Vending

Here’s a little secret for you, whether you’re Allistic/Neurotypical/Non-Autistic, Aspie or Autistic, or anything else – Vending my art or advocacy at events will never cease to terrify me. But because of my love for wit and love of making others laugh, I like to try and gauge the type of venue I’m at, to evaluate the overall “mood”. I prefer ones with a sense of humor, because it makes my scripting come easier. I don’t pre-write a script, but I have general rules for them: who makes the art (a very, very short excerpt, because most people are surprised at how many different materials I work with), why I make the art, and interesting things about the art itself.

Here’s an example from my last venue, and it was somewhat sarcastic, somewhat serious: “Accepting cash, credit, debit, and sacrificial offerings.” It was a big success, getting laughter and return jokes from customers. The sarcasm was in the “sacrificial offerings” part. The serious part was “cash, credit, debit.” It engaged passersby and stimulated conversation that I was myself unwilling to start, so no conversation calculation necessary!

The second example of some engaging wit for customers was “Feel free to touch the artwork, pet it, caress it, tell it how much you love it and that you’d pay anything for it.” I said that because I want people to know it’s ok to touch my artwork, to pick it up and really look at it, to ask questions about my special interest that is creating art.

I hope my examples are able to help other Autistic artisans to come up with ideas on how to engage customers, as well as other artisans who aren’t comfortable engaging or are new to the art scene.

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