How I Art Show
"Headed to the Beach" Sticker from Sticker Mule
Every art show I do requires something a little different. A different tent, a table, more prints, etc. But every time I pack up to go on the road for an art show, I try to pack in the most possible artwork I can. Below is a photo of my car (Toyota RAV4) packed to capacity. I even asked a friend to remove the rear passenger seats so I could fit more in!
Artwork is packed carefully using blankets, cardboard, and shrink wrap. And those silver packages are actually insulation cut and taped up to make carriers for paintings. I pay especially careful attention to the corners so they are protected from getting bumped and scuffed by other items. What you don't see is my one tiny suitcase in the front (who needs clothes when you have art, right?)
It takes a total of 9 hours and 32 minutes (according to Google Maps at this moment) to get from my house to Coconut Grove in Miami, Florida. Between packing the car and dropping off my dog at my aunt and uncle's house, that time is just over what I like to drive in one day. Believe me, I've pushed it before driving back and forth to Chicago, and I am a much better human when I don't drive this much in one day. So along the way, I found an inexpensive hotel to stay in and even a little bit of natural beauty.
Below is the beautiful Blowing Rocks Preserve in Hobe Sound, Florida. It was a great break from driving to get out and stretch my legs and enjoy this beautiful beach. It reminded me of the black sand beaches in Hawaii!
If you see my stories or blog posts, you may notice I usually find a way to hike or enjoy some scenery whenever I travel. I find it's a great way to refresh my mind body after driving for long hours.
Ok, this next part may seem like a luxury but it's very important to me. This cute photo is from the tiny kitchen in my Air BNB in Miami. I stayed there a total of five nights and with long show hours in the Miami heat (even in February!) I have learned to pay attention to my comfort where I stay. I pick spots with kitchens so I can make my own food for the week especially meals at the show. The variety of festival food available is a wide range, but even shows with healthy (and more importantly hydrating!) options can be difficult to purchase as lines can be long and I'm not usually able to leave my booth for that long. My go-tos are salads and bite-size snacks like carrots and popcorn.
The first part of an art show (and I find, usually the most stressful) is set up. It can be back breaking work and when there is bad weather, it's even more difficult. Luckily most of the shows I do, I am able to drive up to my booth space and unload, but some art shows do require you to load up your items into a cart or dolly and push, pull, or carry them to your space. Above is a photo of the set up process as I assemble the bones of my Craft Hut tent. She can withstand harsh weather beatings and heavy loads which is why I affectionately call her "Betty White." It usually takes me about 4 hours to set up. And while it did rain the afternoon of set up, I was lucky to have the cover of my tent ready to shelter my artwork.
Build-a-booth is a tiring process, so I encourage anyone who does it to commemorate the moment with a photo. I kindly asked the judges coming by my booth to take this photo of me before I started sweating.
After three full days of shows, it's time to tear everything down. This is always easier as you have less pressure to make everything look perfect and more of a need to get home, shower, and eat pizza. On this trip, I enjoyed some delicious Pollo Tropical at the end of the show (because, I'm fancy).
It seems so wasteful to me to drive to Miami and not experience the beautiful beaches. Which is why I took one extra day before heading home to enjoy a beachside meal and some sunshine. And I have to say, I am back home in Atlanta wearing a sweater and really missing the warm beach breeze.
Thanks for listening to my art show story. If you are an artist, feel free to ask me questions. I'm always open to that.