I need to organize my things first to go work out (yes! I did it again this mornig!), be ready in the morning to go back to the show, and have my dirty clothes ready and all kinds of things prepared to pack everything up for the shipment to Baltimore.
Then a luscious full day and night off. To read, sleep, go out walking or whatever.. before taking the Amtrak to New York for a few days and a lovely visit with my friend Danielle and her family before heading to Baltimore to do it all again.
But what the hell am I going to tell all the wholesale buyers THERE? I dunno. I guess tell them I am fully booked. I have a wait list.
And then retail, and I hope I sell every single piece so that I can pay my wonderful assistant T. back the money she lent me to go to these shows, and buy the materials to start filling these orders.
And then, another Amtrak back here to Philly where I'll catch my plane back home on the 1st.
And then there is this: I understand the allure of a really nice hotel while working very long and hard hours in a far-from-home city. I SO appreciate the effortless comforts provided. Really. When all my energy is expended just doing what I need to do for my work, it is unbelievably wonderful to have the comfort of simple needs and rest provided in a lovely way.
Such as working out hard in the morning, and having fresh, chilled water infused with lemon, lime, orange, and grapefruit right there in the fitness center. Ahhhhh....
And might I emphasize that Hotwire got me this at less than half price???
OK. That's all for tonight.
Time to get my recharge of sleep for yet another long day tomorrow.
It's hard work. The hardest I've ever done. The most personally, emotionally, and spiritually challenging.
And by far the most satisfying.
And it totally suits me.
As hard as it is, my soul feels content.