Artfest: Lessons for the future

Artfest has been such an important part of my artistic development that its end almost feels like I've lost an eye I didn't even realize I had.
It gave me a new way of looking at my world and my art, even when I wasn't surrounded by my Artfest peeps.
A few valuable lessons I've learned from four joyously creative Artfests:
Ask for help, early and often.  Of all learning environments, this was the place to ask for help when I needed it, but no. When I fell behind, I panicked and made things worse by not asking for help. Not this year. And voila -- no meltdown. Only took four years to learn that one.
No one can buy your art if they don't know you're selling it. Each year, I'd brought art to sell in the Artfest gallery/showcase; each year, I brought it home when it didn't sell. So I assumed my friends knew I wanted to sell mini-collages there this year... and didn't tell anyone about the artwork. They only found out when I mentioned I'd have to take the unsold collages home. One person bought a mini-collage right then and there. Another bought three more later that day. [holsters gun to stop shooting self in the foot]
People will find money for what they really want. See that piece above? A recent college graduate -- and budding art collector -- is purchasing "Greener" on an installment plan. No, he's not making a lot of money right now. But he decided he wanted to have "Greener" because he liked the story behind it, and because it will remind him of me. Well, that's ten different kinds of awesome right there.

I once read when you create a piece of art (visual, written, or otherwise), the work will reveal things about you that you'd never intended to show. The prospect of that kind of exposure is still unnerving. But you know... Artfest also taught me those revelations are valuable to others as well as myself.