Christmas at Miromar Outlets was different. With temps in the 80's, it felt quite strange with the lights and all the trimmings, but it is a beautiful place.
I just returned from one of the three shows I am doing this year on the gulf coast of Florida near the Naples area. This area has always intrigued me since it is so warm and the reputation of the area has been pretty impressive on all the forums. I must say here and now, be careful what you read and try to talk to some other artists who have done shows in out of state areas before you just jump in. I did my research and felt pretty confident this was going to be a pretty decent experience. The promoter took great care of us and provided all the amenities one would need at a high end art show. The artistic quality of the work presented by my fellow artists was amazing and in most cases, off the charts in regards to originality, wow factor, and booth presentation. Those are the three key ingredients to success in this business for awards. Since the rewards were not too high, I went for sales with my presentation as you can see from my booth shots.
If you are going for an award, keep the art to a minimum and stay with just one subject. Here I have mostly surf art however, I did include a garden wall too.
The mall parking lots were huge and packed every day with cars and people coming in and out of the show. The biggest surprise was that virtually all of the people coming in viewed us as their weekend entertainment and bought little or nothing. I spoke to several artists who said that they had done two or three shows in a row in the area and had "zeroed out", which means they sold nothing, not even small items! I personally only sold a couple of prints the last hour and that was it. My overhead was massive after traveling nearly a thousand miles each way just to get here, not to mention the cost of the hotel (which they gave us a generous discount on and treated us royally) and the cost of meals. The food was pretty high end too as were the prices but they were incredible and well worth the cost.
My artist assistant Kris modeling in front of our rig. I am so lucky to have such a beautiful hard working wife!
I've pretty much chalked this one up to a learning experience and totally understand why there are so few sales on the west coast of Florida. They have an art show almost every weekend in that part of the state and the area is just totally oversaturated with them. With that in mind, I headed back to Cocoa Beach to at least catch a few waves and as luck would have it, the swell was gone and the cold front arrived as soon as we got there. I got to surf some of the smallest surf ever but at least it was warm until Tuesday when the rain and wind hammered the place and the highs were in the low 50's and the lows in the record breaking 30's. Welcome to sunny Florida. The waves were not due to get better until the following weekend and I was not about to wait that long to be reunited with my yellow labs so we hit the road and came home in a marathon 14 hours.
I have two more shows in Florida and I do hope they are better than this one. I remember living in Florida and the waves were so incredibly inconsistent all year, especially summer when they just pretty much go away. I am super thankful to live in Virginia so close to the outer banks where the waves are endless most of the year. It's trips like this that make you realize that the grass is really not so green on the other side at all, it's just a fantasy that one keep chasing after as they get older. Right now, the grass is looking pretty green right here in good old Virginia and that's where I plan to stay for the rest of my life. Thank you VA!