I am still processing everything that happened this weekend at my first book arts sale. After working hard for 2 weeks to get some inventory together (62 boxes done!), send out postcards to friends, figure out a display and get a tax id number, it turned out to be a real joy to sell my own work.
So many friends showed up, some just to lend support, some to buy and I loved them all. My first sale went to my table partner, an amazing artist who I had read about but never met. She claimed a business card box before I had finished setting up and that made me feel like maybe it would be all ok. In the end I sold 24 boxes and the shop at MCBA took another 10 on consignment. Two other stores in the area also want to see them for possible holiday sales. I'll post the information here if they take them.
I had quite a few questions when I went into this. Is my work sufficiently well done and interesting to attract an audience. That answer seems to be yes, and I'm relieved, particularly about the quality issue. There were a few times when I found myself rushing to get work done and I had to slow down and remember that my relationship with the new box owner would be a different one than in the past. I've given my boxes away before and because they were gifts, the receiver was not going to note a badly turned corner or a sloppy paste down. But now these boxes were being shown next to artists who have been my teachers, class mates and inspiration and technique counted as much as heart.
Another question was if I would actually enjoy the process and the answer was yes. I loved the production process. One night after Daylight Savings time changed back, I looked out the window into the dark around 5 pm. I had the local jazz station on the radio and was in the midst of some stage of covering boxes. And I had a flash that this was exactly someplace I'd always wanted to be. I loved the sale as well. It was so inspiring to be with a group of such imaginative artists for the weekend. I have pix and stories to share here soon. I learned so much from them over the weekend (and even the week before as I visited the book arts center often to cut more book board!). I never cease to be amazed at the generosity of artists.
It's definitely something I'll do again.
And now I'm trying to recover. I haven't raked a single leaf and the last city pick-up is this Friday. My glass coffee table has all the big Harry Potter books, a dictionary, a Shakespeare and various other tomes out on it, used as weights for drying board and boxes. I think I forgot to water any plants. Thank goodness, I prepay my mortgage. I'm giving a party on Saturday for my friend's birthday so that will help motivate me to clean. It's shocking how much dust working with paper creates!