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I haven't posted much at AFI in the past few years. It's a combination of not much time (it seems I am doing more shows and producing more work which takes time) and a desire to lower my footprint on social networks. However, it amazes me that at every show I do, someone comes up to me and tells me how much they enjoyed reading my posts, here.

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So true, Barry. Your series about going back to school a few years ago was a great read, entertaining, insightful and helpful. There have been complaints on the site about the lurkers, and of course, it would be great if they would contribute to the discussions, but it is true the traffic on this site continues, people are reading and sharing. We get more members every day. Selling tents and equipment is a good service but sharing ideas and helping one another is a common good.

What's the best show you've done this year?

And, upon reflection did your going back to school fuel better art, better shows and better income?

I don't think taking a college class changed my art work much. I had gotten lazy about certain things like mixing glazes, which I pay more attention to now. Also, it got me back to doing glaze tests, which I had stopped doing. The best thing I learned was how to write a proper set of credentials. Those include a CV, 50 word bio, professional resume known as a "skill set," and artist statement. These make me look much more professional. It, also, reintroduced me to the other side of the art world, which is the exhibition side. There are competitions every week, all over the world, that I could be entering, which have a lot of cash rewards for the winners, not to mention an international reputation. Ironically, I have been doing more shows and selling more and have not had any time to create pieces for exhibitions. At least I know they exist.

I haven't had a best show. They've all been good. The key is to not make mistakes and sign up for a show where I don't belong. The better the quality of the show, the better I do. I've broken even at some shows. I haven't done a show where I've lost money. It only takes one show, where we spend more money than we take in, to mess up a year. The best show I've done in years is Ft Worth, not this year, but the year before.

Luckily, I've gotten into my share of what I consider the A+ shows. One only needs a few to have a good year. These include Ft Worth, Des Moines, Cherry Creek, Belleville, La Quinta, and others. When a show only lets in 1 out of 10 who apply, there is no guarantee that an artist, even one who is very good, will get in to that show. It's a coin flip. So, that's why I say I'm lucky to get in. I just try and get better and better so I can get into everything I want to. This year, so far, I've been accepted to a number of Florida shows. However, I am in Wait List purgatory for a couple of shows I really want to do.

If I get into Ft Worth, my whole year will be made. It won't matter which other shows I get into. I didn't apply to La Quinta because the 5200 mile drive back and forth knocked me out. I am still tired from that drive.

Hey Barry, You are one of the 'rock stars' of this website. Keep on posting. Your experiences will educate others. And it's good karma.

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