Yes, there are some cold, dark, Saturday mornings in the winter that I moan and groan with the thought of struggling all day to keep my toes warm, despite wearing three layers of everything. It is really not an enticing prospect to help motivate me to get out of bed but most of the time this is not the case. I really like having a Pjpaintings permanent stall at Salamanca Market.
Setting up and taking down each Saturday is not as bad as it sounds and it is a source of weight lifting and exercise without the gym fees. During the setting and packing up time, before the gazebo walls go up, is actually the easiest time to chat with your neighbours and the market community around you. Close bonds are developed as we get to catch up every week over many years.
The best thing about having a stall is the conversations with people from all over the world. Salamanca Market is a major Tasmanian tourist attraction that gives me the opportunity to meet and interact with people from everywhere, including Canada and Belgium, where I have spent some of my life. I sometimes even attempt to have a conversation in French.
Art exhibitions or galleries’ privacy clauses prevents me from finding out who bought, or where my art work went, whereas at Salamanca Market I can interact with those that are taking home my artwork. It is such a buzz to be able to talk about your art work with those that love it enough to buy it, to hear how they connect with it and their stories. For example, a couple who sold their house in Brisbane and moved to Emu Park, Queensland, were looking for a piece of artwork featuring an emu and were thrilled to discover my stall-full of emu art.
The motto of my art is “helping put smiles on faces”. It is lovely seeing all the smiles at my stall and when people see the perfect gift for a baby, daughter, son, family members and friends or gifts to take with them to give to hosts when travelling and relatives abroad.
Also, you meet many people that are attending all sorts of conferences, competitions and events in Tasmania that I would have never had known about, if it wasn’t visitors telling me about them. I am amazed at how much we host here. Recently we’ve hosted the Australian Society of Micro Biologists Conference, Sausage Conference, Underwater Hockey Championship and much more.
And finally, all the great stories I hear on Saturdays and the interesting characters I have the privilege of meeting, makes great weekly writing material and another avenue of connecting with people through the written form.