Day 19 of the Touch with Good challenge
One of the best parts of working as a designer is I get the privilege to be involved with amazing inspiring people and bring their ideas into vision.
Such an example was my lovely friend Katya Georgieva and her project Touch with Good/ kindness (originally in Bulgarian: Докосни с добро). The project is dedicated to sharing the stories of genuine acts of kindness we have experienced from other people, and thus inspiring for MORE kindness in the world and making it a better place.
She got inspiration from the wisdom:
When you do kindness, keep silent. When you receive kindness — tell everyone.
With the new year 2018 Katya started a viral challenge to share such stories 20 days in a row, and somehow… I got “infected”.
So here is my…
Day 19 of the Touch with Good challenge
11 January 2016 г.
I had freshly turned 33. I had just publicly declared in front of the world my intention for the 33 art show. It would consist of 33 watercolours, sized 33х33 cm, each completed by a method passed to me by my dad:
— With eyes closed, you make 33 dots on the blank sheet,
— Connect the dots without intersecting lines
— Search for a meaningful shape within the resulted silhouette
— Sketch up and complete in colour.
The challenge? I named it the Exhibition challenge. And what a challenge, indeed!
I had decided for the date to be 11 March, for 11 х 3 = 33, and I was yet to begin work! This meant within 2 short months I had to complete all 33 watercolours, frame them, organize the event, logistics, setting up, and… I hadn’t negotiated for a gallery yet!! With a slight panic in the corner of my consciousness, I realized it was high time to do so, as most prestigious galleries were booked for months ahead.
My preferences leaned towards Europe Art Gallery — pleasant, high rated, at a prime location… A couple of years before it hosted the presentation of the DVD “Jazz Alternaties” with music by Stanley Stanchev and visuals by myself (read Day 18), but I hadn’t personally met the gallerist, Ellie. During his lifetime Stanley had cultivated friendly relations with her as a frequent visitor of the family art gallery, and now this friendship was extended to his parents Vanyo and Rossi.
Speaking of them, Vanyo and Rossi had already suggested arranging a meeting with Ellie for an introduction and a discussion of a potential art show. However, it was already Monday, and the meeting wouldn’t take place before the end of the week. I decided to take the initiative and reach the gallery directly on the phone, in order to investigate the situation.
I was greeted by a young lady with a pleasant voice introducing herself as the gallery marketing director. I asked her about the dates of interests, as well as of the gallery’s terms and conditions. She politely explained March had been already taken BUT the painter had just called to warn she wouldn’t be able to make it and — as if I’d ordered it — the dates were ultimately vacant!
The general rules, however… apart from the expected 40%-commission included… Fixed rent. THIS I hadn’t foreseen. Combined with the sales commission it would bring to a substantial financial loss from the whole event.
I kindly thanked for the detailed explanation and I hung up. I called up Vanyo and Rossi to inform them obviously the Europe gallery would fall out of the picture for these and these reasons. I would find another venue.
Counted hours later the phone rang and instead of a greeting Rossi started me off with the words:
“Why, Meg, you’re worthy of slapping your butt! How could you not tell them we were the ones who sent you and we were close friends!”
“Welllllllllll…. I did say I had been recommended to call…”
“Being recommended is one thing, and being recommended by US is a whole new story! The lady you talked to is Ellie’s daughter. She was shocked when learning it was you!”
We agreed for a Sunday meeting, straight in the Europe gallery where we would discuss the concept with Ellie and we could negotiate the conditions.
I reached up the gallery through the thick January snow after a night of wild dancing and only an hour of nap after the birthday celebration of a close friend of mine. Ellie was already awaiting me in Vanyo and Rossi’s company.
I had vaguely started work on the watercolours and the humming bird was the farthest gone piece— in the way shown here.
I was a bit ashamed to show it but I was led by the principle some progress is better than no progress at all. As I was explaining with enthusiasm my “brilliant” idea, Ellie replied intrigued:
“Very conceptual! Very conceptual!”
Finally she spoke:
“Yes, it is totally possible to host the show here. You’ll have the two large rooms. Otherwise… The conditions you’ve been given by my daughter on the phone were exactly as she’d quote them to a random stranger in the street. Your presence here would be a gift from the gallery.”
So, the actual part of the Exhibition challenge was on! What happened at the final run-off? Stay tuned for the next and FINAL episode! 😉
NOTE: I did have to pay the 40% sales commission for the gallery; it was the fixed rent that was spared. Nevertheless, it allowed me to cover all expenses, and even make profit from the event.
For more stories visit Meg at JustHowCoolIsThat.com.