Fresh Paint

Several months ago some friends of mine convinced me that not only could I apply for and be accepted to Fresh Paint in Everett but that I could do a good job at the festival.  It’s a juried festival and every year it apparently gets harder and harder to get into, so when I was accepted I was honored, excited and very very nervous.  The people that I know who have done the festival are uber professionals and really together with their tents, displays and products for sale.  Whereas this was my first real festival and I had a lot to learn about all of that.


I know I can sell things but I’ve always had to work hard at displays and marketing.  I find myself much more comfortable marketing other artists than marketing myself.  I am tempted to say “I rock, my artwork is solid.. buy some” and call it good… but alas that just doesn’t work in the professional world.  Add in the fact that I had a two month old baby when this festival was scheduled to happen added a little bit of stress.  Oh and we traveled for a memorial service one week on the east coast the week before the festival.  Total it all up I felt as if I was in way over my head.


Here’s the thing though, the artist community in the Pacific Northwest is incredible.  People are generous with their time, support and supplies.  I’m continually amazed that people have done so much to support me.  My friend Janet loaned me her fabulous tent and grids, another friend loaned her grids to me.  And then my rockstar in-laws came in and helped me with everything.  On top of it all, my husband just did more than I can express to help pull this off.  I caught a cold on the trip and proceeded to completely go down and my husband picked up the tent, grids and display things for me.


Then the day of the event rolled in, I was so nervous that I was shaking, I was ready way in advance of the set up time, and barely slept the night before.  The day was sunny with not a cloud in the sky and gorgeous.  It was all I hoped for; within two hours of things starting I sold two original pieces.  People were lovely and supportive of me and my artwork.  I can’t express how fun it is to see someone do a double take while looking at my booth or walk away from a demonstration saying, “Wow, that was cool”.   Although I wasn’t able to continue sales at my starting rate I have to declare the festival a success.  I enjoyed the experience, learned a ton and had the honor of being near several talented artists.


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