I’ve had a busy few weeks. First was a studio tour last weekend. The kind of event where artists open their studio for people to visit and drive from one artist’s studio to another. They came to my house; mostly older women dragging their husbands. All the men (almost every single one) wanted to talk about the solar panels on the house and the dog washing station that we had built into the front patio. They wanted to know about the land and whether or not we built the house ourselves and so on…I had to drag them (kicking and screaming) over to the photos and paintings. Once they saw my ship lines and rust images (photographs) all of a sudden they were interested in art…tough crowd!
I was so worn out after three days plus set up and break-down; I got a cold and missed a day out of a children’s book writers and illustrators’ conference (SCBWI). This event followed the studio tour and I guess I just wasn’t prepared mentally. It was a repeat of everything I had ever read about publishing and publishers and how not to approach them or book agents, how many words a picture book can have and a vegan lunch that consisted of a half of a cup of lettuce. To be fair there were a couple of speakers, one in particular that was quite inspirational.
However, I had signed up several months earlier committing to bringing a portfolio to place on a table with other artists. And totally forgot. So at nine the night before I put together a make-shift portfolio with all original art work (so unheard of!!). It was truly an amateur-hour-Micky-mouse-special portfolio slammed together using a white, three ring binder and colored construction paper. No, I”m not going to put a picture of it here. I shouldn’t have put it on that damn table either.
Everyone else had elegantly printed pages and sophisticated postcards with their artwork on both sides and high-end, classy black portfolios. To top off my sad little three ring notebook display, all I had were my makeup artist business cards. It was a little embarrassing when I was in the ladies room in a stall and I over-heard two people joking and snidely chatting about a “makeup artist’s card!” I really wanted to open the stall door and yell out “… hey, that’s me folks!” Too shocked I guess. Well, there’s always next year when I can make a fool of myself again. No, next time, I’ll already know to be embarrassed first, then have enough time to get over myself so that I can burst out of the bathroom and surprise them with some snarky comment. I have a year to work on that.
In the end, either people were being nice to the “makeup artist” and gave me positive feedback on the art and on Clever and the Bull In The Sky Blue Muumuu (kids books)or they actually liked my stuff. I’ll never know. I don’t care…I’m now preparing for the holiday show and postcards that say “plumber.”