by Janet Glatz
Yes. Well, this weekend was supposed to be Art in the Park in Bar Harbor, my biggest show of the year. Weeks have been spent in preparation, finishing works, framing,and packing. A month ago, the weather forecast was great! Two weeks ago, passable. Today? Total thumbs down washout.
I'm sure there will be a few die-hards who will refuse to "waste" the money already spent on the show and slog through the wet grass laden with tent, racks, and paintings. The front flaps will open when it's just sprinkling, then get closed during downpours. This is a scene I am not in any hurry to repeat.
The two days will be spent twiddling your thumbs, then over-reacting to those few brave souls who do show up to see your hard work. You kill them with kindness. You might even come off as desperate. Not good, fellow artists. Desperation is a sale killer every time. In my experience, the less I care about how much I sell, the better I do.
So getting back to the decision making process when you are faced with terrible weather for your show. (Terrible weather=Rain, 90 degree heat, or gale force winds.) Do you continue to spend money on lodging, food, and gas? Add it up; you'll have to sell at least a couple of paintings to cover all those expenses. Chances are, with umbrellas in the air, your stuff is not going to disappear off the racks like it might on a sunny day.
What I do is a mini-profit and loss chart. What I've already spent on the show, and what the additional expenses will be if I do go on one side. On the other? The number of paintings I'll need to sell to do better than just break even. Even somebody with poor business sense can figure that one out.
Sometimes I'll grin and bear it--usually if the show is local and I've spent nothing on lodging.
Generally, though, lump in throat and all, you'll find me calling the hotel and cancelling the reservation. Damn! "Better luck next year," the clerk tells me. Yup. Better luck next year.