The Special Hell

Husband was off work, and we don’t celebrate any holiday of any sort at this time of year, so the week pretty much looked like this with a Patty Duke Show marathon thrown in and me being a sicky-poo…

Besides that, Saturday at the Screw Factory was an amazing turnout for LMM, and thank you to all who came and bought stuff and offered me shows and got to see things in person that might not translate so well on a computer screen. I mean dang, I rolled in late and the parking lot was jammed. Look at this at 11am! Thanks to the Cleveland Handmade and Etsy team for making it happen…

I found it funny that the whole day, small children wanted actual paintings, and adults only cared about my toy collection (especially the Star Wars crap) tableaux that was on display in front of my desk. One little girl threw such a tantrum about not being able to have one painting, that she dropped to the ground and called her parents “meanies!”. The girl has taste already. Silly uncultured parents, what do they know? It was also funny to have numerous people tell me, “wow, you like, actually know how to paint”.

The one NOT COOL thing about Saturday was people who STEAL from artists in their own dang studio! I never mentioned before how at the last open studio we had, someone stole a print of mine. Well, this time someone stole a pattern from my studio mate, and someone also stole a friggin’ Princess Leia pez dispenser from my display. Yeah. I also suspect that one of my action figures was stolen as well, but I have to go make sure on that — I notice it has been missing. Had I known people were going to be so dang interested, grabby, touchy, stealy about silly toys I’ve had in a box since college and put out on display for fun, I probably would have covered it up for put them away. Interesting how the children were more careful about them than the adults, huh? Well as Shannon said, “people who steal from artists at their open studio go to The Special Hell”.

But hey we found it funny in a sad way, plus we had drinks, and good tunes, so whatever. And for those of you who asked, here is the playlist you heard that comic artist Tamas Jakab made that was blaring in our studio (and also Bazaar Bizarre).

Open Studio Tips

Last night I attended a large open studio event here in Cleveland that included private artist studios, galleries, an auction house and the ever curious Xploited Cinema. It was a strange night and made me and my partner in crime feel as though we were in a David Lynch film. I had been in the building many times on the ground floor, but never saw how developed the rest of the property was — very nice spaces indeed. But, nice space isn’t enough to always look professional and not look completely shifty! It brought up a lot of points about open studios if you are planning on hosting one yourself.


  • Clean your space up! I understand if you want to have your space look like Francis Bacon because it is all “tortured artist” or something, but at least clear off your surfaces where it looks a little bit like you tried. This especially goes if you are a gallery or an auction house! I’m not going to buy something from you if it looks like you are going to lose my paperwork in a mountain of magazines and trash. It says to me that you are a disorganized mess.
  • No one is going to buy an old painting at auction that is cracked all to hell, because I can imagine paint chips eventually falling into my carpet.
  • Dust your artwork, especially if you are trying to sell it for $14,000.
  • Have business cards, hoping I remember your name to google later on isn’t such a practical way of trying to market yourself.
  • Lights, they’re handy, I can see things when lights are put on them.
  • Don’t tell me how you’ve never exhibited, or sold work, because that would then make you a commercialized whore for the dollar and you want no part of that. It isn’t cute, and it doesn’t make me think you are somehow noble.
  • Don’t try to sell damaged prints to people.
  • Don’t have acoustic music or weirdo neo-folk people play art openings. That’s just wrong.
  • I can smell your pot smoke, we all can, you are fooling no one with the Oust air spray.
  • If you have busted frames, throw them out and get new ones. No one wants to buy busted art.
  • Be present, being nowhere to be found when there is a possibility of journalists who might want to photograph or interview you does you no good. This goes for artists and the gallery owners.
  • Not leaving bio information of any sort near art that I actually want to know more about, it is a no-no. Especially if it is an artist not in attendance who can’t be there to promote themselves.
  • Not giving price lists anywhere, but instead saying to people, “make me an offer”. That is vague, and totally unprofessional. I mean dude, come on.

I could go on, but these were instances that came up that I can remember.