The Sakura Festival

Yesterday, the Sakura Matsuri (Cherry Blossom Festival) was a hoot. Very small compared with the ones I’d been to before, mainly due to people chickening out as they were scared of rain. Well the rain did come, but not until hours after the festival was finished. there was some of the usual great festival munchies; yakitori, chips, yaki-soba, mochi.We tried pounding the mochi in the traditional way with the massive hammer- something that looks more dangerous than it actually is. There was also a variety of regional dances there,some by ladies and others by little kids, which were great to watch. I only had my mobile-phone camera at hand but there should be some snaps up soon from the event at my photoblog A Day in the Life.
But of course, we didn’t just come to see things- we were there to sell, too! My friends Rodney and Mayu had great success, good for them, as they had brought cookies, scones and calpis-soda. All was delicious and it was a lucky thing that they didn’t bring the smoothies that they were planning, but didn’t have the electricity supply to mix with. My other friend, Akiko who is a professional baker and had many kinds of breads also did a great job, along with her assistant for the day, Marcus. The food must have been irresistable- with resounding success as they had all sold out!
As for my photos, well, as Yuko said ‘photos are difficult’. Putting the good news first, I did sell two of the very small ones of Mt. Fuji. People were looking and some people expressed so much interest they started taking to us about them. As an exhibition is was a success as people came and enjoyed them- it made our stall one of the more colourful and interesting ones there.
Selling them was another matter, though- as people hadn’t really come there to buy artwork and even the hankerchief sellers next to us weren’t getting too many sales, it seemed. We had some special fliers about me Yuko had kindly made, to give them in such cases. Also AJ came along and tried some dynamic sales techniques with ‘The Happy Monkey’. I wonder if my prices were too high… I was offering them at 3,000 yen for one and 5,000 for two. I was thinking of them as something like paiontings but of course they are more like prints, easily reproduced at the camera shop.
Well, it was a gret first experience of doing this. The next time I try something like that the prices will be lower and also differ from one photo to another so as not to ‘commoditise them’. I will make sure to have postcards ready as they are easy for people to get. Not only that, but there will be a more attractive display too, more like a mini-gallery, made of cork or wood. I had them lying on a sarong draped over the bush so they were a little hard to see properly.
Thanks to my friends for the suggestions and support. And well done to them for selling out, as with perishable food that’s really what you want to be doing and seeing their success was great. My prints are packed up and read to go out another time, this time to a more arts-related fair, somewhere. The great thing is, it’s all experience, leading to greater things…
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