Tuesday, August 25, 2009

They choo-choo-choose...... me!?

Last month when I was in Maryland for my grandmother's funeral, I had one bright spot of good news during the week I was away. I received a voicemail from the Greater Harrisburg Arts Council telling me that one of my images I had sent in for jurying into the Kipona ArtFest had been selected for use in some advertising for the Kipona Festival. Print ads were mentioned, as well as billboards. I did get excited.... but tried not to get my hopes up for anything too spectacular (and, besides, I was a bit preoccupied with family matters). I assumed my image would be very small, maybe amongst 5 or more others, perhaps in a collage, used on a couple of things? A great honor to be chosen, obviously, and I looked forward to seeing my image somewhere in print in the near future.

Imagine my shock when a few weeks later, my husband and I were returning home from a trip to Wyoming... and just as we drove into the city, he saw this:

When he saw it, he yelled something to the effect of "WHOA!!" and, since I was driving, at first I thought there was a hazard in the road.
Rolling tire? Pet? Small child? Caterpillar in the street?
"WHAT? What is it?! What's wrong??"
He said, "Isn't that your picture!?"
Oh no!!!! Even worse than a hazard! I was immediately assumed he meant a photograph of me, so I panicked. Impending doom.
"Oh no! What picture IS it? Why me? Why is MY picture on ANYthing?"
He answered, "It's there... It's your ARTwork."
Ohhhhhh yes. Yes it is. What. A. Relief. But it's *my* art on there, all alone- where are the others I assumed would be accompanying it? I mean, really? Just mine?
Here is a better and closer picture of it.

At that point though, I was really excited to see the billboard- but also assumed that other artists' work was being used on some advertising, too. After all, no one ever said anything about just using my image on things.

Later that week, we picked up the August MODE magazine. My husband was flipping through it on the couch. He mentioned there being an ad for Kipona in the magazine, and sure enough, there were my lilies again. I thought it was odd that both of the ads we'd seen so far were showing my flowers- I just figured other artists' work was being used on some of the advertising somewhere, too. Just hadn't seen it yet.

The following weekend, I got an envelope from Kipona in the mail, with a gigantic promotional postcard in it. (Artists participating in the festival can pre-order their postcards or wait until they see a sample, and then decide how many they want.) This particular sample had... again, my lilies on it.

I remarked, "Ohhhh, how nice of them to customize promotional postcards for each of the artists!!"
My husband gave me a funny look and replied, "I think EVERYONE has that postcard."
"Noooo... why would everyone have postcards with MY art on it? That doesn't make any sense."
"Sure it does. They used your art on the other stuff. They put it on the postcards for the show, too. It makes sense. The card you have is the same one as everyone else."
I just stared at it for a few minutes... then burst into laughter. Seriously?? All 149 (or however many) other artists have MY work on their postcards? Ridiculous. Hilarious. So they will be sending these out, and tons of people will see it? My painting? Really??? You've got to be kidding! I'm not even sure why I found (or still find) it funny... it was such a strange feeling.

The following weekend was the Mt. Gretna art show, and the postcards made their first public appearance. I guess the other artists who had pre-ordered had brought them and were handing them out. Most people were using the cards as fans since it was pretty hot, but it was still funny to me to see them everywhere.

When The Patriot called me yesterday to ask me a few questions about me, my art, Kipona, etc. (I can't believe I've been in their paper twice this year!) I did learn that Kipona does, in fact, pick one image and this artist is their "Featured Artist" for the show. Apparently... that's me. I am still shocked, and beyond flattered that, of all the images the judges must've seen, they liked mine enough to even consider it- let alone select it. I was already very excited about the show since it's in such close proximity to where I live, it's on the water, beautiful time of year- what could be better? Now I'm counting down the days until I can go set up my tent- I'm SO excited!

Even more about this show:

As if the show didn't have enough other cool things going on, there is also a Chili Cookoff and I believe I also read something about a Margarita Tasting! Guess unlike most other art shows, this one will have some refreshments to write home about.


Kate8085 said...

This is AWESOME!!
Lots of congrats and hugs to you!
This is a very, very big deal.

My hubs does the same thing when I am driving, and I immediately slam on the brakes. Can't they be a little less dramatic? hahaha.

missbmckay said...

Wonderful! Congrats on the press! Have a great time. WOW!

Doris Sturm said...

Congratulations, that's wonderful! Guess you're a celebrity now. I'm just not sure why they would use your art on everything without consulting with your first...but I suppose it's a good thing, right?

I'd be pretty shocked if I found something of mine on a billboard and on everyone's cards. Did you know that could happen?