I love Austin. Free wireless almost anywhere you go. So here I sit in my booth at the Austin Fine Arts Festival and I am connected. Life is good. It should be the end of the first day of the festival, but some genius thought it would be a good idea to have a special patron's event tonight from 7-10. And while evening events can be okay, there are two strikes against this one: 1) the show has already been open to the public all day so the idea of getting a first preview of the art for collectors does not apply, and 2) after being open from 10-5 today we were required to close our booths and cool our heels for two hours till the evening event begins. The idea was that we could go get dinner, but it does not take into account the crash that comes when you stop moving after a big festival day. So I am in my booth, I have already crashed, and I have to open back up again in 15 minutes... Bad plan. It is also quite windy tonight and I am dreading opening the front of the tent for the full gale force.
Now that I have the negative comments out of the way I can say that this has been a very good show for me so far. I came a bit light and as I usually overload and schlep far more than I ever sell, it is doubly disconcerting to look in the boxes and see nothing to replace the work which has sold. I am almost to the point where I have to move things around in my display to fill the holes where pieces have sold. That has NEVER happened before: I always have more in the back.
And my mother-in-law offered up a genius suggestion for my lighting dilemma: instead of shelling out the big bucks on halogen track lighting, just get some of the aluminum-domed contractor clamp-on lights. I got six and sprang for halogen bulbs for them and they are great (and cheap!).
I have also had several inquiries about large panel commissions. This is a first for my Austin market too. I am accustomed to getting good commissions from my Chicago shows, it would be great if I could do the same here.
So five minutes to show time. I hope it's worth staying, but even if it isn't I will count the day an overall win.
So I love Austin and the free wireless, but the electrical sucks: The breaker has blown on our row every five minutes for the past half an hour and it turns out it was my fault! I am pulling 600 watts for my six lights and I have just found out I was only to have 200... A night show with only 200 watts per booth?!? Are they high? The elctrician's recommendation was that I use the same full-spectrum daylight bulbs the artist across the street has. Her booth is as bright as it can be and each bulb only pulls 27 watts. They cost $18 per light and she has 12 of them. Hmmm, my math says that is still more than the 300 watts I am currently pulling having turned off three of my 100 watt lights... and $18 a bulb? I don't think so.
On the plus side, I am no longer tired!