I recently attended a Bush concert in Tampa Florida and had personal conversations with the band members. As I love their music it was great fun but I couldn’t help but be struck by their lifestyle, the touring, the set-up for the concert, their fan base, the days away from home and all the details of their life off the stage as well as on.
Musicians are hard working artists. They travel often for weeks at a time to make a living, for many quite a good income. When they tour they may be traveling from one city to the next hundreds of miles away to play the next night. Then they must set up their production, be rested and inspired to go on stage and give it their all. Some musicians like Bush enjoy interacting with their fans at ‘Meet and Greets’ posing for pictures and chatting with their admirers. Then there is after hour down time with VIP’s or friends and family as they relax and recoup.
I was impressed with the health of some of the band members who take very good care of their health with pure foods and water, and not much drinking. This is not the picture we get of bands who indulge in the ‘rock star’ lifestyle of excess.
It’s great to know what’s behind their music…and how nice, friendly and genuine many musicians are.
Comparing the traveling musician and band to an artist’s tour is similar. Artists often go on tour with several shows booked for a period of time. We must be away from home for many days, sometimes weeks to sell our wares. We travel, some in motor homes, many stay in hotels. We set up our booths each weekend and then take them down when the weekend event is over. Then we repeat it for the next fair.
Many of us do our best to keep healthy as we travel although it requires focus and an understanding of the consequences of poor choices. We present our creations and do our best to be friendly and engage the public.
It is interesting to me how many people are afraid to talk to the artists. They seem to think that we are going to try to get them to buy, put pressure on them, or something of the sort. Some of them come in the booth and don’t even look at the artist as if they aren’t there. They tend to depersonalize the artist as if he/she has nothing to do with the object they are looking at. This is very far away from the truth!
The artist has spent many, many hours making the art object and of course wants to sell it-that’s how we make a living. But even more, the interaction between the customer and the artist is crucial. We would never want someone to feel like we were pressuring them to buy. We sure wouldn’t want to feel like that. We do want them to enjoy the experience of what we present. We do want them to consider the worthiness of the art and the possibility of purchase.
I think that the economics of our country has something to do with it. Maybe people feel guilty if they look and can’t buy and don’t want to make the artist feel bad. Or maybe they will feel bad themselves if they can’t buy so they won’t enjoy looking at it either.
Then there are the other customers. They come in to talk to you totally oblivious to the fact that you are selling art. They just want to chat and never inquire or even bother to look at your art! What’s that all about? To me it’s rude to enter your booth and not even make one comment, ask you about your new work, or thank you for looking.
But different strokes for different folks! It’s a fascinating lifestyle with all it’s nuances similar to the musicians. For musicians maybe it’s their charisma and adoring fans that they have to deal with. For artists very nice considerate customers for the most part hopefully.
What we do
Both artists and musicians do what we do because we have discovered a well of inspiration flowing within. It comes forth and it must be handled and dealt with. We work with it until we feel satisfied with the experience. Then it is brought forth for sharing and forwarding of the message carried within it. When you hear your favorite song all else melts away. When you view a wonderful work of art you loose yourself in the moment. Transcendance: that’s what it’s about! Moving into a different place, a higher place, a place more free, more lovely, more alive. A succinct reminder of the possibilities and the places still left to go.