My last show was a difficult and dirty situation to work in, but from hardship comes good.
Every venue for a show is different and I have become adept at adapting. Normally we choose a booth 10 x 8 which is an easy set up and working conditions for us.
This past show was a real challenge we only had an 8 foot square and this booth cost more than any show I have been a vendor at in the past years. The small area to set up and work in a challenge I accepted and had designed and adapted too prior to the show.
Due to a 250 k drive in ice blowing snow and white outs I was the last to arrive and found the booth to my right had encroached onto my site taking a 10ft frontage and the booth to my left encroached 2ft over into my space plus half a coat hanger with sweater hanging on where my table and display should be.
Normally one makes friends with neighbouring vendors and we work together and watch each other booths when taking a break. This time neither side were happy with me when I claimed my space. This situation was resolved after a fashion but not totally to my satisfaction, the girl in charge was helpful and the compromise made mostly by me as neither of the other booths moved. I was allowed to extend forward into the isle blocking the through fare and possibly against fire code regulations.
All this and my good were still in the van. Can you imagine working in a marquee/big tent in February with snow outside and well below minus temperatures?
This is not as bad as you might think as the tent was heated with forced air and at times so hot I was down to just a tee shirt while those coming from outside were bundled up for the cold, forcing them into the tent to warm up and look at products for sale.
Unfortunately the floor was made from wood chips and saw dust about 12 inches deep, while being kind and warm to the feet with so many people passing through it stirred up so much dust it was not only a health hazard but impossible to work with my art and framing and keep the product clean. The wood chip flooring was not stated in the information sent by the organisers.
The show times were 13 hours each day. Four dusty days in to the ten day show was all I could endure, with spoiled product I decided to pull out of the show, for my health and not to spoil any more of my art work.
Now at home still cleaning my products stripping frames and getting rid of dust in retrospect it was a wise decision, despite the loss if income. I prefer to give my customers top quality clean frames and art work, and to be in good health. I have never worked in such conditions nor left a show early.
Now for the good news.
At some point a young girl took my card home and gave it to her Dad who later in the week called me. Doug Lunney is the man a columnist for the Winnipeg Sun newspaper, after a phone interview and providing him with some photographs Doug wrote a great article about me and A to Z illusions which can be read on this link.
Just shows something good can come from the most adverse conditions.
Read the article here as a PDF: