Monday, September 25, 2006

Draft Horse Classic recap

Alrighty, well I tallied up the sales, and it's always interesting to see what does best. As far as prints go, it was a 50/50 split between chicken art and horse art. With the note cards, which are the item sold in the largest quantity, it was 51% horse art, 39% chicken art, and 10% other art (dogs and wildlife). The top selling card is the same every year: "That'll be the day" (BBRed Rosecomb). Last year I sold a ton of "My Foot!" cards (cat), and this year not a single one. It's very unpredictable. "My Foot!" and the b/w Nellie photo are two of the images that receive the most compliments, and yet even though I have them on cards, mugs, etc, I sold none or very few. Weird. Thank goodness for note cards, and for the chicken art. I am getting repeat customers, and a few told me they come there just to see my stuff. That's totally awesome, it's really a huge compliment. People really like the chicken stuff, it's definitely my reputation now, and I still get a lot of nice comments that people enjoy the variety of work that I have in my booth.

Here's my booth:

So the show lasted four days. The first was pathetic, the second wasn't much better, but thankfully the weekend was much better. I stayed in town this year with fellow Wilton artist Stacy Maeda and her mother Marilyn, and that was a lot of fun getting to know them better. And I sure didn't miss the commute! It took about 4.5 hours to set up, and 2.5 hours to take it all down. The boxes were a little lighter on the way home, but there's still a lot left!

I did a lot of drawing during the show, and got a lot done (finished the pair of Lemon Blue Old English Game Bantams). It's hard to work there, the lighting is poor, the chair is uncomfortable, etc, but I think it's something people enjoy seeing, and I'd be bored out of my gourd if I didn't do anything! My concern about it though is that people are hesitant to "bother me" while I'm working, and really I'm okay with being interrupted for purchases! But I feel uncomfortable just sitting there doing nothing while people are browsing, so I guess it works out.

Normally I barely get to go out and see the horses at all. Being up there alone (other than on the last day) I can't very well leave my booth unless it's really quiet time and I get a neighbor to watch things. But this year since I was staying in town I attended the Thursday night horse show with a bunch of the other artists, and since the show didn't start til noon on Friday I was able to get to the fairgrounds early and watch a lot of the morning halter class, and wander around the barns taking photographs (during the big exhibition shows the barns are closed off, which makes it impossible to take photos!). It was cool and very windy that morning, and the horses were definitely feeling it!

Waiting their turn at the wash rack:

Spotted Draft Horse. I "spotted" this guy and his matching buddy Thursday night in the driving competition, and was pretty wowed by their look.

I was in a new location this time. For four years my booth was in the same spot in the building, and I just never felt that I fit in down there. Everyone was very nice, don't get me wrong, but I felt it was time to try out a new location, so I asked to be moved down to the other end (plus it was fun to get the Wilton artists next to each other, and that made it easy to booth-sit as needed). So I got to know a new crowd this year, and they were a hoot. I hope to be in that same place next year, I really enjoyed that crowd.

The wild bunch: left to right, Diane Hausmann and Laurence Vincent, Sharon and Bob Hunt, Lesley Harrison, Marilyn Maeda, John Keller, me, Greg (sorry Greg I don't know your last name!). Not pictured is artist Stacy Maeda.

Oh, and I also decided to bring everyone chocolate chip cookies Thursday morning (I baked them Wednesday night). Holy moly. What a great way to get to know everyone! Tee hee! They pestered me for more all weekend. I think next year I'd better make a double recipe, and I'd better make darn sure I bring some or they are all going to shoot me! What have I done?! I've created monsters! ;-)

So, all in all, a great show, despite my initial concerns. I haven't managed to unpack yet, but I'll get there. I really love that show, the people are wonderful and there is SO much good art there. I heard that comment from a lot of visitors too, that they had never seen so much good art in one place. I'm looking forward to next year. I WILL be entering a chicken drawing next year!!! ;-)

A bit of sad news though... "Twinkie," my Old English Game Bantam, died while I was gone. It was a freak accident, nothing anyone could have predicted or done anything about. Poor Twinkie, I liked that little bird. :-(


Anonymous said...

Hi! I am so glad you had such a good time! A.S. and I were planning to come-up and see the show, but I ended up with a bad cold and never made it up to Grass Valley...ugh. We are bummed that we missed such a neat event! I guess there is always next year....
The pics of the horses were great! --C.S.

Dan said...

sorry to hear about twinkie...

sounds like you had a good show..

Dont know if you get any kind of report from cafe press, but I bought one of your shirts this week. ;-)

Katherine Plumer said...


CS- missed ya! I kept hoping you and A would show up! Hope you are feeling better! You'll just have to come over and visit with my horses again... some time. Ugh, I can't believe how busy I am lately!

D- yay! Thanks for buying a shirt! I can log in and check to see if I've gotten orders but I generally forget to do that. Hope you like it, I haven't even seen the vast majority of the items I sell! :-)

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