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The Customers

It's been four days since I left the house and mostly I haven't spoken with anyone aside from Bruce. Bill called to check on me, however, he claimed he couldn't understand me, so quickly said he hoped I would be feeling better soon, and rang off. Angela called while I was dozing, later claiming to Bruce that I sounded like a "hundred year old woman!" How dare she?

Yesterday, I dozed and laid around, so when actual bedtime rolled around, I wasn't as sleepy as had I actually done anything productive with my day. I began telling Bruce some stories about Sunday's market and it was then that I decided I might do the same with you.

In spite of my "art business" training, I cannot call the wonderful people who buy something from me, "collectors." Although Robin insisted that we do so, perhaps that title is better suited to folks who buy paintings. Whatever name I give them, I am so very grateful that there are folks who actually want to trade their hard-earned cash for something I've done. Without further ado, let's meet a few of them from Sunday, shall we?

My first customer was a young girl, say 11 or so, who walked into my booth with what looked to be an extended family. I'm guessing it was her Mother who asked if I had any reptiles--young woman #1 wanted to decorate her room with reptiles. Really? I showed them my gator photograph, as well as a toad sitting on our backyard deck. I like that toad photo a lot. They left, but then they came back and bought the gator, or rather I think it was her Grandmother who did so. Hope you enjoy it!!Telling Bruce this story, he corrected me saying, "honey, I think a toad is an amphibian." Indeed.

Kathy, my market neighbor asked last week about "In Any Language", the Welcome sign from St. Augustine with about 15 languages, as well as sign language. Several years ago she bought the print, however, recently she gave it away. A replacement baby canvas is now hers.

A Brazilian family arrived, chatting amongst themselves while looking at my rack of 8x10 prints.
Because I don't speak Portuguese, and only one of them spoke a smattering of English, mostly I don't know what they thought, however, she did take home my little Menu piece from Lake City. I also love that photo, in fact, so much so, that I look at it every day on my phone's home screen.

A Scottish couple, visiting from Edinburgh took home Charlie Brown. While chatting with them I whipped out said phone, asking them about a photo Matt posted over the weekend during his visit to Edinburgh! What a small world. They were happy that it was shorts weather in Florida.

I can hardly remember the next two sales, one of which was the print of roosters from Key West. I hadn't had that one printed in ages, so I was happy to have a buyer for this one. I'm thinking it was a young girl?

A lovely young woman walked into the booth, while looking at the wall she asked how much does something like that cost while referring to some daisy canvases, as well as a peacock feather. A little out of her price range, after showing her the prints, she said I'll take these two. Chatting with her I learned she had a brand new job, well three months old, after graduating with a Masters of Accounting. Having a son with the same degree gave me something to chat about it. She's excited about her new life, her first apartment, and it all just made me happy to think she'll look at those photos for a while. Unlike most folks, she looked at nothing else. So many people will go through every last thing I have and then walk away, so it's kind of nice when someone is decisive.

The folks above did not even stop, well I guess except to block my easel; I just loved the springy colors of the dresses.

This young woman, on the other hand, did stop and look at the easel. Visiting her Dad for Easter, she now lives in Philadelphia and wanted something to remind her of Florida. While she browsed, her Dad asked permission to take a rest in one of my chairs, which I was only too happy to let him do so. Following a nice chat about her life in Philadelphia, she left with an 11x14 print called, "Greetings from Florida." What does it look like? A windy palm tree against the gorgeous water in the Keys. :)
Lake Eola water isn't nearly as pretty, but it does look pretty nice in this photo doesn't it? This might be called, "Greetings from Orlando."

Next up was a young couple, as in their early 20's young. Visiting me several weeks ago, he bought her a print, and this time she bought her own. Explaining her bedroom decorating scheme we searched for something she both liked, and thought would be a good match. Say what you will, but most folks want stuff to match. I like this young couple and I hope they have a future together--he told me he wasn't very book smart, but if you need anything practical done, he is your man. Needless to say, I'm a big fan of men who are capable.

You'd think we'd be done by now, but by golly we are not! A man, probably middle 40's came in asking if I had any of the Charlie Brown in plastic. Asking him to clarify, I discovered that he wondered if I had packaging for the hung canvases. Assuring him that I did, he claimed to not know why he liked the CB so much, but he did and wanted it. You, and everyone else sir--people are crazy for that image, and to think I took it four years ago and only just began showing it last year about this time! Who knew it would sell every single time I am out??? Plus, I took only one shot--thank goodness it was a good one!

Rubber duckies, construction dumpster and padlock, followed by the TOAD! A while back a gastroenterologist was one of the first buyers of the gator photo. Telling me at the time that he planned to hang it over his toilet, invoking the urban legend of alligators coming out of the sewer, I thought it was pretty clever. So when he came on Sunday afternoon accompanied by a lady friend, we got a laugh about it. "Most people don't get it," he told me. Their loss. Anyway, once his friend found the toad she claimed to not understand her attraction, but she wanted it. Good thing that young girl wasn't interested in amphibians. Rarely do I post anything I sell, but what the heck--I think you've seen a version before...
Maybe I'm posting it because it says a lot about how I feel right now. I call this one, "Why So Sad?", and although I'm not sad, I am tentative, worrying about the weekend. I'm not worrying about sales, more about stamina. I remember taking this toad out of the pool, setting him on the deck and waiting for him to take off, except, he too was tentative. :)

I've been doing this now long enough to see societal changes happening right before my eyes. Rarely, when I first began, did people talk on their mobile, or answer it for that matter. Not so today--mobile phone abuse is rampant. A man walked in, talking loudly a mile a minute on his mobile, rifling through things, occasionally turning to me for a question. Holding the phone aside, he asked a couple of guys what they thought of this, or that. Despite his distraction he seemed interested.

Except, it was 4:00. Bruce had returned, Joseph was singing "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life," and vendors were packing up.
Rarely have I done this, but I saw he was still seated in the beer garden. Walking up to him, I asked if he were interested in anything because we were packing up. Thanking me for reminding him, he jumped up, bought an 18x24 print, telling me he would be back because his teenage son was interested in several things. Time will tell on that one.

My very last customer Easter Sunday was my sometimes neighbor vendor at Winter Garden.

Standing to the right of her stand, she sells the preserved orchid jewelry for someone else, who despite their claims otherwise, sells it for someone else. Handmade--NOT! Or at least not in this country. She is a sweet girl, studying to be a dancer who still lives with her Mom and Dad. Wanting an Easter gift for them, she found a 16x20 print she hoped they would like. I told you she was sweet.

So, there you have it --a little snapshot of the folks who now own a photograph by me. All those little sales end up adding up to a pretty decent amount and it was about half as busy as other Sundays. Aren't you glad or this post would have gone on forever???

Annually, someone is so darn clever they dream up an Easter outfit for the sculpture outside Publix and every time I think they can't outdo themselves and they fool me!
It's a bit of a crazy way to make a living but one thing for sure I can tell you is that it is never boring. Here's hoping I'll have plenty of customer stories to share from the weekend, and I will feel surprisingly good while meeting them!
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