When Tracy (of Reinvintage SF) and I started planning Down from the Rafters, I had no doubt it would be awesome. Rather, I think my confidence in the store and my love of my work left me anxious just to get to the party so we could relax and enjoy our hard work. Suddenly, as I was getting dressed, I stopped dead in my eyeliner: What if no one came!? What if Nothing sold!?! It hadn’t even crossed my mind until that moment, and my heart thumped a little harder for a few minutes while I panicked, trying to hide my worried face from Tracy.
Well, it was Amazing. The store was packed with friends and family, but also with people who strolled in off the street. I spent a few minutes talking to a guy who had just moved to the neighborhood from the UK, and a few minutes later he asked me to put a sticker on a piece for his girlfriend. This is a magical feeling. This is…validation. Seeing the faces of my coworkers who could have been anywhere but were with me left me warm and fuzzy. I was blown away.
At the end of the night, a few hands full of us went to get some late dinner and I sat for the first time all night, able to briefly take it in. In addition to loving my friends (old and new), I reflected on why things panned out the way they did. Here’s what I learned.
- Affordable art rocks. I made an effort to keep everything under $85. My goal as an artist has largely been to bring art to people who would otherwise not be able to buy art. Who buys art in their 20s? Especially in this economy. It’s a weird leap if it’s not something you do normally, and I want to make that easier. Art should be affordable so it can be appreciated. This worked. Opening night saw 50% of the stock sold. Awesome.
-The spectrum of taste varies greatly from person to person. What this means: My top 10 didn’t sell, my bottom 10 did. Lesson: I should not give up on pieces that I’m not madly in love with, because it’s likely that someone else will be. Obvious, but not when you’re caught up in the intricacies of your own work.
-Stories Rock. As an afterthought, maybe a week before opening night, I decided it would be fun to write little one line stories about the piece. When I put them up the night before, I knew it added an extra layer, but I was thrilled that others had so much feedback about them.
And that’s only the first night. There are 29 left to go. Who knows what I’ll learn by then!
HUGE thanks to everyone who came and made things so perfect.