To join me on a virtual sketching trip, download a travel sketch-journal here.
I add tutorials to them so you can learn the techniques and details you see in the sketchbooks.

My former workshop students asked me to upload my workshop workbooks to make them available to everyone. So you can also download a workbook and give yourself a workshop! Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Art Show & Studio Sale Recap

A number of people have asked how the Art Show and Studio Sale on December 12-13 went (see previous blog entry). Keeping in mind that there is a Recession going on and that the first morning the entire valley was iced up "slicker'n-snot," it went pretty well.

One thing I did discover, however, is that it's going to take a couple dozen more of these sales to clear all the illustrations out my cupboards -- hmmm... But it paid for itself, and lots of my students and friends dropped by, which made it quite enjoyable.

As you may recall, I did the event in conjunction with a friend, and we split the hall roughly down the center to make it easier to tend to our customers. The first picture (above) is what people saw on my side as they entered the hall. There was a balcony just above my side, and the view at left shows a composite photo I took of most of my side with Cathy's across the aisle at the top right. We each had twelve tables, ten large easels, and ten table easels to fill, and that was accomplished without an inch left over.

My "Art Show" part consisted of pictures that had been framed for previous shows, arranged on the big easels around the perimeter as you can see at right. Most of them weren't for sale (next time, mebbe).

As for the Studio Sale part, on the tables I arranged books I've illustrated and the illustrations from those books, with the largest illustrations on table easels and the rest in the bins. You can see this in the picture at left. People could look through the illustrations, then check out how they looked in the books if they wanted to.

Up at the front I had a whole table of both new and "hurt" books (with dinged corners, scuffs, etc. -- sometimes next to invisible, but apparently unsightly to distributors and their bookstores.) of which I managed to sell quite a few -- not surprising since the dinged books were about half price. Selling these was a big bonus for me because hurt books are hard to find homes for. My customers didn't seem to mind a bit.

You'll notice I'm wearing a fleece jacket here (at right). The front doors had to be kept open to let people know we were there, and the weather was in the 30s, so I was glad to dress in layers of layers, sometimes pulling my hood up to keep warm. I also brought a little space heater which was nice to sit down beside with guests for a chat.

The hall is pretty large, but with the big easels creating a visual border and the lovely spruces provided by Daniel behind them, it was actually rather cozy. Dan had been planning to bring ball-and-burlapped trees, but the nursery crew had thinned out a bed of spruce Christmas trees recently, and the discards, with double tops or one or two unruly branches, made a perfect backdrop for the show (a lot easier to work with, too). Here are some shots of the doings. Click them to see close-ups.

Dan, and friends of Cathy (I'd thank them but I don't know all their names) helped us set up and take down, as well, assembling easels, draping tree lights, etc., and I am very grateful for all their assistance. I don't think the trees would have gotten draped with the lights without them!

At 5pm on Sunday, we took it all down. Dan loaded the trees back into his truck, Cathy and I swept the hall and tidied up, and it was all over for this year. (BTW, check out the collapsed art bins on the end of the table there. Sure makes stowing easier!)

If you didn't get a chance to come this time, aim for next year. We've reserved the hall and made our lists of what went well and what could be improved, and next year it will be even better.

I expect to keep adding to my Illustrations For Sale collection here (and yeah, I know it needs updating -- it's on my list), so let me know if you see something you can't live without. I've been shipping books for years, so it's no trouble to ship an illustration off to you.

SO! CHEERS! Have a great holiday, and stay tuned. You never know WHAT's going to happen here.


Kate (Cathy Johnson) said...

Looks like a FABULOUS show and an almost unimaginable amount of work! Congratulations, Irene, I'm SO glad it went well!

Irene Brady said...

Thanks, Kate!
Yes, it was an amazing amount of hard work. And I have so many ideas to make it even better next year!!!!

One REALLY nice aspect is that there are now protective sleeves on all the artwork that didn't sell. This is a real plus. Being on paper or illustration board, they could easily sustain damage over the years.

Kate (Cathy Johnson) said...

Yes, I like having more things protected, too! Sounds like the response was wonderful...

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