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I make choice of just putting the business-related topic on facebook after my divorce. Last year I close the year dealing with a big scam that looking back now it put me in three months behind and I am grateful for all the people that help me to not fold down and close shop. It was shameful experience and painful. I find out how difficult is working with no credit cards and no credit.

To make things even more difficult none of my April and May shows I was accepted. My last show in March was in Fairhope, Alabama. That show just generates 580.00 which 500 was from an award. Big installations were moved up in the year. Things were getting out hand beyond my imagination and fear was all over me.

I felt that was gonna lose all dreams and hope. I will end having nothing to show up for all my work. In the top of that, I was dealing with all social issues that see and experience. You watch the news and I can only realize how bad it is. How many people approve and very vocal about it. I just do not think that people do not understand the fear that minorities live every day or cannot talk about it. At this point, I am only begging Father to let me survive and things improve in June otherwise I am will facing being homeless as a reality.

I can ask help again but it would be a stop gap and then what. I can go back to the workforce but even doing that I will be facing the reality I will lose everything. At my age, that is just embracing and I guess I reach my bottom (glad I do not have kids). I did not have any hope and lost all faith in myself. I look what accomplish so far in QuickBooks, 13638.00 in gross income with a net 1200.00 until this point, my soul falls into a deep dark hole because it was a confirmation of my feelings. I have been paying shows late or super late or when I show up. I was been staying in van and towel bathing and putting myself below my standards for what? You just finish St. Charles Art Fair and you only make $ 40.00 entire weekend. You are driving back home hoping to enough gas to make. You asking if you should use those coins for gas or food.

I told myself if 57th Art Fair does not work you need to fold. Saturday I set up and finish the day and I am looking at 200.00 in sales and keep asking myself what the hell are you doing. You keep putting this happy face but you I am scared to death, please Father I got one more day please help me because I have done everything I can in my end. Sunday close the day with 4000.00 and feeling much better. I was thinking you made in one day 1/3 of what you made in 5 months. You got confirmation and starting date for the big install.

The following months had been all over but I am only 9K away from what I wanted to reach this year. That start of the year kill you and the Fall trip to Florida was not good. Still, I having my best year in the last 5 years.

Still to this day I live with fear. A fear that pushes me to keep moving forward. I understand not talking about race and social issues with friends (most they are conservative) is not a good idea. I choose not to talk about how to feel some my dark problems to my friends is a better choice. I found opposite what I thought I know the type woman I find interesting and looking forward to starting dating again in near future.

I got some goals for next year. I am hoping to better in the art shows, keep pushing more art installation because it will allow me to do the shows I want to do and not do shows because it may only hope of making money. I need to remember even people think that I am failing as an artist I need to push hard into the installs because I need to generate 2 to 3K each month from those jobs. Mainly because what happened at the start of this year.

Maybe the biggest thing it will feel more secure about myself and not let the noise shake me like it had done this year and in the past. When I feel better I will start seeking for that other person in my life.

If you reading this long statement is because I trying to express my gratitude to Father and friends. I have four people that help my soul to get better, Adam Egenolf, Anita Melling Baldauf, Stephen Baldauf and Rachael which I will be grateful.

Hope to see you next year

Views: 621

Comment by Barry Bernstein on December 29, 2018 at 2:06pm

1) Being in a minority myself (and don't tell me I'm not) I can give you some help. Instead of living in fear, think that you are smarter and far superior to those who are being racist. I think they are all morons. That goes for a lot of artists who make anti-semetic comments and don't see it as being racist. Ef them all. 

2) Your work is pretty good and have developed your own style, which most photographers have no clue about. That makes you and your vision better than the average photographer. You need to express that when people come into your booth. That "living in fear" attitude is probably entering into the vibe you give off and it harms your sales. It's third world thinking. Lose that attitude. It doesn't help.

3) Make better choices as to the shows you are doing. Sometimes you express where you are going to be and I think you are setting yourself up for failure. Read what people say about shows after the show ends. It only takes a few sentences to know if it will work for you. I would never do Fairhope based on what I've read. I'm sure some people do ok, but, I don't believe it would work for me. On any weekend, or in any month, there are shows that could be good. You only need two good ones to have a decent month. Of the top shows, I only need to get into 2 for the whole year to get by. If I get into 5 or 6 of the twenty top shows I am golden for the year. If I get into Ft Worth, I know I am set for the year with just average shows the rest of the year.

4) Radically change your work. I'm not really recommending this. It's just one solution. However, the thing that separates the great photographers of the past and today's photographers is that in the past they used the medium to say something. Take your impassioned concerns and illustrate what you are talking about. Or, do something that nobody else is doing. That may help you talk (sell) about what you are doing. That passion will translate to sales.

5) I'm doing 6 shows in Florida in 5 weeks. One every weekend. If I break even or are a little ahead in 4 of them and do well in 2, it will be successful.

6) Make friends with all the show directors. That is really important in places like Florida. Sometimes you can get into an event at the last minute, if they know your work and someone cancels. They like to take your money and they don't like empty spaces. It looks bad. If you are already there, your only potential loss is the booth fee. The upside could be worthwhile.

Comment by Barry Shandler on January 1, 2019 at 5:04pm
Great to hear from you again, even though not all the greatest news. Oscar do you have a web site. I have no idea of what you do.
Comment by Oscar Matos Linares on January 1, 2019 at 7:32pm

Well both Barry I know someplace in there I mention I finished my best year in the last five. If you feel like check my website www.linaresfineart.com

Comment by Barry Bernstein on January 2, 2019 at 7:10pm

I went to your web site. You have the same problem I have. Your work that people have purchased for specific "rooms" is outstanding. It doesn't show up as well displayed with a lot of little pieces in your booth. The problem, as I see it, is that you need all those other pieces for price points, sizes that fit in smaller spaces, etc. My problem is that my work looks a lot better in someones home, than it does in my booth. If there was some way we could capture the essence, the emotion, etc. of the pieces in the booth, I would be really happy. For example, in your booth shot on your web site, you have a large piece in the center of the back wall surrounded by smaller pieces. You have a similar image displayed in a room on your "rooms" page. The piece in your booth does not capture the true quality of that image.

I'd be interested in how you do this winter/spring in your 6 Florida shows. We're not doing any of the same shows. I have done 3 of the 6 that you are doing many times, Coconut Grove being the one I've done the most. I don't apply to the Grove any more, or, at least until I have work that I know will sell really well. The only show I applied to that you are doing is Gasparilla. It was one of my only rejections, so far. It seems like they let me in every other year. We should compare notes at the end of your 6 shows and my 6 Florida shows, which could be 7 if I get in off the W/L for Winter Park.

If I read this right, you only grossed $13,638, last year? You may be able to do that at Coconut Grove, alone. Or, with the Grove and Gasparilla. I once did that in the first 2 days of the Grove (only once). It was a long time ago. Things were different. There was no gate fee. The booth fee was a third of what it is now and parking in that back lot was either $5 a day or free. Still, you have the kind of work that would sill in Miami. The right size, the right colors, the right images. Plus, you speak Spanish. I would shamelessly use that as a selling technique.

Comment by Oscar Matos Linares on January 2, 2019 at 8:17pm

Barry B, I will send a personal message via Facebook. The 13638 was my gross until May 31, 2018.  I only did Cape Coral, Boca Museum, coconut grove, Outdoor show, old capitol and St Charles until that point. None my regular Texas shows.  Neither year but I have a good back up for that time. Also, do not forget Coconut Grove last year was the week after on the week of parkland which is basically 300 minutes away. 

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