Well, I just deleted an hour's worth of writing on the Artwalk/Sushi subject.
Normally I'd be cussing a heavy blue lash at the computer and using every ounce of will power to not pick it up and throw it out the window, go out to where it's landed and set fire to it, dance around the fire and put it out with an angry stream of urine.
But I deleted it intentionally.
As I'd re-read it I realized I'd just been reiterating things I've already posted and I don't like being redundant about things I've already posted after realizing I'd already posted them. I've blogged about the shop & display units & earthquakes & mad science & turning left out of the shop that one time & even Artwalk itself...
I'd written all that. So, what's left? I guess what's left is my opinions on it all. My feelings. (ew! feelings?) Yes, feelings. So, what did I take from this experience? What impressions were left? Did I like it or hate it? Was the coffee good? Important stuff like that.
So here goes.
The entire experience was fantastic. It was stressful. It was amusing. It was hard work. It was epiphany. It was frustration. It was culture-shocking. It was creation, my favorite thing.
It was fantastic.
Col J's generosity, coupled with his moderate insanity (the good kind that maintains wonderment as a driving force) gave me an experience I'll never fully be able to pay back. Financially, sure. Our dividends will settle over time and the books will be balanced, but he offered me an experience that I'd not have been able to pull off on my own. Not now anyway. It was every struggling artist's dream; to have some nutbag with a few bucks throw some of them at you and allow you to create your art full time. This nutbag was much more than just 'the money' though, The Colonel's drive (though sometimes of the out-of-control freight-train variety) was crucial in this thing going off at all. As I was working 12+ hours a day he was as well, working his regular day job and spending every other moment (save basketball time on Sunday) devoted to the project. I can't even begin to go into all the things he was up to in the same way that I can't go into all the stuff I was doing. Lists are boring & my artistic process is something I don't even understand so to explain it would be near impossible.
Suffice it to say by the end of Artwalk we both looked like we'd spent 2 months in the desert doing peyote and screaming at the stars.
'DAMN YOU BRAD PITT!'
... no, not like that.
pipe it down peyote man.
when you yell 'sorry' it doesn't feel like you really are.
Artwalk, as I've written, was a success in every way except in the way that people gauge success: financially. We worked our butts off all weekend and took several days to recover. I handed out over a thousand business cards and almost everyone who went through the tent had something good to say. There were some sales and I hope some commissions will come in too. It was awesome though I wish I could have gotten out to see some of the other tents.
I've not written about The Sushi Gallery yet. At the end of Artwalk (4pm Sunday) we began to tear down the entire exhibit and haul it all the way across town for a scheduled display at the Sushi Performance & Visual Arts Gallery. Mr. Patrick Stewart who runs it was wonderfully helpful and accommodating to us and our carnival/commando styled art escapade. It was really a commando mission: in & out quickly, leaving little evidence of our ever being there.
We were there for 4 hours. The show happened between 6 and 9pm. I was to be doing a few small performance vignettes but only really managed to pull of one. A sort of introductory piece & a poetic recital of Elton John's Saturday Night's Alright For Fighting (reading the word 'Saturday' as many times as is said in that song can lead to serious side effects.) The night began and I was chatting up (or being chatted up my a lot of people) and before I was able to even notice, the crowd has begun to disperse so it was the only performance. I wasn't too disappointed as it meant I was doing a lot of what artists in galleries are supposed to do: talk to people. BY that point, I was running on the fumes of fumes and Col. J looked like he was about to collapse. But, as soon as the audience dwindled, it was time to slap everything back into several vehicles and schlep it across town one last time to return it to the studio. The night ended at about 11:30pm (incredibly efficient considering everything we had to accomplish) though it felt like 4am several days in the future.
Again, I think it was a success but I really don't know too much about those things. I will hopefully know more as time goes by. Like, for example, if making money at events like this is expected. Important things like that.
Six nights later I was back in Victoria with some fantastic new ideas and am in the process of taking them from exciting things that bump around in my head to green things that bump around in my bank account. This is the crux as the dust & tumbleweed that presently reside in my bank account make it difficult to make ideas of this magnitude possible. Crux, crux, crux. I will probably need to shave before going into the bank, but I think there's a business loan or something in my future. A business loan??? I have no idea where to begin with all that and it is daunting...
[camera close up of Trout's forehead. A bead of sweat appears on it. Pull out to reveal polite haircut and pleading nervous smile. Sweat builds. Pull out to fisheye view of hundreds of bankers gathered around, all pointing and laughing hysterically. Various close ups of bankers sweating with laughter, fingers pointed like spears.]
...one of the the endings of that scene has me leaping, with heroic defiance on the banker's desk and pulling out a piece of Kreddible Trout Photographic Artwork. The bankers jeers into accolades while they pelt me with flowers and hand me dark roast coffees. Birds sing. Hippies and red necks in the bank shake hands and hug. Coffee brews. The pen on the desk turns to chocolate and I eat it...
It'll all hopefully nestle somewhere snug in the middle of all that. The ball has begun to roll. Hopefully it doesn't encounter a toll bridge.
All told, my experience is what platitude will call investment. The time and lost opportunity cost for me was pretty substantial (I basically took 2 months off regular income) and Col. J set himself back a few months paying for this insanity. We'll reel back for a while in the bank accounts, but what we gained was, I think, immeasurable. I can't speak for him, but I think we both learned something from each other.
My feelings (remember, you said you'd talk about them?) on the whole thing can be summed up by saying I'm still stunned. I really didn't have much time to have any feelings about it. Positivity had to make way for the stuff that needed doing. As did negativity. And really, now I'm still stunned. I had a world of fun. It was worth every second. There was very little, if any, negativity involved at all. (Well, some in regards to driving in Southern California... but that's another blog entry.) I made some wonderful friends in The J's and spent some time in and driving though some beautiful parts of the world. I would have liked to have seen more of San Diego while I was there but I know that I'll have the chance again.
I loved the whole experience and I think that is all.