11/10/2004: "Art show guestbooks"
I was diagnosed with inflamatory arthristis when I was still in my early mid 20s (I'm convinced it's related to all the toxins I ingested in the printmaking lab). Most of the time it's only an annoyance, I can still hike up mountains in the summer, ski during the winter, etc. but when i have a flare up, it is often so bad that I can barely move. Well, yesterday I could feel one coming on and by last night I was hobbling around the house moving 2 inches at a time like a 90 year old recovering from hip surgery.
I won't be able to go into work today, I can barely type this as my fingers are so swollen I can't close either of my hands. Lying in bed last night I was in so much pain I couldn't sleep and couldn't stop worrying about what if this condition gets worse, what if it gets to a point where I can't paint anymore, a constant and ongoing fear of mine.
So to cheer myself up I went through and savored every single comment from my last guestbook; I tried to dicipher signitures, found email addresses of people I never contacted who said they wanted prints, basked in the warm sentiments of friends and strangers alike. I can't tell you how much it lifted my spirits.
I still have every guestbook from every show. If you haven't had one before, you really should. Ask a couple friends to start it off for you by writing personal comments because if someone starts it off just signing their name others often continue to do the same thing, which is really boring. Also, as you go around and make chit chat with everyone, tell them where the guestbook is and ask them to sign it. You'll maybe feel like a needy whore at the time but you'll be happy you did in the end!
By the way, I'm curious how many of you already keep guestbooks...also, does anyone know if artists have guestbooks at upscale galleries or if it's considered tacky?