Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Missing Sausalito

The Sausalito Art Festival takes place every year during the Labor Day weekend. This year was the first year in four that I didn’t have a booth there.

All year long, weekends that I traditionally would have been at a show, came and went with my only thought being one of relief and confidence in my decision to take a year off. That didn’t happen this past weekend.

The Sausalito Art Festival is ranked among the top festivals in the country for a lot of reasons. It’s a beautiful show in a beautiful setting and people line up to get in. The entertainment is usually top notch and the Sausalito Art Festival is famous for taking care of their artists. In other words, it’s a very pleasant and usually very profitable weekend.

On Friday, which is set-up day, I found myself wishing I was there. Thinking about the other artists setting up, and missing the sense of excitement and anticipation you get before a show. Keep in mind I had a great weekend planned, which is one of the reasons why my thoughts surprised me. I began reflecting about this past year and started to think about my plans for 2010.

It is actually time for me to at least give some thought as to what to do next year. Applications should be arriving in my inbox and my mailbox soon.

Taking a year off was an experiment and it went very well. Sure, my income is significantly lower this year but the important thing is, so are my expenses. I am not exhausted and burned out and I actually created new work this summer – something unheard of for the last 10 years!

So how do I proceed? Slowly – that’s how. One decision I have already made as result of my experience this weekend, is that I will apply to Sausalito next year. There is a certain amount of stress attached to that decision because it is a difficult show to get into and photography is one of the most competitive categories. Just because you get in one year is not a guarantee you will get in the next. Waiting for that acceptance letter (now the acceptance email) can be torture.

So with that decision - I will apply and try to let go of the outcome. My intention is be there next year but I won’t invite everyone to my pity party if I don’t get in.

There is at least one more show I will apply to if for no other reason than to hang on to my primo location. I have had the same spot for the last 6 or 7 years and I asked the promoter if I skipped 2009, could I have my spot back the following year? He said “of course” but I don’t think he would have the same reaction if I skipped a second year.

So that’s where I am today. I don’t need to rush into anything and I am free to change my mind at anytime. Stay tuned.....................


  1. Sounds like the year off led to great clarity! I think it's great to be unexhausted and not burned out and wonderful to have new work.

  2. Thanks Katherine!

    Yes - those are all great things. Getting ready for open studio this weekend has reminded me what life was like when I was going to a lot of shows. It's been crazy!