The art show people who walk by and ignore me don't know that I spent between $150 and $600 to be sitting there. I know they don't know it took hours to pack up my 500 lbs of gear, haul it all out of my Durango, cart it to my spot, spend hours setting it up. People have no idea that each of my portraits has a sweet story... that a part of me is hanging by paper clips on my mesh display walls.
Last weekend, I had a huge show at the Odeum in Villa Park. It’s a great show, even though it is held in a creepy, dark, old, tin shed of a building with godawful cell phone reception. My booth was across from a big ole blingy display of cheap jewelry that took up TWO spots. Women are nearly drunk with joy when they find cheap jewelry at art shows. They’ll try it on with their friends and yell stuff while laughing too loud, which feels like a deliberate attempt to hurt my feelings. They are practically jumping up and down. I spent the entire weekend looking at the backs of these women.
Okay, I sort of lied, because it doesn't matter whether the jewelry is cheap. It usually isn't, but it's JEWELRY and chicks dig jewelry and most of the people at craft shows and art shows are skirts on the prowl for more jewelry. JEWELRY!
Sometimes the jewelry drunks give me the briefest once over, which makes me wince even more inside. A glance with a quick look away is way worse than being ignored, which I'm sort of used to. Some art show patrons will give my booth a good sniff as they're wandering slowly but steadily by. That’s a little better, but I still sulk because they don’t stop. When I say sulk, I mean I have cried in my car on the way home. I obsessively wonder what I'm doing wrong. If my husband calls at the wrong time, as soon as I've heard his rumbly, kind voice, I've started to cry in my booth, too. In front of people. Yikes. I really do need to be more positive; this blog may force me into therapy. But hell, at this point I've been pointedly ignored by several million people. Even a mentally balanced normal person with non-crybaby tendencies could get discouraged.
If I'm not getting blown off, I am being chatted up by people just killing time, waiting for their jewelry-shopping friends. They'll chit-chat about my pictures, ask questions, maybe even fill out an inquiry form, but it's all hot air and they're not fooling me with their fake interest. Others like to talk about their cats in great detail, or their artistic grandparents or neighors who like to draw. I am trapped and at their mercy. Most don't call me, even if they swear on their cat that they will.
Mothers tend to be the ones who get it, who share my passion for sweet little moments caught on film. If there was a fire, I would grab the old photo albums of non-digital pictures. The photo booth pictures when my husband and I fell in love… that photo of Joey at two years old in a plaid wool hat with flaps. What if they were just gone?
Sandy Smith knew what I was talking about.
“I have the PERFECT photo!” she told me, “it is my favorite picture of my girls. Just wait till you see it! You’re going to love drawing it.” She was so appreciative and delighted, I loved her instantly and more than a normal person should love a stranger.
It went something like this:
Can you believe that crabby broad popped up again? What are the chances? Sometimes the world gives you a sign that you should calm down or change. I choose to ignore these signs and keep doing the same dysfunctional stuff.
END OF TANGENT.
Sandy Smith, on the other hand, was HAPPY to be hugged, which was good, because she was so sweet and complimentary about my work, I could not have held myself back from hugging her. The portrait of her three girls turned out to be one of my all time favorites...
|Eat no evil, poop no evil, whistle no evil.|
While they aren’t covering their eyes or ears, the girls’ distinct, silly expressions have that monkey feel, like they are giving us different subliminal messages. Let's think of some thought bubbles for them.
|I want to be adopted into this family|