INKtober Day Twelve – What Do You Do With It?

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inktober day twelve by jeffrey johnson of red herring illustrationSometimes, I think there must be a lot of people out there with nothing on the walls in their houses. Which seems weird to me, because I use framed artwork like some people use wallpaper. If there’s a blank spot, we need to find a picture to fill it with.

A large portion of my income is from Art and Craft shows. I’m what I call a gregarious introvert, while I definitely like to spend time by myself with my thoughts, I also really like to talk to people. So I love doing craft shows. Standing behind my table and talking about the things I love most in the world is one of my favorite things in the world. I get to see and talk to people about their interests, get real time feedback on my work, and enjoy the sunshine and fresh air. My job is usually pretty awesome.

My booth is full of prints and original art. This is how I make my living. My artwork opens the door for all kinds of great conversations about children’s books, fan art, copyright, and demonstrations. There’s usually at least one question about custom commissions, and talk about demonstrations and class presentations. People love stories and sharing their mutual experiences. That’s awesome.

I was at a show recently though, where I was asked “What do you do with these?” more than once.

What…?

…Uuuuummm.”

I have a general discussion banter that I’ve developed over the years. Some of it is boiler plate comments about the work, or greetings as people come into the booth. I like talking to people and this gets the ball rolling. Questions like this though, throw a wrench in the smooth flow of my pitch. I’m so used to making and thinking about art that I don’t always think about what you DO with it. To me that’s a given. Art is part of the fabric of my life and I can’t imagine not looking at it every day. So, I don’t always realize that most of the art in our world is encountered in packaging and advertisements.

Most of us aren’t going to hang a cereal box, or even a book jacket or record cover for that matter.

Most of the art on our walls is school pictures.

Maybe it’s time to think more about what you would do with it.

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