me setting up for vendor night at Squam, photo by Jinny Sagorin
(click image for larger view)
What a lot of people that haven't met me yet don't know is that I can be a wee bit shy. Not at all times but definitely shy in new crowds or standing in front of a class or, ummm...displaying my art on a vendor table. ; )
I'm not really a *look at me* kind of person. I'm much better one on one and in intimate conversations. Unless I have alcohol running through my blood. Then I might be more inclined to be a bit animated. My girls know that.
I've always pondered the idea of setting up a vendor table. We have something called ArtWalk once a year where I live when they close off Little Italy and artists set up camp for three days selling their art. Each year I think about doing it and each year I chicken out. I think a huge part of that is the anxiety I can feel in crowds. The idea of having five or more people in my tent overwhelms me. How could I connect with each of them when there is so much going on? I know I would have to let go of the need to connect so deeply with each person and that it is okay if someone walks in and out and just says hello.
Vendor night at Squam Art Workshops was wonderful practice for me. Little did everyone know that as I was sitting and smiling quietly behind my table watching passers by, I was full of anxiety. Although, each and every person that came to my table was so very caring and gentle and loving and supportive. They were sensitive to the fact that what we were doing is a bit vulnerable; Putting our heart and soul out there for others to comment on and share opinions about. It was a really cool venue at the tail end of a total love fest camp and I think the locals that came picked up on that energy. So, lucky me, right? It won't always be this love-festy...but it was a good way to get my feet wet for these sorts of things.
My favorite visitor to my table was an older woman about in her late 80's. She had long gray hair in a braid, smooth milky skin, big blue eyes and layers of adorable clothing. Very eclectic looking. She looked at each of my prints carefully, quietly, not really striking up a conversation for a while. I watched her totally mesmerized by her presence. She then put a print down, looked me in the eyes and said..."I'm an artist too. I paint nudes. I've always loved naked bodies. Especially men." Then she winked at me and gracefully walked to the next table.
That pretty much made my night.