I've been thinking about this for awhile, but the last week has made it even more relevant. This won't be a political post, but the underlying issues apply across the board.
I've spent a lot of time sitting in a booth at festivals, kind of involved but also not. I'm not the artist, but I'm part of it all. I'm sort of in-between. I also walk around and talk to other artists so I'm a customer, but not really. It's interesting being on both sides and finding myself asking artists questions that are exactly the questions people ask David.
I once went in this booth and fell in LOVE with this work. I wanted to own it (which rarely happens with almost any item, anywhere). The guy was reading and didn't even look up. He didn't acknowledge me. He didn't explain his work. I gave him my money anyway and I have the piece on our wall. But when I look at it, there's a little part of the whole thing that's tainted. I don't feel connected to anything surrounding it. Not to his story, not to his process, not really to the artwork itself. It's beautiful, but that's it.
Sales turned around for us at that first festival when David stood up and started connecting. When he explains his work and his message, people respond. It isn't a sales technique. It's just him. But when people leave our booth, most of the time they shake his hand (and often mine as well) and they say how nice it was to meet us. Whether they bought anything or not, we all feel that we just connected to another like mind and that is invaluable.
I don't really know what my point is with this really. In blog rules, I know I should have one. But today, I don't. I just want you all to know that when you come into our booth and look and talk, whether you buy something or not, you are all people and not customers. We remember your stories, your kids, your enthusiasm and even your criticism if you have some. We value the time we spend with you. We appreciate your time and your opinions. We want people who buy David's work to look at it for years to come and for it be a reminder of something bigger. A new friendship, a new way of seeing things, or even just of time spent in connection with another human being. It is becoming more and more rare to truly connect to people outside our own little bubble and that is why I love art festivals.
Thank you for reading-
Elisabeth and David