I was doing this art show and it was going fairly well but, well let’s face it; there is always a but. A reservation, a nudge, an irritation, something that is bothering you. I’ve never done particularly well at this show and this year was much better, and yet; I was unhappy. Because I was frustrated about a few things, I was saying things that I shouldn’t. I was crabby and just not at my best. Maybe that is why I never do well at this show? I’m always crabby there.
Now, I am all for self-analyzation. I try to constantly monitor how I feel and how I am acting. As the weekend wore on, I realized that all the irritations at this show; they would always be there. They aren’t things that bother anyone else so that makes them my problem. It isn’t right to ask a show promoter to reformat the show to accommodate me. Oh, I could bring up my petty irritations to them; but it is a waste of their time. The promoter works very hard to bring in buyers and is herding a lot of loose cats during the production of the event. I could bring up my issues after the show, but they are still small petty issues. This promoter has worked with me in the past, done some very nice things for me. I have done some things for them as well. We are in a balance where neither of us owes the other. Another way to say it is, there is no reason for them to address my petty grievances.
What do I do?
I have two choices. A) Do the show again, get irritated because nothing is going to change. It isn’t anyone else’s problem but mine. B) Don’t do the show again. What! Wait. Don’t do the show again? But I made money this year… Yes I made money, but I wasn’t the best version of myself. I have done this show long enough to know nothing is going to change and I will always be grumpy. Here is the point: I can always find another venue. There are more shows going on all over the country and I am willing to travel. I have plenty of time to figure out where to go. Yes, I may end up losing money the first year, but I will be a better person for the other place I go. The promoter who loses me will be losing someone who is grumpy and dissatisfied. They don’t need that kind of energy in their show. The other vendors don’t need that kind of person next to them. And while I made more sales this year, how many did I lose while I was grumpy?
I’m going to reiterate here, there was no reason to bring my petty issues to the promoter. They were all personal issues and none of them are professional. They all belong to me. I weighed the options and decided that I would rather start over as a better version of myself than continue in a place that I would be a grump. In the long term, I might make up the funds I am missing out because I am a happier salesperson. I am investing in myself because this is a long-term commitment. I want to be in business for several more years and you can’t do that if you get a reputation for being a pain to other vendors and promoters.
Invest in being the best at everything, your art, your business and you. I know it is a smart move in the long run.
The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in this blog belong solely to the Spokane Art School Artist-in-Residence, and not necessarily to the Spokane Art School.