Monday, June 20, 2011

Farmer's markets, guerilla marketing, and ice cream...

This weekend, I had a FANTASTIC time visiting the Cherry Creek Farmer's Market!

I am not TYPICALLY a Farmer's Market Person. Although I love them, I usually find myself getting too distracted with painting or writing or playing the bass or reading email to get out of the house before 2 pm. In case you are someone like me, THAT is about the time all those farmers have packed up their produce and headed back to Sedalia or the Western Slope. Farmer's markets tend to be a rather early-morning/early afternoon affair.

But this year, farmer's markets are part of my business plan. So I am up and about, heading to them a few times a week.

Why? Because I have NO MONEY for marketing my pet portrait business.

No tengo dinero, all you glossy magazines that want to sell me expensive ads.

But what I DO have is a relatively outgoing personality, a nice digital camera, and a business card with a great portrait of Bella, the chihuahua, that I painted this spring. And I also have NOTICED that people with dogs LOVE to go to farmer's markets and take their dogs. They're also VERY happy to talk about their dogs and let me take photographs and usually they're very interested in my work once they see how Bella's portrait looks!

That's Bella's portrait in this post, by the way. The painting is called "The sun rises and sets on Bella." Which is a TOTALLY accurate statement.

So I get to walk around farmer's markets, talk to nice people about their animals, take EXCELLENT photos of said animals (even though it might be a bit embarrassing for THEM, with me getting on the GROUND to take pictures and blocking traffic, etc.--I am a VERY good pet photographer. Which helps! It's important to get good photos for my paintings!) and usually leave people with my business card.

Of course, what MIGHT have gone into a marketing budget is now going into drinks and snacks for me (They had SEA SALT CARAMEL ICE CREAM! I am NOT kidding you! It was VERY difficult trying to decide between sea salt caramel and CAP'N CRUNCH ice cream, which is apparently made of all the sugary stuff that gets left at the bottom of the Cap'n Crunch bag, blended into ice cream!).

Besides, you still have to EAT, whether you're home playing the bass in your underwear or out doing guerrilla marketing!

And, regardless of whether people actually BUY my paintings or not, I still NEED models. So I came home Saturday with LOADS of photos of dogs. I learned a lot. I found French bulldogs, Shiba Inus, and Great Bernards, which are apparently a cross between a Great Pyrenee and a Bernese Mountain Dog. And I have BEAUTIFUL photos of all of them, just waiting to be converted into beautiful paintings!

I can see no downside, except for possibly having to buy LARGER clothes!

There's another farmer's market today...

I wonder what kind of ice cream I should try?

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