Well, November came and went in a flash and my main focus was the Living North Christmas fair. The event took place at York Racecourse over four days. I loved the event itself but was SO TIRED by the end of it!!! I thought I’d share with you some of the highs and lows:
Putting my stall together and taking stock of all the work that went into it. I had stressed so much about this event but once my stall was up, I just couldn’t believe I’d put it all together and was so chuffed (and relieved) to have got there.
Meeting customers who loved my work enough to buy cards, prints, notebooks and framed originals. Every sale really did make me do a ‘happy dance’ (inwardly, obviously). Finding out who customers were buying for: some were buying for themselves and others buying as gifts for friends or family members. I just loved the fact that they chose to buy something from ME! In fact the last customer of the event bought a framed print of ‘Snuggle time’ (see below) for her son. I had only put that particular frame up as I had sold a different one and there was space on the wall. She described how much the picture and its name would be a perfect gift for her son who loved art. The funny thing is that I don’t think she was even looking for a piece of art for him but it caught her eye. The sale was right at the end of the day and she left happy with her purchase and I was so buoyant with the thought of her giving her son the gift on Christmas Day that it got me through my long journey home.
I must mention the other fantastic stallholders who happened to be my neighbours for the four days: Glen Anthony Watches, Popolo Ceramics, Eleanor Tomlinson Art, the Phodographer and Lister and Bruce were so friendly and supportive. They really did help the long days more bearable!
Finally, my wonderful friend who put me up in her lovely home and fed me for four days so that I didn’t have to make a 3 hour round trip each day just made my time in Yorkshire so much easier.
Leaving work in Derbyshire at 16:00 to arrive in York at 17:30, unpacking the van, loading everything up to the first floor of the Ebor Suite, setting up and leaving the racecourse at 19:00 to arrive at my friend’s at 20:00 with the prospect of getting up at 06:45 the next day just left me absolutely exhausted. I have to mention though that I did get some help from students with the unloading (which I was so grateful for) and my friend greeted me with a glass of prosecco – just what I needed!
Not seeing my hubby and boys for four nights was tough. My boys are teenagers and their dad is very capable of looking after them. I think they liked the fact that they had some independence in sorting themselves out in the morning without me nagging them to get their breakfast, sort the bag out etc. but I really missed them!
The days for the event were long. Friday, Saturday and Sunday were very busy so I was shattered at the end of each day. My friend was very thoughtful and made me a packed lunch every day which meant I didn’t have to go and buy lunch (though there were plenty of stalls that sold delicious food). My neighbour, Glen Anthony was also very kind and lent me his stool from time to time (yep, I forgot to take a chair) so that helped to relieve achy legs.
Thankfully there were more highs than lows. I would recommend the event for anyone looking to have a stall there. I was overjoyed with the amount of sales I made and so grateful for every purchase that was made. I sometimes feel like this art business is a hard slog, especially as I have ‘real’ job that pays the mortgage and keeps me busy enough but knowing that customers loved my work, and some have since made more purchases, I feel enthused to create more illustrations and continue to do what I love. Right now though, I’m ready to relax and enjoy Christmas. I wish you all a lovely, restful Christmas too xx