Monday, May 4, 2009
Did you make that?
For a time we did what I call guerrilla retail: manning an outdoor booth at some kind of festival or event. The atmosphere is festive and sleazy and the crowds generally are happy-go-lucky with a few drunken fools thrown in for flavour. At a few of the more low rent events we have even slept in the street to guard our wares ( they never have outdoor classical music festivals do they and you probably wouldn't sell too many bongs) On one of these glorious weekends we hooked up with some old friends and sat in lawn chairs all night long solving the problems of the world and enjoying the stars. Consequently I was a little tired the following day, the big sales day, and a little less likely to nod and smile when confronted with an obvious moron. This fellow was very interested in a mask we were selling. Back in the day we did the good old Asian import thing, when these things still seemed exotic and not tawdry and did not remind everyone of child labour. The mask clearly, as required by law, said made Indonesia on the back. The fellow looked at it, looked me in the eye and asked. "did you make that?" Of course, I told him. I jumped on a plane, hewed down a tree, carved out the mask. shipped it back here just so I could sell it to you. He bought it. That was the true start of my sales career. I've never looked back. Now I create and sell my own art and proudly say I made it but can't shake the niggling feeling that I am a fraud, that I'm pulling the wool over every body's eyes. Of course some people, like the aforementioned gentleman, come with their eyes prewooled and would buy poop wrapped in cellophane if you told them the right story. God bless them all. Tonight we eat.