Enjoying the final day at the Northern Virginia Christmas Market in Chantilly, VA. This is the fourth year in which I have exhibited here, and this year was wonderful. I always enjoy seeing repeat customers and meeting new ones.
As with many of these shows, Sundays often have a lull or two (note to shoppers who hate crowds: come on Sundays if you don’t want to be bumped and jostled by every scooter and baby carriage in the world).
I’ve got a moment or two to share some of my favorite Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):
1. Where are you from?
A: I was raised in Connecticut; summered in New Hampshire. I currently live in Richmond, Virginia.
2. Is your name Ginger?
A: No. It’s Cheryl. The “Ginger” in “Lucky Ginger Studio” is my dearly-departed Golden Retriever, whose name was Ginger. Bonus round: “Lucky” was a big stuffed dog I won in an art contest when I was little. I am half-tempted to get a T-shirt that says “I am lucky, but my name’s not Ginger.”
3. Do you do the photography? (variation: “Who does your photography?”)
A: Yes! I do all of the photography and graphic design.
4. What kind of camera do you use?
A: I mainly use Canons (have a throwback totally manual AE-1 in the mix), but I have been playing a bit with the compact Leica V-Lux 30. I like to use that when I travel because it doesn’t seem to attract any unwanted attention.
5. How long have you done photography?
A: On and off for over 30 years now. I started in my early teens.
6. Do you buy or license images from other photographers?
A: No. I admire a lot of other photographers, but everything in my line is my own.
7. Do you have a store?
A: No, but Orange in Carytown in Richmond, VA carries my full line. Owner/designer Cathy Davis is a godsend to me – and she also showcases many other talented local artists.
8. Do you have a web site?
9. How many shows do you do each year?
A. Usually four to seven, typically in the fall – and depending on my schedule (I balance this with a full-time job). I only do indoor shows (don’t want to own a tent; don’t want to deal with wind and rain).
10. How long does it take you to get ready for the shows?
A. All year – in increments (again: balancing this act with a very demanding – yet rewarding – full-time job PLUS the needs of my garden, the “star” of much of my work). When I am at shows in the fourth quarter, I am dialed in to client feedback and suggestions. I start sketching out ideas for the coming year. Q1 I set a course and knock out some design and post-production work. A lot of March/April/May is devoted to tending the garden. When it’s blazing hot (think: end of June, July, August), I spend most weekends cranking out cards and magnets and bag tags (sometimes even with Christmas carols going in the background to help set the mood). The twist this year was to also factor in inventory for Orange, since Cathy’s doing such a bang-up job for me. By Labor Day, I am mostly “set,” and from now to the end of the year, I’ll do some filler production to carry me through the remainder of my show schedule.
11. Who prints your cards? (variations: “Where do you get your mats/wrappers/supplies, etc.?”)
A. This, my friend, falls under competitive intelligence. There is a wealth of information online for whatever it is that you may be trying to source for your personal or business needs. May your learning curve be shorter and less-expensive than mine has been. Good luck!
Booth is filling up again. Gotta run! Thanks for reading!
Other artists: what questions do you hear at shows???