If you watched Nick at Nite in the early 1990s, then you may remember a commercial about a "serious message" featuring a cartoon dancing squirrel at the bottom of the screen. I think the "serious message" was preventing accidents in the home by watching Nick at Nite, and the dancing squirrel was to serve as a distraction for "those who could not handle a serious message." Well, I'm stealing their idea and posting a photo of my Toddland cheeseburger wallet from Fred Flare (www.fredflare.com) before dropping this bomb: I am no longer doing craft fairs.
I've already sent my regrets to the coordinators of the eight remaining shows on my roster. Two were kind enough to refund my entry fee, which was completely unexpected. So, why the big drop out? I was, I'm afraid, overwhelmed. Physically. Mentally. Emotionally. It dawned on me slowly that craft shows weren't the best venue for marketing my work. At first I told myself that I wasn't doing the right ones, that I needed to find my niche in venues more receptive to my funky wares and that the way to find this niche was to sign up for as many shows as possible. But after vending at shows offering different locations, different entry fees, and different aesthetics, I realized that I was mostly selling a few small items here and there regardless of where I was. I made as many little girls' stretchy bracelets and tiny totes as possible before each show because I knew that people would buy them. But in doing so, I wasn't challenging myself creatively. I felt more like a factory than an artist, and that didn't feel good.
So, my new plan is to tackle all the projects haunting my imagination, even if they end up taking a lot of time and/or money to produce. You'll be able to see the results posted on my Etsy shop, www.thetotetrove.etsy.com, and, of course, here on this blog. So stay tuned. I promise there's good stuff to come.