I recently participated in a holiday arts and craft show. Art shows are always an interesting experience. I always seem to learn something new with each one that I do. Sometimes the new learning experience is something pertaining to setting up my booth, or storing the items in a better way. This time the learning experience pertained to my customers and more importantly a change within me.
How people treat you and your work is very interesting at these shows. Some carelessly grab things and sort of throw them back on the table, others rather indifferently touch things and the rest seem to touch the work in an almost reverent fashion. There are people who won't even acknowledge your presence, even though you've welcomed them and said "hello". Then there are the customers who really want to know about you and your process.
This was the first time however that I had ever had someone ask me if I would take less for an item. My initial inner reaction was one of anger. It frustrated me that this person was treating my artwork as if it were something at a garage sale or flea market. I was insulted. I've always felt that each piece I create is a small part of my soul. I put so much time, effort and love into each piece that I create. I felt that this person was telling me that my work wasn't worth the price that I was asking. Thank God for parents because my mom helped me to change my perspective on this. She told me to think of it more from the perspective of this person really loves the piece but is on a strict budget and can't pay the price being asked. However, because they really love it they are hoping that I could make some sort of exception for them. This completely changed my attitude and I'm grateful that my mom was there to instigate that change.
Since then I have helped other artists change their perspective when faced with similar situations. I have discovered that the inital anger response is quite common amongst artists. ( must be an ego thing. hee hee hee)
Overall, I really love going to the shows because you meet such wonderfully creative people there. The most satisfaction I get however,is in getting to witness the change that your work can create in a person's face when they first see it.