Left Behind, photography by Kyle Wilson: Blog http://leftbehind.zenfolio.com/blog en-us (C) Left Behind, photography by Kyle Wilson kwilson36@gmail.com (Left Behind, photography by Kyle Wilson) Sat, 15 Apr 2017 21:50:00 GMT Sat, 15 Apr 2017 21:50:00 GMT http://leftbehind.zenfolio.com/img/s4/v63/u392066406-o626803503-50.jpg Left Behind, photography by Kyle Wilson: Blog http://leftbehind.zenfolio.com/blog 120 80 Catching Lightening In A Bottle! http://leftbehind.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/4/catching-lightening-in-a-bottle Gone ColdGone Cold Catching Lightening In A Bottle!

  Located in western Maryland in the tiny town of Lonaconing, the Lonaconing Silk Mill (aka The Klotz Throwing Company) is the last fully intact silk mill left in the United States.  It’s no longer in operation, but the looms and machinery are alive and well in the hearts of creatives, photographers, and its caretaker.

  Employment had ebbed and flowed throughout the 20th century. In September 1920, Klotz employed 359 with an average payroll of $8,491. That had decreased to between 70 and 80 by the summer of 1941 and just 27 by August 16. It dipped to just five workers by the end of the year. The number of workers increased to 30 by February 15, 1942 and 94 by late March and with it came the power of bargaining. Workers had requested an a nickel increase in wages  to bring it up to those of the nearby Celanese textile factory, and when it was denied, the employees went on strike, prompting General Textile to close the mill on June 23, 1957.

 The impact of the mill’s closure was devastating. Lonaconing, once the center of early industry in western Maryland, was in shambles. Deep underground coal mining had all but ceased and glass factories that once employed hundreds had begun to close.The silk industry left the United States and headed for China, never to return. This mill is the last remnant of that industrial age. A moment frozen in time. It’s not often if ever that a place this incredible is open to the public to photograph.

There is a lot of history on this place if you care to Google for a few minutes, so enough history and on to……
  This is How It EndsThis is How It Ends

My Adventure

  When I say that this day like “catching lightening in a bottle” I am speaking about the combination of elements that led to be at THIS place on THIS day with THIS lighting. I had wanted to shoot here for 2 years, since first seeing photos from other more talented photographers; it was love at first sight. This location is like the ‘Holy Grail’ of photographers of this genre. The timing had never worked out, until last November when I was in Gaithersburg MD for a show. On a whim I called Herb (the caretaker) and arranged a visit for that Monday afternoon.

   It had snowed the morning and was still super-cold. In fact it was about 35*F when I arrived at about 1PM. There was still snow on the grass and on the window sills here. Normally shooting between 1-4PM is not ideal with the sun being so bright and ‘washing out’ most photos; however this day was something special. See the glass in the mill was the old heavy, leaded glass that was typically used in the 40’s and 50’s. What this does is provide a special “filter” or “effect” of sorts that you cannot reproduce with software or a lens. When I got to the top floor it was ~3PM and the high sun was blasting and it should have made the photos look like a nuclear winter, but instead the lighting was positively ethereal and led to a slight glow around everything I saw on that level. That was like catching lightening in a bottle!  I feel that everything in my life, all my decisions, all I have learned about photography led me to be here this day, to make these photographs. I don’t know if it will ever get better than this for me.

This will probably be my ‘Opus’.


================================

StackedStacked

[ The mill is under the watchful eye of its lone caretaker, Herb Crawford. Herb not only oversees the property but has installed cameras and other security measures to protect the property from vandals and scrappers. Herb offers tours of the mill in 4 hour blocks for a measly $100. ALL of that money goes right back into the mills roof fund to help stop the impending winters. In fact while I was there I saw a large stockpile of roofing supplies and Herb said that the roof work was to begin that NEXT DAY!
Don’t wait, call Herb today!  Herb Crawford :301-268-1168
]

 

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kwilson36@gmail.com (Left Behind, photography by Kyle Wilson) America Americana Klotz Throwing Factory Left Behind Lonaconing Lonaconing Silk Mill MD Maryland abandoned bobbin decay industrial industry mill rust silk silk mill spinning states texture thread united http://leftbehind.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/4/catching-lightening-in-a-bottle Sat, 15 Apr 2017 13:27:57 GMT
Fell On Black Days http://leftbehind.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/4/fell-on-black-days I fell on Black Days

 These are dark days for me and for Left Behind photography. I can't hide it and pretend things are perfectly fine. 
Left Behind (and me) are broke. I have no money to restock after my last show. I did not sell a lot in Georgia, but I wanted to bring NEW products, new images to my next show in Gaithersburg MD. I can't afford new aluminum prints, lustre prints or even mats to mount the photos on. I am worried I won't have the gas money to get to MD in two weeks. I have paid the booth fee for my next two shows so there is NO way I will miss those. I will be
sleeping in my car for this show as I can't afford a hotel.

  I had big plans for Sugarloaf Crafts Gaithersburg as it is proving to be one of my BEST shows! They love me up there and they are loyal customers. No they are actually Fans! I wanted to by a large metal print of a new truck photo to debut up there, it could be as big as my signature photo: End of The Road. As is, I will be lucky to actually make it there to show anything.

  I can't ask for any more money as I have done that once with my Kickstarter in 2013. Then a second time recently when I pleaded for sales or just donations. And the third time was when I launched my Patreon for ongoing support: 
https://www.patreon.com/kylewilson
I can not ring this bell again. Y'all are tapped out and sick of hearing me beg, thinking "Here goes that Kyle Wilson again begging for money". That is a huge fear of mine. 

I am not giving up. I am not throwing my hands in the air and walking away. Hell, the Universe better make sure I am 6 feet under before they count me out! 

I just want to be honest with y'all, being an artist is not as romantic as it is often portrayed. 


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ySzrJ4GRF7s
 

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kwilson36@gmail.com (Left Behind, photography by Kyle Wilson) Art Shows Artist Black Days Gaithersburg Hardship Left Behind MD Starving Artist Sugarloaf broke funding money update http://leftbehind.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/4/fell-on-black-days Mon, 10 Apr 2017 12:14:53 GMT
Florida is for Sundays! http://leftbehind.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/3/florida-is-for-sundays Florida is for Sundays!

I just finished my last show in Florida for 2017 and it was FANTASTIC!

 It did not start out that way at the Downtown Naples Festival of The Arts , however, as Saturday was extremely disappointing for sales. The weather was perfect and the crowds were huge. However, I sold only 4 items during the entire 8 hours. When I got back to the Air BnB where I was staying I had trouble falling asleep, despite waking up at 3 AM that morning to set up; I was so stressed out about this last day in Florida! Going to bed this night I was thinking that my poor sales had to do with the enormous competition in my field at this show, there were 30 photographers at this Naples show, almost the same number of jewelers! I had to do something to separate myself from the competition.

 So I got to my booth early and totally changed my setup. At this show, everyone, essentially, gets a corner booth. I did not realize that until it was too late to change on Saturday.  So on Sunday I moved a couple of walls and put 4 big pieces facing outward to take advantage of all the eyes that would be passing and looking.

 My efforts paid off! I sold, sold, and sold some more! THEY LOVED ME! It was like my normal formula was turned on its head. Saturday has always been my best day and Sundays have been a ‘chill day’ where I add a few more sales for ‘gravy’.  I have found that in Florida Saturdays are for looking and SUNDAYS ARE FOR BUYING!  

-----------------------------------------------------------
The details of the Downtown Naples Festival of The Arts 2017:
Organization was superior.
Layout and Setting were perfect.
Advertising and Attendance were phenomenal.
Prestige was above average.
Artist treatment was super-nice.

****
Mixture of Art was below average (a lot of photography and 2D art).
Parking was a nightmare (artist parking was 2.5 miles away and required a shuttle bus).
----------------------------------------------------------

Now I am getting my car repaired and getting ready to head back to NC.

 

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kwilson36@gmail.com (Left Behind, photography by Kyle Wilson) Art Behind FL Florida Left Left Behind Naples art show review festivals photography reviews sales shows http://leftbehind.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/3/florida-is-for-sundays Mon, 20 Mar 2017 15:46:55 GMT
A Tale of Two Shows http://leftbehind.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/3/a-tale-of-two-shows A Tale of Two Shows
It was the best of shows, it was the worst of shows.
~~~~~
A review of the February and March Bonita Springs National Art Shows
The February show (“Show #2”) was my first time doing this Bonita Springs show. It was at a new location from previous years and I was worried because I was not set up on one of the main paved streets but rather in a grass field behind the main strip of artists.


   Setup was a breeze in that I got to drive on the grass right up to my booth to unload the day before the show and then park within walking distance for free. I also got a nice corner booth under a historic banyan tree that provided great shade all weekend long.
    Saturday’s sales started slow and continued slow all day. I did get a few prospects and a few sales, the buyers were not there. I did get tons of compliments and I had great conversations, however I left Saturday’s show extremely worried in that the sales were half what they would be for a typical Saturday of a show this big.


  However Sunday quickly put my fears to rest as I sold, sold, and sold some more. In one 45 minute period I sold my 2 biggest metals and another medium metal. In addition I took a few special orders and sold a variety of prints, metals and frames. It seems this show brings the buyers out on Sunday. In fact it ended up being MY BEST SUNDAY EVER in terms of sales.

It was THE BEST OF TIMES!
-----------
It was the WORST OF TIMES!


That would be the March Bonita Springs Show (“Show #3”).  I had my worst show EVER!
This includes shows that had costs of only $100! This show cost me over $1,000 to go to and do and produced sales that were 90% less than February.

I made 4 sales all weekend. Four sales and an ‘Award of Distinction’ is all I have to show for all this work.  

Why the huge difference in only 1 months’ time? I can only attribute it to 3 reasons:  LOCATION, LOCATION, and LOCATION. After February I asked the show’s organizers if I could please be moved to a street booth along one of the main thoroughfares. If I could not get there, I wanted to get back into space #174 where I was before. That is a simple enough request, 2  preferences, I thought.

However this past weekend I was placed in the totally different location from what I wanted or what I was expecting. It was in the middle of a round grassy area near the ‘Food Court’, a civic organization, and a Costco booth. There were also about a dozen other unlucky artists stuck in this no-mans-land. The only visitors we had were ones that were at the food court and happened to wander past our booth. I requested to move after Saturday’s ONE sale to a space that was empty on the main street. My booth takes 4 hours to set up and tear down myself. That was how serious I was to get over there and improve my sales. My request was denied. Sunday was horrible as well.

This weekend was a serious kick to my groin as I am stumbling to recover still.

I have two more shows this month while down here in Florida. I checked out both of the shows layouts and they are more logical with artists placed along a main avenue of ingress and egress.  My hopes and dreams are not resting on these next two weekends.
No pressure. HA!

Onward and Upwards!!

 

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kwilson36@gmail.com (Left Behind, photography by Kyle Wilson) Art Bonita Springs FL Florida Left Behind festivals photography review reviews sales shows http://leftbehind.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/3/a-tale-of-two-shows Tue, 07 Mar 2017 20:37:50 GMT
Cape Coral Festival of the Arts http://leftbehind.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/1/cape-coral-festival-of-the-arts The Cape Coral Festival of the Arts, first show ever in Florida

was an astounding success!

This show was organized and held by the Rotary Club of Cape Coral and it was one of the most organized shows I have ever done. Check-in was a breeze on Friday night. I got there early, as usual and was greeted by many smiling faces and helpful people. I had about 2 hours to wait until it was time to drive up to my spot, unload and set up. All went smoothly. 

 Saturday brought HUGE crowds and beautiful weather. The show has a great location.... a wide street in downtown that is closed to traffic. The people came early and kept on coming. There were a LOT of artists, 300(!), for the visitors to look at and they did look at them ALL. This crowd walked slowly and actually looked at the art. On many occasions you could not fit another person in my booth! They were curious and asked many thoughtful questions about my photos. I could tell they appreciated art here and were prepared to buy, not just walk around and eat kettle-corn.
One guest in my booth even commented "I have been coming to this show for 20+ years and this year's artists were the highest quality I have seen yet". That was humbling to be included in such good company.  My nautical and truck photos did well this whole weekend. 

 Sunday was EVEN BETTER THAN SATURDAY! I had one of my BEST Sundays ever! It was amazing. Astounding. Fantastic. Mind-blowing! THEY LOVE ME DOWN HERE! Then it got even better when I WON SECOND PLACE FOR PHOTOGRAPHY! I KID YOU NOT! There were twenty six (26!) other photographers here and I won 2nd place. The smile is still on my face! Sunday exceeded all expectations. 

If I have one complaint is it that tear down was stressful. We are given 4 hours to set up and only 2 to tear down and pack up. My display is intricate and time consuming. It does not set up or tears down quickly. When i was not done by 7 PM the volunteers moved everything to a parking lot across the street where I finished packing up and loading the trailer. 

Overall a great show and I will do this again in 2018 if invited!!! 

Florida is starting to warm up to me and Left Behind photography. 

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kwilson36@gmail.com (Left Behind, photography by Kyle Wilson) Behind Cape Coral FL Florida Left Rotary festivals photography review reviews sales shows http://leftbehind.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/1/cape-coral-festival-of-the-arts Sun, 22 Jan 2017 23:14:49 GMT
Sugarloaf Shows: Building a loyal customer base http://leftbehind.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/12/sugarloaf-shows-building-a-loyal-customer-base Howdy!

 It has been a long time since my last blog post, I apologize. I just got home from the Sugarloaf Crafts show in Chantilly VA. It was my second year doing the December Show there. And in November I did the Sugarloaf Gaithersburg show for the second November in a row. I have found these two shows to have the most loyal customers of any of my repeat shows. In Gaithersburg I had 25% of my sales from returning customers. It may have even been more but that is what Square reports to me if the same credit card is used (Chantilly was 15% returning). 

  I was not able to get the same booth spaces as before (I was close) but still the Sugarloaf customers walk the whole show and my fans found me. One gentleman says that every year he walks the entire Gaithersburg show and usually finds 2-3 artists to return to to purchase art from. He said "this year you were the only one who inspired me enough to return for". I was humbled. In Chantilly this year I had a couple come to me a bought my biggest piece without much talking or interaction. They purchased the 24 X 36 aluminum of 'End Of The Road' ! While I was finishing up the transaction they said that they "saw this last year in Chantilly and(we) have been thinking about it all year. We just HAD to get it this year". If I had not returned this year I could not have given this couple what they wanted. In another interaction at this show a young boy looked through my $30 matted prints for a long time. He found something he liked and walked his mom up to me. Got out his Boy Scout wallet and got out his own $30 and paid for it. I remember this young boy from last year. Same wallet and another $30 cash purchase. He then said that he did get 'End Of The Road' (8 x 10) last year. This year he got another car/truck photo ('Parked'). I then had a nice conversation with this boy and his mom. It was one of the highlights of my day. 

 If I had not returned to these two shows, I would not have been about to connect with these fine people and I would not have been able to fulfill their needs. I truly enjoy this personal interaction with people, guest, and potential customers. I know they could order art online from the comfort of their home but I believe the Sugarloaf guests truly desire the personal interactions just as much as the quality of the art they see and buy. 

  So even though my sales this weekend did not equal 2015 (they were close) I will keep returning to both the Gaithersburg Shows and this Chantilly show in 2017. I am determined make more Raving Fans at Sugarloaf! I will continue to bring new photos of different locations and of things Left Behind. 


THANK YOU ALL! 

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kwilson36@gmail.com (Left Behind, photography by Kyle Wilson) Behind Left Sugarloaf festivals photography review reviews sales shows http://leftbehind.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/12/sugarloaf-shows-building-a-loyal-customer-base Tue, 13 Dec 2016 04:54:53 GMT
Quick Update http://leftbehind.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/10/quick-update Quick update on me:


 I just completed week 8 of 10 weeks in a row with a show. I am freaking exhausted. This is much harder than I expected, I barely sleep or eat. I wonder if I bit off more than I can chew. My suppliers cannot keep up with me as I try to resupply between shows. I have not gone out shooting in a while. The shots that I do get are ones from my travels between shows. I can’t recall the last time I edited some of my photos. Also the weather has been a real bastard. I have lost 8 frames in 2 weeks because of heavy rains.


   I just finished Colorfest in Thurmont MD and up next is the Poquoson Seafood Festival in VA. These two shows were 2 of my best last year. Colorfest was just ok because of Saturday rains, but Poquoson VA weather looks perfect. I can’t control the weather, but I can control the other things. Those things I try to make as perfect as possible.

 I sometimes think about giving up, but then I remember there are a lot of mother***kers out there I need to prove wrong!

  I get a jolt of LIFE and ENERGY from all of y’all that come to my shows and support what I am doing. I could not do it without y’all.

THANK YOU! 

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kwilson36@gmail.com (Left Behind, photography by Kyle Wilson) art shows Left Behind Living The Dream festivals photography sales update http://leftbehind.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/10/quick-update Tue, 11 Oct 2016 14:02:25 GMT
Festival in the Park (Charlotte, NC) http://leftbehind.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/9/festival-in-the-park-charlotte-nc Festival In the Park

This weekend’s show in Charlotte was challenging but promising. There were some protests in the city last week that may have had an effect on attendance, but with this being my first time here; it is hard to say for certain.

The people that did attend were an art-appreciative crowd. They were super-friendly and genuinely inquisitive about my style of photography. I also had one of the BEST experiences ever this weekend:
A young couple came to my booth looking at my photos and were drawn to a couple of my Premium Framed photos. They left for a while to think about it.
When they came back the young lady, Amy, was drawn once more to my 'Maple Barn' photo. After about 10 seconds she was crying, and through the tears she said
"It is just so beautiful"!

"You HAVE to have this if it makes you cry like this", I said. 
I will always remember this encounter.
THIS is why I do what I do.


The sales were good, not great. I did well with my traditional framed pieces in medium and premium categories. That was different from the last few shows when my metal prints did well. I am glad I carry both types of art instead of 100% of any one.
=============
There are a few things that need vast improvement at Festival In The Park. First is the booth layout and placement. I was 80% done setting up my booth yesterday when another vendor’s van/trailer pulls up next to me and starts unloading just 2 booths down. It takes me a few minutes but then it hits me…..
It is another photographer. Not only that BUT HE IS MY BIGGEST COMPETITION! Not only that BUT HE SHOOTS SIMILAR LOCATIONS AND USES HDR AS WELL!  It know it will be extremely confusing for festival-goers and it could hurt both of our sales. This is unacceptable I decide and call Vendor Relations.

  I explain my situation to them and after a while they call back and say they can move me to 86A. I tell them I will get back to them after I check out this new space.  It looks like a fine space at first; however space 84 is ANOTHER PHOTOGRAHER! Are you kidding me? This one is a wildlife photographer so no conflict there, but still not a great idea to put two photographers that close.

  Do the vendors themselves need to do the booth placement? I am so angry that I go to the office. I calmly explain that this could have been avoided IF VENDORS GOT THE BOOTH NUMBER LIST AHEAD OF TIME! I do get these for most shows so that this problem could be prevented. I check to make sure another photographer is that that close to me. I get an apology from the Show Director. So I decide to stay where I am. I don’t want to spend another 4 hours tearing down and setting up. So I stay put. I see this reoccur throughout the festival: 2 similar artists side-by-side.

Second issue is the variety of artists lean heavily towards the 2-D artists. It is mostly painters and photographers. I fit into this category and I think we are over-represented. There should be more 3-D artists in here, more jewelers, sculptors, potters, ect… This could bring in more people which benefit us all.


Third issue was the enforcement of the rules, or lack thereof. The rules clearly state that artists will NOT be allowed to drive or park on the grass. In addition we are instructed to drive to our booth, unload our gear, park our vehicle and THEN setup our display. I felt like a schmuck for following the rules because everyone who had done this show before did not. Most were waiting until there booth was 100% set up before moving their vehicles. And some ever left their van and trailers PARKED on the grass behind their booth all weekend. I guess the rules were meant for FIRST-TIMERS ONLY? What use is a rule if it is not enforced?
==============
It does seem like more of a gripe list I know. I need to write this out even if nobody reads it. Maybe someone will who has control over such decisions at these shows and will make a note in their book?

Bottom line: I WOULD, most likely, do this show again. It had a fantastic setting and great potential. 

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kwilson36@gmail.com (Left Behind, photography by Kyle Wilson) Charlotte Charlotte NC Festival in the Park festivals photography reviews sales shows http://leftbehind.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/9/festival-in-the-park-charlotte-nc Wed, 28 Sep 2016 14:20:25 GMT
Left of Centerfest! http://leftbehind.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/9/left-of-centerfest Left of Centerfest 2016.

 Centerfest (Durham) was this past weekend, 9.17 and 9.18, and it was less than great. I an rating it as just 'OK'. And if it had not been for a LARGE sale at the close of Sunday's show it would probably rate as a 'Dud' for Left Behind photography.

 I feel the reason why was that I, as a new artist this year, was put at the end of a street with other new artists and left to sink-or-swim on our own. My neighbors were ALL new this year to Centerfest and we were not happy with our booth spaces. In fact one artist was supposed to be in Space A1. She saw where it was and threw such a fit that she got move closer to the CENTER of the festival. Good for her. I wish I had done the same. I was given A7&9, my first double booth ever! I thought that the 'A section' would be the first street visitors would travel. Not so. In fact not many people went up this street (Morris St.). There were bigger crowds down at the center where the street met. 

  These should be a way that the organizer can mix new artists with established artist who have been doing this show for years. I realize I was a newbie and should have to 'pay my dues' by being in that section in the beginning. But how many of my fellow new artists are likely to return with poor or average sales. Not many. 

 Another bad thing about this show was that downtown Durham smelled like RAW SEWAGE all weekend! I am not making this up! The wind would change direction and you would catch a strong wiff and it was horrible. So much so that my one neighbor called her friend who lives in Durham and asked "Why does Durham smell like POO"? At the end of Sunday I was getting a headache and nauseous from it. 

  On the plus side: HALF of my sales were from Metal Prints, prints on aluminum! Customers are loving this new medium. Every metal I get fom my lab now gives me chills. They are THAT GOOD. 


MOAR METAL !!1  \m/ O_O \m/


 A couple more pluses were the gourmet lunches that were delivered to our booth were fantastic and the load-in and load-out was a breeze. I do not often do I say that? 

>K

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kwilson36@gmail.com (Left Behind, photography by Kyle Wilson) Art Art Show Centerfest Centerfest Durham Durham Left Behind photography review sales http://leftbehind.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/9/left-of-centerfest Mon, 19 Sep 2016 23:06:08 GMT
Checking In http://leftbehind.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/9/checking-in Checking in with y'all .....

 

  Apologies for being MIA here, I have been so busy with my show schedule. 
I am in week 4 of my marathon of *10 shows in 10 weeks*! I have got to keep the momentum rolling. 


This may be a bit of a ramble here, bear with me....

  July was up and down with one of my best shows followed by one of my worse. August I think I turned the corner with one solid show and one fantastic show. September started off with a explosion of sales in interest in my work (set new record for my best show at 
#Frankfort Fall Festival). Since then I have been barely able to keep supplied. I am selling faster than I can produce. Seriously. 

  I think that is a good problem to have. So much better than the alternative. As such so much of my time has been focused on the business of +Left Behind, photography by Kyle Wilson that I *have not shot much in 2016*. That is the part that pains me so much. I have taken a few photos of some choice locations, but I'll be damned if I can find the time to edit and upload them. 

I am running on about *4-5 hours of sleep a night*. I am afraid of crashing soon and oversleeping for a show. That would be professional death. I am fueled by coffee and adrenaline. *I have lost 8 pounds since August!* 

I am so damn excited for this fall and even for 2017! 

  GUYS I THINK I HAVE FINALLY TURNED THE CORNER! I no longer fear my electric being turned off or not being able to pay for a hotel or my next booth fee. The Frankfort show put some much needed ca$h into my business that I am doing some much needed upgrades. In fact I am trying a *double booth* for the FIRST time at 
#Centerfest *in Durham, NC* this weekend! A double booth is a huge milestone for me!! 

Whew....I knew I would ramble if I got going 

Thanks for listening.
K

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kwilson36@gmail.com (Left Behind, photography by Kyle Wilson) festivals sales shows http://leftbehind.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/9/checking-in Thu, 15 Sep 2016 17:29:00 GMT
Let me be FRANK about Frankfort Fall Festival 2016 http://leftbehind.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/9/let-me-be-frank-about-frankfort-fall-festival-2016 This was my first year doing this show and I was blown away!

 Attendance was amazing, especially on Sunday. Quite frankly, the crowds were HUGE! Weather was perfect. Organization was professional, honestly, one of the BEST I have ever seen, especially for such a large show.  They treat the artists like honored guests supplying us with free water, booth sitters, fans and they will even deliver ice and food upon request. I swear it could not be better. My block caption (Kris) quickly became my friend.

 Load-in was challenging because my street could not set up until Saturday morning, so I got in line at 4:30 am to be open by 10. Load-out was much easier with nobody pushing you to hurry up. There were no awards for this show, which I was aware of. Layout was perfect for this quaint, historic town. It is so dang cute here. Also the mix of artists seemed perfect with not a flood of one particular media. My only small complaint was that artist parking was about .75 mile away (for me).

 Most important factor was the sales. This show quickly became my NEW #1 GROSSING SHOW OF ALL TIME! It beat out my previous #1 grossing show ( Artscape, Baltimore, by $50 )They came ready to buy and they came early. I have never seen Early Birds like these. Artists need to be ready to sell by 9 AM even though the show does not open until 10 AM, and they bought from 9 am until close each day. I am running out of positive adjectives. It was so worth the 850 mile drive! 

THIS IS HOW IT SHOULD BE!

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kwilson36@gmail.com (Left Behind, photography by Kyle Wilson) . Frankfort Frankfort Fall Festival IL art show review festivals photography reviews sales shows http://leftbehind.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/9/let-me-be-frank-about-frankfort-fall-festival-2016 Fri, 09 Sep 2016 03:07:14 GMT
The Cary Lazy Daze was ANYTHING BUT! http://leftbehind.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/8/the-cary-lazy-daze-was-anything-but The Cary Lazy Daze was ANYTHING BUT LAZY! 

This August marked the 40th anniversary of Cary Laze Daze and it was quite an anniversary. This year it got extended to two days, Saturday 8.27 and Sunday 8.28. Well it was actually closer to 1.5 days because Sunday's hours were only 12:30 PM - 5:00 PM. 

It was hotter that death on Saturday with a heat index of 111*! That fact brings out the Early Birds who want to beat the heat, do their shopping and leave before they melt. Those patrons who stuck it out for longer then got to experience a brief storm pass by bringing wind gusts of 40+ mph! This will be one enduring image of Lazy Daze 2016:

Holly was standing in the middle of the canopy, holding on to it for dear life so it wouldn't blow away. Meanwhile a nice couple was trying ask questions and make a purchase as I talked over the howling wind and rain. The transaction was completed without anything breaking. Thank you to the kind couple for your patience and support

Saturday sales and attendance were flat after 3 pm. Holly speculated that many of the visitors would return Sunday, or come out Sunday, when the weather was forecast to be cooler. She was right! Even though the show lasted only 4.5 hours on Sunday I HAD MY BIGGEST SUNDAY EVER! WOW!
It was amazing. I sold so many Metal Prints! My HDR work on aluminum is proving to be a big hit! The more I put on metal, the more I WANT to put on metal. I even did 2 Special Orders for my metal prints. 

Once again Cary NC proved to be an Art-Loving community. THANK YOU ALL for your support.


Other great things about this show is that I had 2 fantastic neighbors to chat and share notes with, the organization was super, the volunteers were plentiful, load-in and load-out were a breeze, food  and drink options were plentiful, bathrooms were inside, artist lounge was available (did not use). 
In short..... Everything ran smoothly
 

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kwilson36@gmail.com (Left Behind, photography by Kyle Wilson) Art show Cary Cary Lazy Daze Lazy Daze Left Behind art show review review http://leftbehind.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/8/the-cary-lazy-daze-was-anything-but Mon, 29 Aug 2016 14:59:02 GMT
Kyle Wilson, The (nearly) Starving Artist (or How Homewood Suites Came to My Rescue) http://leftbehind.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/8/kyle-wilson-the-nearly-starving-artist-or-how-homewood-suites-came-to-my-rescue So this weekend is the Havre de Grace Art Show up in Havre de Grace Maryland, at a lovely park on the river. I am sure to mispronounce that name a dozen times before Monday, it is pronounced 'Have a de Grace.' 

 For this show I budgeted everything so tightly. I booked the room on 'Booking.com' and chose to pay at the time of check in because I did not have the funds at the time I reserved the room. To be sure I had enough money for the hotel, I withdrew the fund in cash. I didn't want any unexpected debits hitting my account and me not being able to get my room. But I made a mistake when figuring out the gas I would need. I did the calculation with an MPG of 22. That is what my truck gets when it is on the highway WITHOUT a loaded trailer. With a loaded trailer, I get 15 mpg! So I had to stop and get an other $20 worth of gas. 

  There went my dinner money for tonight and lunch for tomorrow. But, 'what the heck' I thought. I have to get there today! I can eat on Friday evening after I sell a few things. I just hope I get a ca$h sale that first day. I fought traffic from 12n until 5 pm. Why the hell is it backed up at 1 pm on a Thursday afternoon? It blows my mind, the traffic in the Washington D.C. area. I was so looking forward to checking in, relaxing with a cup of coffee and putting together a few more mats and frames in my room before the big day tomorrow. 

However....

 Upon checking in I was told that the total was going to be $577 instead of the $547 that I had reserved with Booking.com. I said "I am paying in cash, is that worth a discount"?. Apparently not. So I thought not I might not get a room for this weekend. I did not want to sleep in my truck down by the river. After much clicking around and trying to call someone, the polite Front Desk attendant, Allana Basham,  found a manager. Apparently Maryland charges a 6% Occupancy Tax as well as a 6% Sales Tax. Booking.com only charges the 6% sales tax. Therein was the issue. So the wonderful Allana  cancelled my original reservation and made me a new one at the quoted rate. YIPPEE! 

  ON TOP OF THAT, she told me that this evening they were having a free Social in the lobby. Did you say FREE FOOD? That is MY FAVORITE KIND OF FOOD! We had BBQ sliders, slaw, soup, salad and lemonade !!

THANK YOU HOMEWOOD SUITES ( by Hilton ) FOR NOT LETTING THIS ARTIST STARVE AND FOR HELPING ME GET MY ROOM!!!

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kwilson36@gmail.com (Left Behind, photography by Kyle Wilson) http://leftbehind.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/8/kyle-wilson-the-nearly-starving-artist-or-how-homewood-suites-came-to-my-rescue Thu, 18 Aug 2016 23:28:30 GMT
Artscape 2016 http://leftbehind.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/7/artscape-2016 Artscape 2016 in Baltimore was the most challenging show I have ever done. The things I take for granted were roadblocks this weekend. However I was able to overcome those and make this my HIGHEST GROSSING SHOW to date!

  One of the challenges was PARKING. It is tough to park a truck and a trailer in a big city when the hotel has no parking available. So I had to pay $15 each time I needed to park. Not per day, but each time I move my vehicle and trailer. The required a lot of cash and planning. I even walked a mile to the show one day to save on expenses and hassle.  Also I could not run errands to resupply like I usually do. I could not just ‘run down to the store’ like I can in most shows.


Another challenge was that the Show Manager nor staff was not around. I had no contact with them all weekend. This absence made the load-in and load-out kind of a ‘Wild West’ where you had to fend for yourself.  Luckily I met some other artist friends who gave me some great advice about this show, that helped immensely.  The show hours were also challenging. Most shows I got to are 9AM – 5PM, 10A-6pm, or 9am-6pm. This weekend was 11AM-9PM. There were still TONS of people out after 9 so most days I did not close until 9:30 or 9:45. Those 11 hour days wiped me out. I went to bed exhausted, without dinner, both Friday and Saturday night.

Having said all that, IT WAS STILL A GREAT SHOW!
Friday was discouraging, out 3 sales for 11 hours.
Saturday blew away ALL EXPECTATIONS> all the people who said they ‘would come back Saturday’ actually DID come back. They bought, bought, and bought some more. We also talked a lot. I just now regained my voice. I met and talked to so many great people. Even 1 hour of rain in the evening could not dampen my spirits! So much fun!
Sunday afternoon picked up where Saturday left off. I SOLD EVERY METAL PRINT I OWN!  It was amazing. 

The show seemed well advertised and well attended. They claim to attract 350,000. That may have been, but hard to say as it was the biggest show to date for me and I have no basis for comparison. Load-out was a breeze with nobody nagging me to hurry up. My display is time consuming and it takes 4 m/h to setup and tear-down. 

So it would seem like a natural that I would do this show next year, right? I do have some hesitation brought on by the expenses. This was an expensive show to do, with one of the highest booth fees I have ever incurred ($750) for a 10x10. That plus the parking and hotel costs give me pause. If I could get that hotel bill down that I would go again in 2017 in a heartbeat!

Maybe I should start looking online for a hotel now for next year?

 

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kwilson36@gmail.com (Left Behind, photography by Kyle Wilson) http://leftbehind.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/7/artscape-2016 Sun, 24 Jul 2016 03:25:46 GMT
A HOT Affair ! http://leftbehind.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/6/a-hot-affair Easton Art Affair was a HOT one! 
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This past weekend's show in Columbus Ohio was a HOT ONE! Full sun with temps in the mid - upper 90*'s. The street I was on was in FULL sun from 8 am until 8 pm, and it was humid. However it was DRY (no rain) so that was a consolation. 

 That heat may have kept crowds down or they could have been at a large Outlet Mall's Grand Opening that same weekend. Either way, my sales came early and then late on that Saturday. I did 70% of my sales the first two hours and the remaining 30% the last two! I SOLD NOTHING between 1 and 7 pm. So odd. 

 This show also had a LOT of 'earlybirds' (shoppers arriving before the official opening of the show). I would no sooner open one side of my booth than I would have people inside looking (and buying). They were probably trying to avoid the heat of mid-day. I did two large sales before the opening of 11 am. I learned LONG AGO to NEVER shut down early. I did good sales after the 'close' of the show of 9 pm. I still do not understand why some vendors shut down early. This venues had bars and restaurants open late and people were walking around with cocktails and money in their hands. Literally.  

  Overall my sales were solid. This show now ranks #8 All Time for total sales and #2 for dollars-per-sale. My higher end premium frames sold well here. I think I did better than most. There were 12 other photographers here and competition was stiff. But once again I had many people remark that my photos were unique and they had not seen 'anything like this' before this show. Two other vendors told me they would not return because of light sales.

  I will return next year! The deciding factor is that I was able to reduce my hotel cost to ZERO by staying with a life-long friend who now lives in the area. That was so awesome! The show management was super-easy to deal with. They made load-in and load-out easy and stress-free.
One painter tried to avoid the guidelines by driving into the venue before he had packed up his display. he blocked the road and made a scene. That is such poor form. The guidelines are for EVERYONE'S benefit Sir!

Anyhow... Barb, the show producer, came by often and gave us ice water (probably saved my life). Her relaxed demeanor rubbed off on many of us and helped me keep a cool head on a HOT weekend.

>Kyle 

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kwilson36@gmail.com (Left Behind, photography by Kyle Wilson) festivals photography reviews sales shows http://leftbehind.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/6/a-hot-affair Tue, 28 Jun 2016 16:35:34 GMT
If It Ain't Broke, Don't Fix It! http://leftbehind.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/6/if-it-aint-broke-don-t-fix-it If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!

 This review of my most recent show is hard for me to write. I have many friends involved in the planning and execution of the 1st Annual Mondo Root Cultural Arts Festival in Clayton NC this past weekend.  

  So let me qualify this post by saying this is solely the opinion of ONE VISUAL ARTIST. There were many other artists involved in this festival and they probably have a different opinion.

  First, a little history: this festival started out as “Millstock”,  The first event was held in 2000, when a handful of artists and musicians gathered in a dirt parking lot behind The Coffee Mill in downtown Clayton. It has since become an annual event that draws more than 1,000 people to downtown. I first did Millstock in 2014 and I did okay sales for a smaller festival. My expectations were low so I was pleasantly surprised. Then in 2015 they improved Millstock, they went back to the basics. They put more emphasis on music, added food trucks, and started serving beer and wine. In addition, they added more visual artists to total about 45.

  That year was a tremendous success for Left Behind photography! I TRIPLED my sales from 2014 plus got my name and photos out to thousands of more faces. I was super-excited to be returning to the 2016 show.

 Shortly after that show is when they decided to change it for 2016. There was a new production company brought it with a successful track-record of great area events. The name was changed to ‘Mondo Roots Cultural Arts and Music Festival’. Most significant change is the decision to de-emphasize the visual arts and focus more on the performing arts.  Their motto is “celebrating diversity and empowering the community”.  Many more bands were added from an eclectic mix of genres, and it was soon clear to me that this was to be the focus of Mondo Roots.
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  The festival hours were 1 – 8 pm, which is the latest start for a summer festival I have ever been involved in, putting it in the hottest part of the day.  The temps hovered around 93* with 100% humidity all day. Those temps kept the some of the crowds away.  A morning start would have helped bring more people outside I believe. The people who did show up were NOT the art-buying crowd. They were mainly there to drink beer and listen to the music. I think many of them were surprised that there were even art vendors there. From what I saw, the only successful vendors there were the beer and ice cream booths.

  There were artists placed too close to the stage (me included) to conduct business. The speakers were extremely loud making it difficult for me to talk to, or hear, the few people who came into my booth. Many visual artists did not even show up, leaving open areas of the street. To me this looks like missing teeth in a smile. The visual artist should have been condensed into one location farther away from the stage.

 Overall attendance was low. I don’t know the numbers but I was certainly less than the 2015 Millstock. I would guess that there may have been 1,500 total people throughout the day. I can’t say if that is due to advertising, the name change, the change in emphasis, the hot weather, or a combination of all the factors.

  I am still extremely frustrated right now. I made 3 sales the entire DAY! I don’t mind sweating my balls off if I am selling art and meeting a ton of people. But I didn’t. I could have better used my time elsewhere this past Saturday.

I hope I don’t hurt anyone’s feelings with this post. It is nothing personal. It is only ONE artist’s opinion.

Exhausted,
  Kyle 

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kwilson36@gmail.com (Left Behind, photography by Kyle Wilson) festivals photography reviews sales shows http://leftbehind.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/6/if-it-aint-broke-don-t-fix-it Sun, 05 Jun 2016 15:27:31 GMT
UP, up and away.... http://leftbehind.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/5/up-up-and-away The Merchant Village at the WRAL Freedom Balloon Fest....

.....was a surprising success! 

The GOOD: TONS of people! The last time I saw that many people was at a Rock Festival in Charlotte! It was an insane number of people. My guess is 90,000 on Saturday. When you put your are in front of a fraction of that number, you WILL do well. Friday I did ALL of my sales in ONE HOUR: between 7:15 and 8:15 PM when people had seen the balloon glow and were stopping by the Merchant Village on their way home. On Saturday sales were strong until about 7:00 PM, when they cancelled the balloon activities due to weather. This show currently ranks at #8 on my Top Sales list!  Another GOOD aspect was the flexibility of the show organizer (Erin Ramsey). She let me use an open booth to store my back-stock. Also she let vendors move to spaces that were in higher traffic areas. That was a win-win for everyone. 

The BAD: Were things largely out of anyone's control. The visitors had to be bused in with shuttles/trams/UBER/ bicycle... any means necessary. They had to pay for parking and sometime for the trams. This may have cut down on the number of visitors. Also the long lines for the buses had a lot of complaints. Also many of the balloon activities had to be cancelled because of winds and/or rain. Many people felt 'ripped-off'. I think this may affect attendance at next year's event. Another BAD was that I don't think may visitors knew the Merchant Village was where it was. A large sign/banner would have been helpful. Something to distinguish us from the other tents in the area. From a distance we just looked like a mass of white tents. 

The UGLY: LOAD-IN was extremely stressful! It was the same day as the start of the event. Vendors had ~ 3 hours to dive in, set up and then move their vehicles to a vendor lot 1.5 miles away. From there we waited for a bus to bring us back to the event. We should have been allowed to set up the day/night before. This would have led to a smooth load-in and first day of sales. I sweated through 2 shirts the Friday, it was hot and I was so stressed out. I much prefer a day-before setup. Another UGLY is the fact that out vehicles were far away. That meant we had to bring ALL back-stock with us on day 1 or restock in the morning when we first arrived each day. All vendors would have liked to have our parking lot closer to our booth. 

In conclusion, I WOULD do this event again. I would only change the load-in/setup be the Thursday before the event and let the vendors park within walking distance. 

 

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kwilson36@gmail.com (Left Behind, photography by Kyle Wilson) Balloon Fest Fuquay-Varina festivals photography reviews sales shows http://leftbehind.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/5/up-up-and-away Mon, 30 May 2016 04:00:00 GMT
Great Weather and Sales at PEAKFEST 2016 !! http://leftbehind.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/5/great-weather-and-sales-at-peakfest-2016 Great Peakfest this year! 

  The 2016 Apex (NC) Peakfest was this past Saturday, May 7th, and it was a GREAT show! The weather was amazing, sunny with a slight breeze. I even got a bit of sunburn. 

  My first sale was 1 hour before the show officially opened and my last sale was 5 minutes after the show ended. I NEVER, ever, close early and now I will try harder to open early. My sales in between those two were 'deceptive'. What I mean by that is that me sales were up 65% percent over the same show last year, but I sold fewer pieces. My avg $ per sale was WAY up. Looking at it further, I sold more frames and more multiple sales. I have a ton more inventory this year and I think I am starting to have better, more impressive frames. I sold a Premium 'Country Church at Sunrise' frame as well as 3 medium frames. 

  The best part, of course, was meeting new people, making new 'fans',  seeing some familiar faces, and talking about my photography. It is such a joy to hear people say "I have never seen anything like this" or, my favorite, " Are these paintings "? That means that a lot of the public have not seen much HDR or have not hear much about it. I also means that I still have a unique 'look' to my art, that it is different from what they are seeing elsewhere. I love this part of it, talking, sharing stories, giving the history of each photo. 

So far, the opening of the Spring outdoor show season is a HUGE SUCCESS. Spring Daze in Cary was also a success for me despite the less than ideal weather. 

Thanks for reading this!

See Ya Soon! 
> K 

 

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kwilson36@gmail.com (Left Behind, photography by Kyle Wilson) Apex Art Behind Festival Left NC Peakfest Show http://leftbehind.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/5/great-weather-and-sales-at-peakfest-2016 Mon, 09 May 2016 01:39:34 GMT
SUGARLOAF GAITHERSBURG = HUGE SUCCESS !! http://leftbehind.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/4/sugarloaf-gaithersburg-huge-success Sugarloaf Gaithersburg Spring show is in the record books!

And it was one for the record books!! It was such a successful show that it made it into my TOP 5 list!

Great weather and a good turnout certainly helped me achieve my goals, but so was the great new location. I moved from a semi-outdoor booth in a barn into a nice indoor, CORNER SPACE (seen below).

I also had a ton of inventory and although I did run out of " End Of The Road " in my 16x20 mats, that was the only one I sold out of.
Another key to my success, I feel, was my positive attitude. I tried to always have a smile on my face when someone entered, or even passed by, my booth. And I was quick with my greetings and I was telling stories about my photos to anyone who would stop and listen.

I had such a great time here!! I met some more talented artists and some great new Sugarloaf people as well.

I WILL BE BACK IN NOVEMBER!!!
 

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kwilson36@gmail.com (Left Behind, photography by Kyle Wilson) http://leftbehind.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/4/sugarloaf-gaithersburg-huge-success Mon, 25 Apr 2016 16:00:29 GMT
Weekend Of Setbacks http://leftbehind.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/4/weekend-of-setbacks This weekend was one of setbacks.

I was in Chantilly Virginia at the Craftsmen's Spring Classic at the Chantilly Expo Center. This show was hyped by the promoter (Gilmore Shows)

as "#2 in Northern Virginia and #4 in the State. Consistently Named a "Top 20 Show" In The Nation - "100 Best" Show - Sunshine Artist Magazine 2014. 
This show has a total of 13 Awards from Sunshine Artist Magazine.Previously Named A "Top 20" Event - Southeast Tourism Society
". 
It did not live up to that nor did it live up to my expectations. I have done well there in December and again in January, but that was with Sugarloaf Shows.
I wonder if the customer realize the differences? I wonder if I should continue to do Craftsmen's Shows? 

  In addition to horrible sales and low attendance, I BROKE MY TOE, had a frame damaged and barely covered my costs. I was hoping to use this weekend's sales to put some money away for my own trailer. It is so inconvenient to keep renting a Uhaul trailer, along with not being cost-effective. Now I will be lucky to get a couple of new tires for my truck, much less a trailer.

  A couple of good things to come out of this weekend were that 3 people came back to me after seeing me in the fall and winter in Chantilly. One couple bought another frame from me (thank you!) and another praised my photos from her previous purchase. Also there was a LOT of other photographers here at this show. I did have a couple people tell me that "everything looks the same, except for your's" and "I have never seen anything like this before". I was extremely encouraged by this! 

  This has been a tough Spring. I have one more indoor show this month (Gaithersburg, MD) before my first outdoor show. I am looking forward to this Spring Daze in Cary NC as it is my first FREE outdoor show of the year. I have done well the past two years and I got my same spot back.

  Not much time to dwell on this past weekend as I need to focus on my Sugarloaf show in 10 days and get stocked back up. 

ONWARD AND UPWARD!

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kwilson36@gmail.com (Left Behind, photography by Kyle Wilson) Chantilly. Craftsmen Sugarloaf VA setback http://leftbehind.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/4/weekend-of-setbacks Tue, 05 Apr 2016 13:23:25 GMT