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CRAFT FAIRS UPDATE

Discussion in 'General Chit-Chat' started by Arlo Kalon 2.0, Jan 7, 2020.

  1. Arlo Kalon 2.0

    Arlo Kalon 2.0 Very Active Member

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    While it's been years since I was a regular, daily participant here I occasionally find myself checking in to keep abreast of things going on in my former career I've been happily retired from for over 8 years now. My last posts concerned a retirement pursuit that made it possible for me to once again be doing what I always loved the most about this business, painting signs. I built a studio building in my huge backyard of the gorgeous rural Texas property where around 5 years ago we built a large new brick home. I have a dedicated sign painting studio in it where I create small, intricate hand lettered interior decor signs. For over two years now I've been involved in a very large circuit of area craft fairs where I have a well designed booth display to sell my wares. It's great to meet hundreds of new people with this activity as well as all the other vendors I've become friends with. My largest haul was just under $700 for a 6 hour event, with these events usually bringing me an average of $500. It's a far cry from countless weeks in the 1980's when as a signpainter I'd routinely make that amount in half a day, but it's personally rewarding and a lot of fun.

    A number of years ago I also began attending a weekly jam session I was invited to by an old cowboy who bought a couple of my signs at a fair. The repertoire at the jams is mostly ancient country gold music being as there a number of Texan participants in their 70's and 80's who come out to play. Shortly after I started attending the leader of the jam made a request for someone to write some new songs for everyone to learn instead of the 50 plus year old tunes that were always played. I was the only one to take him up on it and it's to the point now that if I stay the entire time I might end up playing around 12 songs, all of which I wrote.

    I have a friend of almost 50 years who is a retired, very successful former songwriter in Nashville. He has a platinum record for a song he wrote for Garth Brooks and others such as John Denver, Charlie Pride and even Dianna Ross have recorded my friend's songs. Because of the great reception my original songs received at the jam session I began sending some of them to my friend for a critique. To my utter amazement he began heaping tons of praise on them and letting others, such as a friend of his who wrote 3 hit songs recorded by Vince Gill, hear what I'd been sending him. He eventually gave me a number of contacts in Nashville that led to me getting a request to submit songs for a second album being recorded by a distant cousin of Loretta Lynn. Professional studio musicians are working on arrangements for a couple of them for possible inclusion on this album. This woman signed a deal with Capitol Records right after beginning these recording sessions so it's currently in limbo as details are worked out whether the project will continue in Nashville or LA. Either way I have a shot at being a recorded songwriter.

    I can't tell ya how rewarding it is to be living in the middle of rural Texas horse country and getting to pursue two of my passions, signpainting and music. It's been close to a decade since I dealt with the day to day issues of staying on top of sign production. I long ago lost my deadline awareness facial countenance I still see friends wearing when I visit their sign shops! Whenever your time comes to hang up the daily grind of being in the sign business, I hope you too end up with a "retirement" as rewarding as mine.
     
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  2. Texas_Signmaker

    Texas_Signmaker Very Active Signmaker

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    To save other people some time let me summarize your post for those busy working...........ya got a nice brick home with lots of land... your on the circuit trail and your new album is about to drop with about every big name county artist..... sounds good there Arlo
     
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  3. Johnny Best

    Johnny Best Very Active Member

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    Arlo, didn't you and your wife get into a car accident and were going to come into some money because of your injuries? You got a back injury or something.
     
  4. Arlo Kalon 2.0

    Arlo Kalon 2.0 Very Active Member

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    Yes. We were in a very serious wreck on an Illinois freeway that wasn't our fault and was witnessed by a state trooper. I've had a fusion of vertebrae in my neck and half my spine now has titanium rods and screws in it. The case is headed to court because I didn't feel the settlement amount was enough given the reduction in my quality of life and the constant pain I have. I also had a one of a kind guitar I inherited from a very wealthy friend that was crushed in the wreck. I posted pics of the damage on a guitar forum and somebody there told me about a friend of theirs in Kansas City who restores guitars. I shipped it off to him with little hope he could resurrect it. As it turned out, the guy has to be a supernatural wizard because it's impossible to find the scars from his repair job that preserved all the original matured 36 year old woods. It took him 7 months to do and he only charged $1,500 of the $3,500 the at fault driver's insurance immediately compensated me for it. I wish my neurosurgeon had been as successful as the restoration wizard!
     
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  5. Johnny Best

    Johnny Best Very Active Member

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    Those Insurance Company Lawyers probably have you on film sitting long hours at the craft shows and moving your hands all around rocking on your guitar. And bending over to pick up all that cash off the ground that fell out of your pockets.
     
  6. Moze

    Moze Precision Sign Services

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    I can hook you up with a superb luthier here in the Dallas area if you ever need it...
     
  7. Billct2

    Billct2 Major Contributor

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    Sounds good Arlo...except for the back pain.
     
  8. player

    player Major Contributor

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    Toronto
    All the kids like wrap.
     
    • Hilarious! Hilarious! x 1
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