Thursday, June 21, 2007

What's the Daily Tally?

I always keep a daily tally of contacts, people who actually come up and speak to me, give me their card, and engage in conversation.

Visitors fall into several categories:
Artists, walking the show trying to decide if they should spend the money and take the leap into licensing. Or, got forbid, they're carrying their portfolios around looking for an agent. Sometimes they're young kids right out of art school who haven't figured out what a tragic mistake it was, and the rest are middle aged-women with tie-died hairbands and gigantic medallions hanging around their necks and art fair earrings. You can spot artists in a second and hopefully you can scoot them away from your booth without too much trouble. The ones you can't get rid of are what I call "losers." (see Losers) At one show, two years ago I think, artists outnumbered art buyers five to one. That means you're paying $100 a minute to exhibit your work to #&%@* other artists!!

Bona-Fide Buyers.
Buyers are Chinese, Korean, Taiwanese, or Japanese and wear business suits and have business cards. Anybody who doesn't have a business card is is a loser (See Losers). Japanese art buyers are cute, tiny girls who look to be about fourteen years old. The Americans who stop by are often in their twenties and live in Shanghai or Hong Kong, or travel constantly and don't even know where they are. Other buyers will be from the American offices of companies who do their manufacturing manufacturing in Asia. It's odd to find buyers who make things in the US, they are usually obscure businesses with like the guy from Georgia who makes rubber floors, or the father and son team from Michigan that manufacture stretchy nylon athletic wear with horrendous artwork printed on them...

More to come, I'm getting busy up in here...


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