I quite enjoyed it, in the end, talking to the writers at Stuarts Magic Attic group. But I’d spent all week writing, re-writing, editing and practising my talk. It was only ten minutes, and in a way it was harder doing ten minutes than a longer time, because there is so much I wanted to say, but had to keep it down to the bare facts. Of course, it helped enormously that Stuart did his talk before mine, as he was an excellent “warm up” guy – being both entertaining and amusing. And that’s hard to do – to be funny. And in the right places! But he’s clever with words, and that helps.
I hadn’t met any of the writers before, and they knew nothing about me or the subject matter of Stuarts or my talk. And I wasn’t sure what any of them wrote about until I got there, and had an introductory chat with the woman running the meeting. Most of them were local historians. Ok, then, no problem. And some had never been before. Ok, then, no problem. And the talk wasn’t to go over ten minutes, as people start to get bored then. Ok, no problem. What about mentioning erotic art then I asked. Better not, she said. Ok, then, good job I’d decided on a two part talk, the basic promotional one, and the other about the more specific very erotic art. I’ll cut the second part, don’t want any of them walking out in disgust and being offended.
I went up to the meeting room with Stuart and his wife, and we decided where to sit – I opted for the far end of the room, with a wall behind me, as then I could put my art carrying bag down easier, and also could talk to the room, without having to swivel around to include the people behind me. It was all very informal, with tables laid out in the refectory style, with seats either side. There were about 25 people there, drinking tea and coffee and chatting, and I was told they meet every three months.
Stuart and I settled ourselves in, and I sat conversing with the woman next to me, who I hadn’t ever met before but she knew all about my website and the artwork on it because Stuart had told her about it months ago after I’d done the drawings of him and he’d shown them to her. He’s a walking advert for me!!
After a few minutes the meeting started, a few points that needed mentioning, then we were introduced as the speakers “Stuart and his friend Jackie”. Stuart stood and did his talk. (The gist of it is featured here on my blog). And he entertained them beautifully, and they laughed in all the right places, and he got a rousing round of applause for his efforts. Then it was my turn, I stood, and explained that I was an unusual artist because of all the different types of art I do, so I call myself an erotic artist as it gets me noticed more! I explained what erotic art is, and how I started doing it, I told them I was in two art organisations – Ashby Guild of Artists, and the Guild of Erotic Artists, and that I had sold artwork locally and internationally to Canada, and the USA. I said I was a writer too, in that I write a blog, and told them about my website, and said that if any of them wanted any illustrations done for their books, or a dog portrait doing, for them to contact me, and said I had flyers and business cards to hand out to them all there. That was it – ten minutes! And I got a good round of applause too. Phew!
But that’s just the fishing, I suppose. That’s the bait thrown out and I never know what sort of interested things I’m going to catch with it………………………
A few people came over to view Stuarts drawings that he keeps in a large folder. He hadn’t held them up incase any of them didn’t want to view them, someone had joked earlier that he should have had them on the large projection screen behind him!
Then they came to me – the first chap asked me how much it would cost to repaint a print he had of a dog picture, I replied that I’d have to see it to be able to give him a full answer, but yes, it was certainly possible for me to do it for him….
The second chap asked if I would do a talk to his local civic group of 50 or 60 people, maybe next year, and I said I would be interested in doing it…..
The third chap said that Stuarts and my talk were the best thing they’d ever had at the Magic Attic, and that he was a speaker who did two or three talks a week to local groups, on local history. He’d written a few books that he pointed out to me on the shelf at the side of the room, one of the books was about the history of the privy, and he said he knew within five minutes of talking to a group, about which stories he could tell, and which to avoid!!!!!!!! He asked if I was on the WI list of speakers, and I said no, it was only the second talk I’d ever done, but I’d bear it in mind.
And the fourth person was the most interesting for me – she was fascinated with the white on black erotic drawings that I do and asked me if I’d be interested in exhibiting at Burton on Trents library. Yes I would! She said that she would book me straight away, if she could, but because it was erotic, would have to check it out with her colleagues. Ok, that’s fine. I can do tasteful and acceptable art for the visitors to the library, it doesn’t have to be strongly erotic.
So, ALL good stuff!
And I found them a friendly bunch of people, who made me most welcome. So that was nice too.
And maybe someone is writing a book, and maybe they want some illustrations, and maybe they’ll contact me. But at least they know who I am now, and they didn’t the day before…….