Sunday, May 27, 2012

Photo Column

So the ArtFest was a total bust, I actually packed up and left early.  It's the first time I've done that in ten years of doing art festivals.  This is just reaffirming my belief that the typical art festivals are not the way to go for me.  The larger trade shows, ceramic specific festivals, home sales and studio tours seem to be the most successful.  Anyways.

I've had a photographer from the local newspaper out a few times over the last couple months taking some photos of the pottery making process, they just printed the photo column and I think it looks pretty cool.  You can check it out here. She took a crap ton of photos so maybe I can con her into letting me some of the rest.

Pretty much the coolest photo ever.



Adriana Christianson said...

Hey Brandon, love yr honesty- hate all those makers that still grin thru their teeth and lie about how great every event is..even if it was crap!Although, not so great that it was crap of course...and yep, brilliant photo..Hey , what happened to your non blogging status from a while ago...miss us??? Thank goodness

Julia said...

Great photo column! Dynamic!

Hollis Engley said...

I used to work as a newspaper photographer and never remember taking a "crap ton" of photos. How many is that, anyway?

Michael Kline said...

I heard that phrase a lot in TX. Maybe that's a cattle reference? I prefer grass fed beef.

On transparency and honesty in reporting, I agree with Adriana, but tend to just grin through my teeth. I've had my share of crap shows, for sure. I just don't do that many shows anymore because I don't do well in general when I'm in a booth of some kind. I tend to do better when I can show folks my clay pit, my kiln, and flesh out the narrative in that way versus a brag book of pictures. I guess the blog and facebook can do that.

The market is a fickle place and it seems more often that promoters walk away with the real money. There is a crap ton of shows out there and the craft show paradigm is crap.
With that said, I think of these opportunities as a savings account. Or better yet a life insurance policy, maybe. (i know its a stretch, since I don't fully understand either) But all of these shows may be seen as a form of proselytizing. It the shaking hands, politicking part of the craft career. Our presence at a craft show keeps us out there among the people. We're clearly seen by many as entertainment. Thankfully some of these folks also buy our work to take home and relive that entertainment on their tables and in their cupboards.

(i've obviously had way too much coffee, but i will try to continue to make a point)

Back to the deep hole that we throw our money (life insurance) I guess what I'm thinking here is that we don't really know who we'll meet at these events. Whether it is another artist who can become an inspiration, or a reporter, o writer, etc. We may get invited to do a workshop. But if we look at these attempts as half full it might ease the disappointment of having to pack all of those pots up to take to the next show. It is a circus of sorts.

Part of this strategy for me has been to stay close to home and/or be very selective of my craft show participation. We all have these stories of dashed success, I guess I'm still trying to figure things out and move on the good ideas. These good ideas are implicitly informed by the un-successes of the past, but not necessarily dwelled upon (grinning through teeth, wink, wink)

(ok, i'd better leave it there, I'm starting to get dizzy)

Carter could you pick up this convoluted ball of tangled extension cords and unravel it?

Mark Hilliard said...

I did my last show in 1995! What we need, in part at least, is a show that's organized by potters and not laypersons who do not understand our needs. Those organizers have no vested interest in us, rather, their vested interest is in their resume and a post attendance interview with the general public who values the show as an entertainment experience. I used to do a show in Abilene where the JSL where the organizers and they sold packages of confetti filled eggs to the parents and allowed the kids to run wild, smashing eggs over each others' heads, even in our booths. FYI...that show is long since defunct as it should be.