Thursday, February 23, 2012

home!

In spite of the 10,000 count bedsheets, the daily maid service, the turndown service (does one really need someone to turn down the covers?), the magical obsequious hotel staff that memorized my name on the first day (how do they do that? I can't even remember half the time), the daily happy hour tuna tartare (ok, I already miss that); I'm really glad to be home to my Ikea sheets that I turn down myself, my dusty floors, and my resident kitten-staff who couldn't care less what my name is--he just wants to be glued to me.

The show was fine. I wrote fewer orders than last year so it's good that I did the NY show as well. The orders I wrote however were larger, and the pieces people were ordering are larger--a definite change from the past.

The new image and first examples of a new line got a very positive response, so my confidence is stronger.

I saved the money I would have spent on in-room Internet in favor of spending it on martini's after each day. So sorry mom, I didn't blog. It went like this:
alarm
coffee
shower
dress
walk to show
turn on booth lights
show (talk, write, happy to see familiar faces)
turn off booth lights
walk back to hotel
martini
tuna tartar x 2 ($5 happy hour price!)
grilled octopus
back to room
jammies
junk t.v.
sleep

And that's my exotic life of the past week.

ps. Turn down service doesn't include chocolate on the pillow anymore, just a little bottle of water. I was disappointed.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

flying again, already!

Didn't I just do this? Pack, set alarm, get ride to airport, and head into the tunnel of a Big Show?

Why yes, yes I did.

And I'm flying off tomorrow morning to do it again!

I'm packed and ready, and it isn't even close to midnight.

Will wonders never cease?

I hope so!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

a link...

..to T.'s more expanded description of our encounter with the 1%: click HERE.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

rest and recovery

The rest and recovery seem to be progressing better than in past years of shows. I don't know why. Usually it took me a good 3 weeks to overcome the exhaustion of preparation and presentation of a big show. I slept 14 hours last night. Really. But I feel pretty good today. I settled in, unpacked, went through mail, sorted all the orders into month-by-month folders, and now..

..I have actually started working on some drawings for the proverbial New Line. It is something that has vexed me for the past month. I am blaming the vexation on the fact that I didn't have my usual month of time to dive down as the New York show required preparation a good 3 weeks earlier than in years past. But spending 5 days staring at my work and envisioning ideas has told me to plunge in, don't worry whether they will be good or successful. I've made much new work that hasn't amounted to much, and in the process I've come up with pieces that are really very successful.

So I'm diving in with less self-criticism. We'll see where that gets me. And if nowhere? Well that will be ok too. I can't control outcome, only process. So engaging the process is my job.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Home!

My kitty on my lap, my house welcoming in spite of the mess I left it in, but... what about maid service? No one cleaned or made my bed while I was gone, as it happened in the hotel every day of the past 10. Ah well.

It's good to be home.

It's good to have had a successful show... with over 35 new accounts!

It's good to have spent a day with my dear friend in the part of Manhattan I really love... the downtown part.

And I suspect it will be good to sleep after a 6 1/2 hour flight.

Yes indeed!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

all done!

T. and I tore the booth down last night in a mere 5 hours. Pretty exhausted, we just put out heads down and worked well together.

Then a martini (or two) and snack back at the hotel, where a man at the bar talked us up and disclosed that he is a bond trader and a one-percenter. Interesting. Pretty clueless about the reality of broke artist-types, and we were not accusative in the least, simply interested in his reality. It was pretty darn interesting. He bought us our second round and was wet-eyed telling us about his son who has autism. Something money can't cure.

In other news, I feel that I am being stalked by a next stage of growth; something to do with confidence. For so long I've identified myself as "just a girl who makes pretty things in her house--how nice that you like them too"... something like that. I make hand written catalogs, no website... a belief (not particularly untrue) that I can't afford it, that I don't really need it. I'm not really getting to the point, sorry, it's still too vague in my own mind. But I need to have the confidence to take my little business more seriously. Get real catalogs made. A website. I wish I could describe better what it feels like. But it's a feeling of being nudged into more confidence and growth.

And now I'm going to finish my coffee and go spend a day with my friend before I fly home tomorrow!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Day 4

Today T. took all the orders and added them up... and it was WAY more than I had thought! YAY! Although there have been long stretches of boredom, the orders have accumulated. I had no idea. And my primary goal with this show was to generate new accounts--and that has certainly happened. It's all very good.

After the show T. and I went to a restaurant recommended by a fellow exhibitor and I got to have major fun flirting with 2 handsome men. Oh dear, it's been too long...

What else? Just tired. As I wrote before: shows are exhausting and kind of exhilarating all at once. It's a GREAT pleasure to see all my current customers and to meet new ones, it's a pleasure and a great benefit to sit in my booth and look at my work... something I never get to do in the regular process of production and shipping. It allows me to think of improvements and new lines, so the down time between orders is not always so dull. I can feel ideas generating.

It's only 9pm, but I can feel the draw of trash TV and a very comfortable bed... so:

Good night!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Day 3...

...of the New York International Gift Show. With a focus on INTERNATIONAL because I wrote my first international order to Japan! Fun.

Also, (and especially in light of all the discussion about the fact that most of the "stuff" we buy and use and furnish our lives with comes from China) a Chinese company approached me about exporting my work to high-end clientele in China. Huh.

Maybe I wrote that last time, but I'm kind of grooving on the international aspect of it all. Just kind of trippy, you know?

This is a different sort of show. I am accustomed to people just coming into my booth and ordering. At this show it seems people aren't used to ordering from artist-types, and I don't feel adequately prepared. I am seeing I REALLY need a basic website, and my catalog is laughable (and did indeed elicit some laughs from the Japanese buyers...). So. Lots of growing still to do.

And ALL of my current customers are coming by looking for new work. Oh Lordy, I hope it will manifest before the Philly show. This show came so early I didn't get my usual (and necessary!) time for creative retreat. Sigh.

And that's all the news from me for tonight--I wonder if anything is happening in the larger world?

Sleep well...

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Shows are:

stressful, exhausting, anxiety-provoking and....

also really fun!

I love seeing current customers, and I love meeting new ones. I love seeing all my work under the lights, all together. I never see it like that if not at a show.

The shipment got here, late, but here and T. and I got it set up and looking fabulous.

The first day, today, went really well and I have high hopes for the next 4 days. The NYIGF is different in some ways from other shows. Types of buyers I haven't experienced. One is a Chinese woman here in USA wanting to export high-end work to China. Now that's an interesting change. Another has a Facebook business. Is actually partnered with Facebook and Twitter. I don't know what to think about either, they are new entities in my mind that I'm curious about.

I took T. to my favorite NY restaurant for her Christmas gift and we had a magnificent feast. It remains my favorite, and may have become hers as well.

Right now, a martini at my side, day one over with, and soon, very soon, to bed. On a feather bed with a down comforter and some kind of really nice sheets. Now that this first day is over I may actually sleep well in such comfort!

Good night...

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

packed!

...and ready to go.

New York International Gift Show here we come.

It was a real back and forth process deciding to do the show, but for a variety of reasons it felt, in the end, like the right thing to do. A major financial risk, but that seems to be the name of my game.

T. is coming with me!

I'll be in NYC for a little more than a week, then home for a week, then to Philly for THAT show. Busy busy.

We had a big (for the pacific northwest) snow/ice storm this last week and the pallets were all shrink-wrapped and tarped at the street ready for the shippers to pick up. Turns out they wouldn't come up the hill to my house so they sat out there on the street for a week. Finally went out on Monday and with luck will make it to the show on Friday in time for T. and I to set up in a few hours, vs. the 2 days I'd planned for.

Being a self-employed artist type requires some flexibility and willingness to put ones head down and get the job done.

And that's just what T. and I have done for the past 3 weeks. Amazing what we've accomplished!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

My mother told me to...

She told me to start writing here again. In no uncertain terms.

Well, since I ALWAYS (!) do what my mother tells me to do, I'm here.

I quit writing because I thought I had nothing to say. My life goes along; work, sleep, eat, walk... but within the context of those few things there is a Life going on. The fact that I don't remember much about the past few months tells that I've been working hard, yes, but also a more important point: I want to acknowledge that I have been kind of sleep-walking, not paying attention to the details, the subtleties, the nuances that breathe Life into life.

My New Years resolution is to pay more attention. Be more present, acknowledge the moments that add up to days, weeks, months, years....

And I suspect if I do that, I'll have something to say again.

Wishing you all Love and Light... and Presence in this new year.