Alyson B. Stanfield and Me at Rocky Mountain National Park
I know that those of you who really know me are thinking that my claim to fame in Denver MUST mean that I ran across Denver natives Big Head Todd and the Monsters in a crosswalk, or out to lunch, or in the grocery store, of at the USPS. No luck. However, I did pre-arrange to spend the day with the wonderful and amazing art marketing coach Alyson B. Stanfield of Art Biz Blog and her super friendly husband Rob. And oh! what a wonderful day we had.
When I agreed to teach a workshop for Art Makers Denver, Alyson got wind that I was coming to town and reached out to ask me if we could meet in person after years of corresponding and even working together online. What? YOU want to meet ME? Of course I said yes right away.
Alyson and Rob met Doug and I in their hometown of Golden, CO at the light rail station. From the minute I saw her waving at me, I knew we were going to get along just fine. Alyson and I have known each other online for several years. She has featured me on her blog as a guest blogger in an article about how I funded my ArtPrize exhibit last year.
Before I was a guest blogger, I found my way onto Alyson's radar with some marketing techniques of my own that included baking cookies for gallerists. She featured me and my cookies (but not my secret recipe) in a 2010 article entitled Is food the way to a gallerist's heart?
As did many other professional artists, I read Alyson's marketing book for artists I'd Rather Be in the Studio from cover to cover and back again. I have dog eared pages and notes in the margin. I tell all my art friends and students that it's the art marketing bible!
Today, our first full day in Denver, was about Alyson and Rob taking Doug and I to the Rocky Mountain National Park and to lunch in the small town of Estes Park along the way. As we were driving, Alyson and I chatted a bit about art marketing. We exchanged stories of traveling to teach and how we taught back to back workshops in Amelia Island, FL one year, but never met. She told us a bit about the art marketing makeover workshop that she is hosting in her home town of Golden, coming up in November.
We stopped at her favorite home town coffee shop where she told me she wrote most of her book. She's currently working on a revised version of her book, she admitted that she should have been working instead of playing today. I guess that's part of having a flexible schedule. The owner knew her and asked if she would have her usual. He extended a warm welcome to all of us. We took our coffee and water bottles to go and headed out of town with Rob driving their red Mountain Truck a nick name Alyson gave it to justify the dirt and dust. Who cares about housekeeping, these Floridians were headed up a mountain! As the altitude took it's toll (Doug was seeing spots), we reminded Alyson and Rob that we come from ZERO feet above sea level and now were almost at 10,000. Not to mention cracked lips and dry, swollen tongues.
Back down the mountain in Estes Park we were fortunate enough to view two elk (so big!) a few deer, and a rabbit. Alyson and Rob were happy that we were actually able to witness a small taste of the famous Estes Park elk rutting bugling ritual. Pretty cool, and very loud.
Today marked the one year anniversary of the 2013 Colorado floods, people were out and about to celebrate roads and homes being rebuilt and put back together. As a result of the crowds, Estes Park restaurants were overcrowded and under staffed. Have no fear, we decided to head out of town for lunch and took a beautiful drive back to Boulder. We decided to have our late lunch at a local watering hole with outside seating, great food, and local beer. Did you know that Colorado has over 300 days of sunshine per year? Beautiful.
Although I did not see Todd and his crew ponied up to the bar, the day could not have been better and the company could not have been more fun or accomodating. Alyson did give me a few good tips on marketing and even told me that had she not been out late the night before, her plan was to bake me cookies and bring them along! How funny. I might just have to mail her some.
An friend and fellow artist once said to me "My art has often been something that could start a conversation. Art offered me the opportunity to meet people and form friendships that without it I may have never had." Today was a perfect example of that for me.
for being a part of my