Today I am happy to post the last of my interview with Karen, a teddy bear collector who finds her new teddy friends in many ways – online, in stores and at shows - which have been the focus of my Wednesday posts for the last few weeks. You can find the previous ones here and here.
Wouldn’t it be fun to go and play with all of Karen’s bears?
When we left Karen last time, I had asked her if there were things the artists could do to improve the show experience for those attending. This week she answers the question for what the promoter might consider that would add to the collector’s experience.
“Perhaps having more door prizes. At Hunt Valley, I have come to depend on getting my pocket calendar. It’s an absolute must to begin my New Year.”
Check out all these polar bears by Blanche Blakeny.
How about the numbers of shows – are there too many or not enough?
“Well, 2010 was a true test for those of us in the Eastern U.S. In addition to our usual shows and the craft shows some of my favorite artists attend, we had a new show in Chantilly, VA. I personally think it was a supreme success. I know I enjoyed it. Primarily, however, I was picking up orders and only “discovered” two new purchases.”
Meet Josie whose dress is silk. (Also by Blanche Blakeny)
If you heard there was a show that was a long way from you, and money was not an issue for traveling to it, what would draw you to attend that show?
“The artists attending and the sheer experience of a new show not in my usual circuit. Would I go if money were not an object? Absolutely!”
These detailed cats were created by Karen Lyons.
How do you hear about shows and how do you decide which ones to attend?
“The bear collecting community is a close one. I hear from magazines, word of mouth from collector friends, and the internet. I have my usual circuit of shows—Timonium, Hunt Valley, TBAI, and two Craftsman Classic shows.”
Karen made these bears in a class taught by Marjan Jorritsma.
Do the artists’ advertisements in teddy bear magazines influence you?
“Not really, although I do love seeing what the artists are creating, and of course, it’s good name recognition for the artist.”
Do the show advertisements and announcements in the magazines keep you informed of upcoming shows?
“Yes, I like seeing those and considering if I might attend a new show. Generally, though, I stick to the shows I know and love.”
I would like to thank Karen for sharing her thoughts and photos of some of the bears in her collection. Shows are just one way that artists and collectors connect – a very fun one! And with this age of technology there are even more ways that collectors can find new bears (& friends) to add to their hug. I am especially fond of meeting artists from other countries and seeing new and different styles of bear artistry via the Internet.
I hope you have enjoyed reading about shows from a collector’s point of view. Speaking with Karen sure has made my Wednesdays interesting! It has also given me some ideas for future posts. Right now, I’m off to do more sewing. Bears can be rather impatient when they can talk but they can’t walk!