May 26, 2009

I'll take the high road

James taught me something last night (not the first time). He was singing a song that I taught him last week when a friend hit him and he wanted revenge - "I'll take the high road, and you'll take the low road and I'll be to Scotland before you..." We talked about what 'taking the high road' meant. I thought the lesson had just went right over his head, but apparently something stuck. And his timing couldn't have been better... for me.

On the weekend I was doing a show at the Distillery District in Toronto. A neat place for sure, with lots of people and lots of wind. The wind storm created some issues and I had some of my display items break. In the midst of cleaning them up, someone had taken one of my rings; and not just any ring but a red beach glass ring (one of the rarest colours of beach glass). Needless to say I was off to a grumpy start that day.

But when I heard James singing 'I'll take the high road..' it reminded me to do the same. Instead of being so bitter about it, I'm going to see it as a compliment. Someone wanted one of my pieces so much that they were willing to risk breaking the law. And I bet they'll be talking about it too! So who knows, maybe they'll buy something from me down the road...

May 20, 2009

The dreaded donation request

Spring is here, and do you know how I know? Because I've been asked to donate some of my beach glass art to everything ranging from animal shelters, homelessness, to youth at risk and some organizations I still don't have a clue what they do. Don't get me wrong, my frustration isn't that I don't think these organizations are deserving, nor is because I think I'm the only being asked because my husband who is not an artist but a small business owner, is getting swamped with similar requests - maybe even more. My frustration is that I don't think they're listening to the same radio station as me - WII FM.

Have you listened to that station? It's the What's in it for me station. As much as we do things for strictly philanthropic reasons, we often have other motives as well. If I am going to help an organization for nothing else then to help, they don't need to seek me out, I'll seek them.

So if someone is seeking my support, then I need them to do some work in exchange. I need to determine what value is in for me as an artist, as a person, as a small business owner. I actually get them to fill out a form so I can judge all my donations equally, keep a file on each donation and make informed decisions. Since I've started to telling other artists I do this, I've been getting requests for copies of my form so here is the gist of it:

Contact Name:
Contact Phone:
Contact Email:
Value of item requested:
Event Name:
Event Date:
Description of Event:
How many people will be attending?
Who will be attending the event?
What other items are being donated?
How does my art fit?
Where else will my name / item be promoted?
Will I receive tickets to the event?
Will I be notified after the event about who received my item and how much it went for?
May I request a reserve bid?
Are you able to pay for any portion of the piece?
Will I receive a tax receipt for my donation?

So don't dread those requests, organize them!

May 10, 2009

My treasure box

When I'm participating in art shows / sales I have a list of stuff to bring, you know the usual - product, receipt book, pens, credit cards slips, brochures, table clothes, business cards, etc. But I also have my treasure box. And the other artists always love it. So what's in my treasure box? Here's the list:

~ Tylenol
~ midol
~ throat lozenges
~ mouthwash
~ a loonie
~ band aids
~ extra shoes (feels great to change your shoes half way through the day)
~ granola bar
~ fruit
~ hand sanitizer
~ hand cream
~ small blanket
~ a good book
~ allergy pills
~ sunscreen

Just the little things that make the day go by a little bit easier. Now - get packing your treasurer box.