07/21/2004: "Hairy Encounter / Hair-brained Idea?"
Walking up to the university from the parking lot this morning I almost got run over by a young deer. It ran past me so closely on that I could have touched it. Now, deer may not seem very exotic to most of you, but they are fairly rare here in Juneau. I have seen *way* more bears, eagles, and whales than Iíve seen deer. Plus, Iíve never seen one that close before. It was raining really hard out too, and when I came to the little clearing near the entrance to the library, he was still standing there, so close, looking like a post card. No one else was around and it made me feel profoundly happy, even though my magic moment caused me to become quite drenched.
Photo my co-worker Lori took of the deer that nearly ran me down
In other news, I have this idea and Iím wondering if itís a good idea or a stupid idea so I need a little feedback. Juneau is a tourist destination spot that gets nearly a million visitors a year. I was thinking that I next summer I could try and hold little week-long artist retreats in my house. I have a small but very cute guest bedroom with its own little fridge, a microwave, cable TV with DVD player, a private bathroom, walk in closet, queen sized bed, etc.
I could advertise private instruction in areas such as painting, building gallery wrapped canvases, how to take professional slides, PhotoShop, web development, etc. depending on the personís interests. They could spend the afternoons working in the ďstudioĒ (I have two easels and tons of materials) or they could use the time to do all the touristy things that Juneau has to offer, Iím in downtown Douglas, just a 5 minute bus ride from downtown Juneau. The instruction can take place in the evenings and on the weekend. Iím a friendly person and I think it would be fun to meet new artists in this way. I can screen potential guests ahead of time to make sure theyíre not dangerous, and could book either an individual or a couple.
Iíd work it out so that the fees would be for art materials and instruction, not for housing (theyíd be my guest) that way my regular business license would suffice rather than having to get certified as a bed and breakfast, which I hear is a real nightmare. I can take photos of Juneau, my house, the "studio" area, the guest room, myself, etc. and put together a slick looking add, put a link to it from my web site...I'm not sure what to charge, I was thinking 500 for the week and they'd have to pay for their own transportation and meals. It would be less expensive than the price of a standard hotel room in Juneau for a week (over a hundred dollars a day during the summer).
Anyway, do you think there would be any market for such a thing or does it sound silly? I guess Iím pretty determined to find ways to put my artistic skills to work for me.