For some reason lately I have been thinking about the Palm Springs International Film Festival.  Six or seven  years ago, when I was still living in Palm Springs, I worked part time for a photographer who lived with the great film director, John Schlesinger.   Michael was recruited by the film council to help produce the event, and as his assistant, I was “recruited” to be a celebrity wrangler.  The Palm Springs Film Festival wasn’t  the huge event it is now; after Sonny Bono died, the festival languished for many years.  A VERY generous benefactor stepped in and poured gobs and gobs and GOBS of cash into it.

Anyhow, at a meeting for all the celebrity wranglers prior to the show, we were asked to introduce ourselves, say who our celebrity was, and a little bit about what WE did for a living.  I was the second one to speak, so I stood up and said, “My name is Denise Meyers, and I am an artist”.  A woman WAY up the line leaned forward and said (with great excitement) “Have you ever done the LaQuinta Art Festival?”.  Never one to watch my mouth when it counted, I said (with great derision)….”No….those stupid bastards won’t let me in”.  There was a moment of silence, then this woman said….”My name is Susan Francis, and I am the HEAD of the La Quinta Arts Festival”.  I turned crimson in that moment and wondered why the earth never opens up to swallow you when you need it….

I have a talent for sticking my foot in my mouth, and I have learned to eagerly share the stories of my self humiliation because when you are good at something, and I mean REALLY good at something, you might as well put it out there for all the world to see.  I guess that’s why the Palm Springs Film Festival keeps coming to mind.  I was there when the festival was on its dying legs, and with hard work and perseverance it has become one of the major film festivals in the country, if not the world.

For the past three months I have spent nearly all day, every day, in my studio working on new handbags, new designs, searching ebay for vintage poker chips and bakelite radio knobs and old checkers, hunting through websites for the perfect fabrics, attending social media classes and setting up accounts with twitter and facebook and mailchimp until I actually had this little “social media song” I have been composing, running through my head.   I’ve sent letters and brochures and sometimes even samples, to magazine editors, and department store buyers, past clients, potential clients, boutique store owners…you name it.

A little over a week from now, I will head to New York with 40 BRAND new handbags.  It’s probably the largest inventory of product I have ever had, in any art form I have ever pursued, and I am PSYCHED.  The bags are gorgeous, and so unique – which may or may not prove to be a good thing.  I have found over the years that people find great comfort in having what everyone else has.  And I am also aware that the economy isn’t supposed to be great right now, but the small voice inside me says, this is going to be GREAT.  For some reason I continue to feel that this is the right place and the right time to be doing this, to be launching a new handbag line and EXPENSIVE handbag line at that, despite all evidence to the contrary.  And there is also the fact that I have decided to follow the advice of a good friend of mine by putting it out there that this is going to be a success. I have a tendency to want to keep any good feelings I have about things to myself because I am afraid I will “jinx” whatever triumph I desire.  But Randi told me that a friend of hers always said what she wanted, out loud and in a sentence, because she felt telling the universe what she wanted, gave HER the power to help make it happen.

This is the start of a whole run of shows, and even though the last three months have been sparse with respect to finances, it has been a time of creation and excitement and self-reflection and its all been leading to this….

Now its time for me to go change out of my pajamas and get back to work…whoever said art was glamorous has obviously never BEEN an artist!

THE AMERICAN CRAFTS FESTIVAL AT THE LINCOLN CENTER FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS

June 19 and 20 and June 26 and 27

Saturday 12:00 pm to 9:00 pm

Sunday 10:00 am to 9:00 pm

Booth N216