Wednesday, February 15, 2012

A commercial venture for a commercial holiday...

Those of you who follow on the facebook may or may not know that I participated in a Valentine's day sale yesterday.  A very romantic way to spend a commercially created holiday.  So, a brief sale review.

In short, it was not good.  But to be fair, I wasn't really expecting it to be great.  The sale was an annual Valentine's day sale in the student center of the local college (SIUC).  There were only 20-25 vendors, not all of it handmade, and there was almost nothing for signage directing people to the sale; so it is not like there was a stellar set up to begin with. 
Much as I suspected there was not a lot of buying or even browsing traffic.  A very small number of people coming to the student center just for the craft sale.  Roughly 94% of the traffic through the space were students going to and from class. 
The sale started at 10 and I had a few sales in the morning; but pretty much everything dropped off after noon.  It was supposed to go until 5, but a few people were packing up at 3:30-4 already.  I must say I was very tempted to join them.  By that time even the students had stopped coming through.  I couldn't bring myself to leave early, though.  I always sort of thought of it as a contract when I attend an art/craft sale.  If I leave before the sale is officially over I am breaking that contract, even for those sales that don't specifically stipulate that you must stay until the final bell.  And you never know when that last minute sale is going to come through.
All in all it was pretty much what I expected...not much.  I almost made enough to cover my time and expenses.  As it stands I almost made minimum wage.  Needless to say I will not be attending that sale next year.

And now a few shots of the Valentine's day schlock that didn't sell.

Happy heart jar

Another little happy heart jar

Little heart bud vase

"Heart This" bud vase

"What the f*** is this?!" robot mug

"Cut your heart out with a" spoon rest
I guess I can see why some of this stuff might not have sold.  As I get time it will be posted on Etsy though.

Oh!  I almost forgot the art/craft fair quote of the day!

Elderly female rug vendor reacting to the skull heart jar and human heart spoon rest - "Really?!  Come on now...and I'm not too sure about this one either." (After looking at the rest of my stuff)  "While I'm not into skeletons and bare organs, you do nice work...your flowers and stuff."

Does not liking someone's work give you the right to be condescending toward them?  Oh well; she wasn't really mean, she was just expressing her opinion.  It was actually kind of funny.  Ok, that's all for now.  Until later...

-Rob, Simple, Circle Studios

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Here be Dragons!

Today I sat outside in a t-shirt and decorated pots.  I know everyone has been talking about the mild winter, so it is old news, but come on.  February 2 and I was perfectly comfortable outside in a t-shirt.  That is some strange brew going on up there in the atmosphere.

Anyway, I have been decorating for a firing coming up next week.  I have some consignment stuff in there, some Valentine's day stuff in there (as previously discussed), and some new designs that I have been hankering to try out (sheep, whales, fish, etc).  Today I also worked on a dragon design. 

I have thought about doing some dragon designs before.  I mean, dragons are just freakin' cool.  They always seemed a bit complicated to put on a pot in any sort of expeditious way though.  This being the year of the dragon, however, I figured what better time to give it a go?
I sketched this guy out the other night at a meeting and put him on a cup this afternoon.  Not too shabby if I do say so myself.  And it didn't take near as long as I figured it would, so good news there.  The question is, do I make it year specific or just leave it a generic dragon tumbler?
Now that I look at it again I think this one will get a "2012" to finish out the design.  There will undoubtedly be more dragons wares in the future though.  

On a completely different topic, has anyone else been getting show stuff lined up for the coming year?  I am probably getting into this stuff a bit late for some people.  There are probably veteran art fair folks out there who already had 80% of there shows applied for and in the bag half way through January.  Oh well.  My goal for this year is to do at least 10 art fairs.  I have two lined up for this fall and am anxiously awaiting responses for a handful in late spring/early summer.  For those who have experience with this stuff, do shows generally let you know if you did not make it into a show, or just if you did?
Well, I guess that is all for now.  Until later...

-Rob, Simple Circle Studios