Ahh, yes, remember the days... the preppy white tents in a row, each containing exhausted and eager craftspeople and their handicrafts composed of blood, sweat and tears? Also, the reality of late nights preparing and loading the car and long, agonizing days comprised of the highs and lows of early mornings, mercurial weather, brutal critics, amazing customers, toilet facility hunts, vendor camaraderie and packing up panic? Market days! They aren't over forever but it certainly looks like they won't be around for awhile. And even if some do open, will vendors feel safe participating? Will shoppers feel safe enough to attend and if they don't, will it really be worth all the effort, time and money?
Switching to selling online seems ideal in practice but it's a lot easier said than done. I'm already hanging-out in my garage studio, eschewing the company of mankind for most of my time anyway...how much different IS my situation now? Firstly, online marketing is quite difficult for me. Instead of being my typically introverted self and relying on the merit of my work being so eye-catching that passerby and market attendees stop, take a peek and then, hopefully, are reeled in; I have to optimize social media, learn SEO, and ponder the psychology of the words, "free shipping" (even if the price of the shipping is included in the item cost). All so I can vault over the competition in the the half dozen algorithms I do battle with now on a daily basis to get in your face and say, "buy me!!" Am I winning this tournament of battles? Don't break out the knighthood just get, I'm still in page territory to be sure.
In case you weren't aware, ceramics are heavy, and fragile. Not always, of course, and to varying degrees, but say, compared to a knitted beanie or a nice art print, it's pretty tempramental. That varying weight and size is a fun issue too because unless I can reign in my natural inclinations to make my life hard on myself, I will never make uniformly sized or shaped work. I need to have packing supplies and shipping profiles for a range of small, porcelain, necklaces, to large and heavy plant pots with adorable barnacles. It's enough to wish I was hocking my wares at a poorly attended rainy market 30 miles from my house!
These frustrations aside, and, if you visit again, you will likely get the pleasure of hearing about them some more and new ones too, I am certainly thankful of everyone who buys my work. Not just for financial benefits but because it is life-choice affirming, as well. Should I need that affirmation from people to stay on my creative path, doing what I love? No but I'm only human and it helps. These times are uncertain and that uncertainty amplifies anxieties that were already there. Thank you for stopping by and reading my dribble. I know many people enjoy attended markets, before the current, global, crises, and many of those same folks wonder what has happened to us all, those folks peering from behind the display. We're around...helping each other out as much as possible and turning to our drawing implements and paper goods, our building supplies and clay lumps, our ipads and wire bundles- for solace and therapy.