My experiment in positive thinking.

October 31, 2008 at 8:56 am 1 comment

So technically, last night was a complete bust. If you didn’t read yesterday’s post, it was the local chamber of commerce business awards, and I was one of chosen artists to show my work there. It sounded like a great idea, but unfortunately, we didn’t account for the way people moved around the space, and the fact that most of them didn’t even notice that there were artists there. They were mostly interested in getting alcohol, getting food, and networking. Which is fine, because that’s basically why they were there. It just kind of sucked for us.

So instead, I decided to make the night an experiment. What would happen if I didn’t immediately give up, and stayed in the game the whole time? What would happen if I looked for the positive instead of the negative?

Let me tell you – the difference was like night and day. I blew my own mind.

From the beginning, I could have viewed things as either really good, or really bad. First, there were supposed to be 4 artists, two in each alcove. Well one artist dropped out, so I was left alone. I could have been annoyed because I had to be alone. Instead, I decided to view it as an opportunity – less direct competition, and I could spread my work out better, have a nicer layout.

Once I was done setting up, I went to get a coffee, kill some time. There was a trio of men ahead of me in line, ordering 5 cappucinos. As it turns out, cappucinos are the most time-consuming drink to make ever (I now have total sympathy for anyone who works in Starbucks, etc. Man. I did not realize what a pain in the ass your job was.) The men insisted I go in front of them, but I had half an hour to burn, so I told them it was okay. Besides, they were cool guys, so I spent most of the time talking to them. Fifteen minutes and one very apologetic barista later, we finally got our drinks, and the men in front of me insisted on buying me mine because I had to wait so long. I could have complained about the wait, but really – free coffee people.

Once the night started though, there was a period of about 5 minutes when I thought “Holy crap. I am screwed.” The way everything was set up, the crowd was bottlenecking at the bar about 10 feet from me, but not really coming any further. I was getting essentially no traffic, except for the people who came in the back door. It was then that I decided instead of giving up, I was going to stay positive and focused, with an attitude of “I never know who is gonna walk past me.”

In direct contrast, although the other two artists got ten times the foot traffic I did, I got the vibe that they’d given up. Especially when one of them came up to me and said, “Oh my god, just kill me now.” Helpful.

By the end of the night, I’d gotten 4 potential leads for commissions – one from one of the men who bought me coffee, one from a local business owner, one from the wife of one of the big winery owners, and an almost definite one from the bartenders (who were my favourite people of the whole night). Oh yeah, and the local country club invited me to show my work there. Which is hardcore exclusive, and you only get in by  invitation from the general manager. I’ve been told its the best place in town to sell your art.

Take that negativity – my positive thinking kicked your ass.


Entry filed under: Accomplishment, Art. Tags: , .

Today is going to be fun. You’re scared, I’m scared. We’re all scared. Its okay.

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. kal  |  October 31, 2008 at 10:07 am

    Fantastic, PMA (Positive Mental Attitude) Kicks Butt!

    Well done Sarah,


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