The Independent Artist Podcast

The Boss/ Betty Jäger

February 28, 2022 Douglas Sigwarth/ Will Armstrong/ Betty Jäger Season 2 Episode 4
The Independent Artist Podcast
The Boss/ Betty Jäger
Show Notes Transcript

Join co-hosts Douglas Sigwarth and Will Armstrong, professional working artists who talk with guests about ART & SELLING.  Douglas talks about his reactions to The Coconut Grove Arts Festival. Other topics include removing cheaters from the show, emerging artists, and friends on the road.

Welcome to the pod this week Betty Jäger, from Minneapolis, MN. Betty is a "Magic Jewelry Gremlin" who "makes space" for those who have typically been marginalized. Her laugh is infectious as is her call to action. Her talk will leave you inspired to operate "six feet above" and find "common ground," even if it's on the water in the "back of a dingy."

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welcome to the independent artist podcast sponsored by the National Association of Independent Artists also
sponsored by zapplication I'm will Armstrong and I'm a mixed media artist I'm Douglas sigworth class blower join
our conversations with professional working artists
hahaha welcome to the show everybody I am back from Miami and I don't know where the
hell I am actually will how are you doing uh I'm doing fine I haven't gone anywhere I'm I'm right here in my
daughter's bedroom my ex has been on the road with her artwork selling down at Florida she's been gone for a month so
my uh daughter's Studio slash room definitely looks like she's been here for a month all right well it's not a
video podcast so uh that's totally fine nor is it smell-o-vision thank the Lord
I need a shower well you just got back from walking those dogs yeah that uh they won't be
skipping around needing your attention for a little while here so that's good news you know it was coldest day of the
year honestly out there the winds are like 30 miles an hour and it's 15 out there so it's like uh Minnesota
Wisconsin weather out there so oh no don't even get me started so listen Okay
I was in Miami yesterday morning we drove up to Tampa we flew home we landed
about nine o'clock but winter weather storm advisory vehicles in the ditch
everywhere we couldn't even come home so we had one more night in a hotel in Minneapolis oh oh man yeah 30 miles from
our house if you stay out at the airport yep we stayed at the airport so we got a hotel and we got an Uber at like five in
the morning to try and beat rush hour because we had to get home for some stuff today good Lord and that was
taking our lives into our own hands I'll tell you why the the roads still a little treacherous they were terrible
and the driver I think he was kind of pissed that he accepted a job that took him way away from the airport I mean he
had to go 30 40 miles so he was still going freeway speeds and were fish
tailing and both Renee and I were thinking we were going to end up stuck in the ditch somewhere yeah and then
what do you do I it's tough that's I mean you had stuff to get home do you guys ever stay down
in Florida in between shows like what's your next show how long is the break it's only a week uh we're back for
Gasparilla um so we have one weekend off okay do you guys ever stay down and and do uh the vacation thing in between
shows it's all different because before kovid Renee wasn't consistently on the
road with me because we had children who well our youngest still needed her around right and then right when covet
hit he was old enough that he didn't need Mom around to keep everything in line and together so gotcha thank you
she got yeah so she got sidelined there so this is really kind of our first full year of everywhere we go it's together
as partnership all right she's sick of you yet she has every reason to be sick of me but uh she hasn't shown any uh
so do I oh okay fine I'll just go crawl under a
rock somewhere no not at all not at all so you're back from Coconut Grove it's
nice to see you what um how was the show you had a had a pretty good weekend Recon was good I have no complaints I
had a good drive I should say I had an uneventful drive after that uh last uh
trip we did out to California I think we we banked all of the road drama for a lifetime so guys I've said to others
don't get cocky all right the universe is lying in weight we are waiting to
give you that uh that one-two punch when you feel like you're in the clear well our good friend who wasn't in the clear
was Ben Frye his van broke down in Orlando yeah no did he have to rent one
in Orlando to get the rest of the way yes so it turns out his van is dead man
walking but yeah he was so close and yet so far he wasn't able to set up until
the morning of the show oh my God yeah it was a nightmare waiting for tow truck
and getting the to the bottom of what was wrong with it but he did it you know what though I also saw a really fancy
bright blue ribbon in his Booth by the end of the weekend too so uh with great
Trouble Comes great reward I guess yeah it was really well deserved his work is
just amazing and I saw the image of the booth shot and everything with the with the blue ribbon everything show looks
nice with a nice big blue ribbon on it a shiny ribbon on it yeah he's doing he did good and I was happy to be near him
and Camille and our next door neighbors for Hana and Rod were just such Pleasant
people did you just name drop the show director by first name without her laugh asked that's Camille and we had tea no
ice you know that Ben has a girlfriend named Camille hmm I did not know she was
there do you get to meet her yes uh-huh nice so as we know our good friend in uh
artist company say he says he never has to do this in his personal life he never has to say me and Camille and then
clarify it's not the director of Coconut Grove it is my girlfriend Camille
but yeah so so that's how you got the best in show way to go big
but yeah so the um farahana and Rod wonderful kind people we could just sit
and have these awesome conversations all weekend which we did so that was a nice time excellent I love those guys uh they
are up in the mountains of Virginia Rod uh had such complimentary things to say
about the podcast and he did let me know will that your scripts are [ __ ] and that
he does believe that I need to to stop giving you all of the the mean lines hmm
that's just that's the part I play I'm gonna break down the third wall
well good sounded like you have a nice little neighborhood there in Coconut Grove was it one long road this year did
they change the layout a little bit uh layout was pretty similar the only thing that it was fewer exhibitors so we were
more spaced out and I think there were typically two rows of booths down Panama
is it Pan Am or Pan American I think yeah anyway so it was a single row down yep nope it was good and
apparently the show was cursed by a witch huh okay tell me more well so
Loden was a little tricky Camille love Camille name dropped the show director
again if I if I may give us our last name if we're gonna name drop let's go first and last you want me to Massacre
her last name you do yeah put it on us okay Camille I apologize if I mispronounced your name I'm gonna
pronounce it Camille marches she's been laying out chills for Winter Park for 20 some years so this isn't her
first rodeo But but so she took over at the Grove and the setup there was a
section of the show where the spreadsheet went haywire and the booth numbering was wrong you can anticipate
what kind of troubles that's gonna give when you know the first two artists set up and then the other ones come and they
don't have a spot and it's chaos yeah right on Down the Line yeah so she did her absolute best she understands it's a
it's a shitty situation for artists to come into and she did her best to try and solve it and be reasonable and make
accommodations and but that was a pretty hard thing at setup and then she gets
home and she's got this long email from
a woman who says she is a witch and she's put a curse on the show it literally goes on for pages and Pages
this woman says her name is Sandra ramillian and she's a Haitian witch
living in Lauderdale I don't want any I don't want any of this I don't even know
if I want to hear anymore okay uh so why is she angry at the show it's basically crazy ramblings but it just happened to
coincide with this funky setup deal but the next day the show opens and things
were were good and everything went off pretty flawlessly from that point on so obviously this is just the ramblings of
insanity coming through but it just you're like oh I'm glad I wasn't there
so the witch-made setup goes slightly Askew a couple of numbers that were off uh our boy Ben's van broke down but
besides that you know did she make the portageons run out of toilet paper or the water run blood well one of the
problems you end up having when the the people coming through the gate are higher than normal is you know you start
going through the vital services like toilet paper a lot faster than uh than
as planned so yes the uh the sanitation services were having a little trouble
keeping up with the masses let's just say all right the mass of the masses all
right sounds good yeah I don't know I wouldn't know how to run a show but you got to have empathy for the people that do yeah all I know about portageons is I
don't want them next to my booth for sure and no they were but they were placed in their normal spots that was
all fine you need to have a cool level-headed director who problems are going to happen and you just have to
deal with them head on you're kind of know that people are gonna be mad that there's no toilet paper in the in the Portage Jones or you're gonna know that
some mistake is going to happen and you've got to put out a lot of fires and uh one big fire that got put out at the
Grove this weekend which people are talking about online is there was an artist who wasn't in his
Booth selling his own work he was at another show with a rep in the booth and
so he was double dipping he got busted double dipping yep he got sent packing I
was talking to my wife earlier today and that's what happens when you have cheaters and you have people behind the scenes that may not speak up yeah
they're gonna be upset about the things going forward it's like I know Jewelers who uh import their stuff and it just
hasn't really been proven you've got people who are double dipping and trying to show at Naples and at Coconut Grove
you have watercolor or oil artists who are jurying in under digital it's all a
short-sighted business model and it it had me thinking the burden of doing that
is that a lot of those guys just don't have any friends like they can't be honest with other people you know you
can't really tell people what you're doing you're not gonna be like like if I have a i crushed it at uh Fall by you
and you and I are friends and we got to talk about it I just had another big sale from that and it's like okay my
business model is all on the up and up so I don't have to hide anything from my friends yeah and I get to actually have
friends and be honest with them so you're not constantly covering your lies they have to operate like an island keep
all the stories straight so they don't get out and it's just exhausting you know you have people backstage rooting
for you to fail constantly and that guy that that uh and I don't want to mention him by name but the guy that got booted
from The Grove is apparently busy at work scrubbing his show schedule from
his website and he's gotten himself in trouble so uh he's in the soup and it
was caused by himself it's like the rules are clear no double dipping don't send reps so you got busted don't act
like you're not doing it or you haven't ever done it or whatever it it happened and don't freaking do it and understand
that people are gonna be pissed at you when you do or not give a rip if you fall you know right I mean I don't know
what the guy's situation is we walk a mile in each other's shoes and who knows what has pushed the sky to the brink but
if you know on the front page it just seems like greed you know yeah you look at it by the surface value it's like oh
well it's just greedy and you're trying to do more and that's not what this business is about it's about the personal connections that we make with
our clientele and you can't do that with a rep and cheater's gonna go yeah they gotta go down sorry yep so and I think
it brings up good conversations I mean it showed that we had a director who was
willing to follow their rules there are a lot of directors who are afraid of that confrontation afraid of backlash
afraid of what if they get it wrong and how can we create systems that can make
it a little easier for these directors and it's a good conversation that's going on on the NAIA Forum so anyone who
wants to jump on Facebook and read and participate and jump in on that I think it's a good conversation moving forward
on how to tackle this problem yeah it's a great conversation and I think it's kind of funny because right now you have
two kinds of artists you have well right here on the podcast you got my boy
Douglas who is headed out down south with his lovely wife Renee to sell the
work that they've been cranking out all winter and they are just knee-deep and art shows and production and doing the
thing then you have artists like me who are trying to make work in the studio who don't have a show until March or
April who have a little bit of time on their hands so it's interesting to see like the Facebook it starts spiking in
the red like this time of year when people aren't quite out on the shows and so the people that are because I got the
time on their hands and yeah you get time on their hands to get a little shitty I'm gonna dig down deep and it's
like you know what I'm gonna be the one that makes a stand so you're seeing some people make some stands and get some
work done to kind of weed out some of the cheaters nobody likes cheaters I
just want to say that you having that time on your hands you did a really good thing with helping and emerging kind of
a brand new artist at the Grove get their feet wet and have a successful first event at a good show like that so
you know that I appreciate you bringing that up and I do have a lot of plans
with the NAIA with the emerging artists program the emerging artist program is
not in the future going to look like will holds your hand it tells you how to rent rope panels and
it tells you how many zip ties you're gonna need hey everybody will is going to read the packets for you and tell you
exactly what's in the packet I'm not I am not but you know we talked about
Camille a little bit and we're pumping her up because she just had a great first Grove you know it's not her first
rodeo but she really cared about this kid and he got juried into the show and
he'd never even been to an art show so it's not always gonna be ground up
mm-hmm you know I mean it's not always going to be like well here's a picture of an art show uh but that's the way
this guy was and uh from all tell he had a had a really good weekend so well that's good I mean you you helped get
him the foundational tools you know the the display and get him set up and give him the tips that he might need and then
he could make the rest of it happen so yeah that's really great I'm really happy you did that well I mean it's
about the Next Generation and trying to keep the the wheels on our industry because I want to keep doing this
probably for another 20 years you've been doing this for a while uh we've
seen shows come and go we've seen show shows that don't want to do it anymore we've seen shows that have circled the
drain the shows that used to be excellent so I that are no longer excellent they've they've let their
um Quality slip that we don't attend any longer but uh one thing I found kind of
interesting this weekend which I hadn't had before I don't know if people have
are so used to like ubereats or saying Hey I want this and it's going to be
delivered to me but I was getting text and phone calls from my card saying hey
hey I was at the show and you had this one piece for 150 yeah can you just
drive that up to Boca Raton and drop that off for me and I'll be like um no uh actually you can order that on
our website yeah but I don't want to pay shipping so they want you to spend sixty dollars in gas I had five or six people
that I funneled onto the website and they had to pay for shipping but yeah they were all they wanted me to like do
the rounds now this isn't like going to hang a cluster of 2500 dollar wall
grouping or something this is like a hundred and fifty dollar piece so how much does it cost to make Douglas stance
if you're not interested there is a threshold right yeah mine is like yeah
mine is like my wingspan if it's bigger than my wingspan then I'll uh then I'm I'm uh no you know you can fit that
under your arm and walk it to the car so Will's not delivering it but if it's wide enough for the arms to be wide
you'll you'll bring it to them absolutely no that that is a interesting question it's like well what do you you
know what I I will typically do um and you can probably do this with with Renee being there is like just find
the closest entrance yeah and a lot of times people will be like when they do buy a big piece or just I mean I don't
really sell too many small ones but um you know they're buying a nice piece for me I just asked them we're like well how
do you how do you want it to your car you can carry it or you know you just bought a nice piece of artwork no reason
to carry it yourself yeah for sure they're like well you'll just walk away from your booth I'm like yeah it's not
like you're a jeweler or something where yeah that's gonna walk away that's my 2D
privilege speaking again well speaking of Jewelers you had a pretty uh
interesting exciting talk with your friend Betty Yeager from Minneapolis Minnesota yep got Betty on this weekend
talking about a little privilege we're gonna get hot we got a hot one Douglas okay okay so this is the point in the
show where we are we offer the disclaimer where we say that the viewpoints of our guests are of theirs
alone they do not reflect either of the hosts they may or may not reflect the
whole neighbor they may not yup you're trying to wiggle
out of being a 50 year old cisgendered white male Douglas that's what you're doing oh am I
now he's dancing ladies and gentlemen no we just want to let everybody know that
uh she has some opinions which we love and we find really refreshing that she speaks her mind and has her opinions but
it's not going to make everybody feel comfortable and so it is okay to disagree but it is not necessary
necessarily the opinions of our sponsors or the neia or zap you know what we're
trying to cover ourselves in case somebody disagrees but nobody's always going to agree with every point that our
guests make what's great about Betty is you're going to catch a different side a different view of somebody that you
might not necessarily know and that's what I love about the podcast we're sitting down and talking to people that
just dig a deep and getting to know people and that's what I want to do with my conversations is just to let another
voice be heard so if you want to talk about things uh use our Facebook page you can jump on and start a topic keep
it friendly keep it fresh we will be I don't know we love interacting with the the listeners and interacting with our
fellow artists again we're just doing this for fun and to get the voices heard in every story that we talk to there is
something about it there's some kernel that really encapsulates us as a
community and what I love about your talk with with Betty is that she really has like no apologies she will say I am
blatantly supporting the community that has always had my back and I think that loyalty and that respect is awesome and
and she has that right we all have that right to make decisions for ourselves as Independent Artists as Independent
Business people making a living so it was really cool and really fun what a fun personality to to hear her story
yeah she's an amazing human and I'm looking forward to you guys hearing the talk
forward to the blowback
independent artist podcast is called [ __ ] you here's Betty
all right here we are Betty Yeager from Minneapolis Minnesota
this episode of The Independent artist podcast is brought to you by zap the digital application service where
artists and art festivals connect I see here there are some new features with the events list category through zap
which will help us with looking up new shows to fill a spot in our schedule you know I feel like I should have something
to say but I wasn't really listening to you because I'm looking at the events list right now and it's pretty cool okay
so you drop the menu down and there at the bottom go scrolling all the way about third thing down in the smaller
print it just says events list that's right all of the shows appear here regardless of their application deadline
you can use filtering and sorting to narrow down your search to find the
right show that fills your desired time frame or location I know a lot of people love that calendar I like seeing the
list of events I like scrolling through and doom scrolling late at night it's like online dating they don't let you
swipe left or right but you can figure out who you want to date coming up here it's my buddy
good to see your face how are you I'm good let me uh start this recording the
room sounds good let's do a little test testes testes one two three all right we're gonna have a good time
so how you been good yeah no okay you doing okay everything uh how's life
okay you know it's weird in the bubble but uh All Things Considered I don't
have too many complaints yeah I mean you are in a bubble like you're not doing shows at all are you
no no one can hear you shake your head no that's this is a podcast no no you're
not doing anything did you even apply for anything no yeah are you are you bummed about that
yeah I mean you can still apply to some [ __ ] yeah it's true sometimes I mean I don't
know it's like I worked so hard to get into those shows that I was doing and now it's been two years since I've
applied to anything and part of me feels like I don't have to reinvent the wheel but it's like I probably should get new
jury shots I should probably be applying with things that haven't sold do you
really think that's the case I don't know I feel like I finally got a good photographer and I finally got good
images but those pieces are God knows where anymore right some of them are are
completely gone just poof who knows walk away
what I love about you is like I remember well we first met but then I knew you
were at ACC Baltimore and I was there helping my wife Susan elnora jewelry set her work up and Susie just looks her
head up she goes Betty's here and I was like what and I'm like she goes listen and then we listen
and that's when we heard like three aisles over I like Betty's coming and then it was like a thunderstorm it got a
little louder and I'm like oh yeah here she comes it's coming it's yeah and you're a force I mean and that's the
thing you're a social Force too and so it it kind of freaks me out that you're not out there doing shows you've totally
reinvented yourself as far as who you sell to and and how do you do it how to
get the goods yeah but you don't seem to be having any trouble no let let people know where to find me
they know how to find me how how'd you do it I think it's because I only sold in person once upon a time I don't have
a website my website's a Tumblr that I haven't touched and in two years maybe I think the other day
somebody was like yeah your website's not working and I'm like what website right there's a reason that's not
working it doesn't exist yeah it's basically a page with my contact info I think that putting myself in that
position once upon a time when I was doing shows has only helped me yeah make a little scratch I never wanted a
website where you could just go and see my entire collection of work uh I didn't
even know how to ship [ __ ] before the pandemic so I told everyone that I only
shipped through FedEx as a deterrent because it would cost them 96 dollars to have something shipped nice Tuesday's
over that's not the case anymore thank you USPS you have not lost any of my packages and I love you not yet you're
right don't get cocky yeah I know but that's what I love about you too it's like there's something very kind of punk
rock uh rock and roll about your work uh about your Imaging about the way you go
about your business and what I think is cool about that is that you refuse to kind of change that even though you've
had to change your your business model yeah uh I've always kind of done what I
wanted you could probably ask Susie to attest to that because she's known me
for almost 20 years right and you know it's like if you want a boogie you gotta
pay the band but I'm the band and I'm the Boogie machine so like
it's not going to be hard to title this episode
so I mean yeah I mean it's like you're out there on Instagram I've always felt
um and I think you're the same way that if you want me you gotta meet me and
it's it's like we have to have a personal connection and if I'm having a shitty show then I'm looking at myself
and be like well I'm sitting in my chair my arms are crossed uh I'm not engaging with anybody I'm not particularly
likable uh okay get off your ass get up engage with the people open it up yeah
and be yourself you know and how are you doing that online I think I'm still
following my own rules you know uh for the longest time I feel like I've heard
you got to do this you gotta post every day you gotta you gotta make reels you gotta do hashtags and it's like I don't
have to do any of that if I don't want to and you can follow that if you want because it works for other people
but I think as artists we all started doing this because we didn't want to
have a [ __ ] boss I know right want to have somebody telling us what to do when to do it and what pot to
[ __ ] in and I still that whole thing of you got an audience fall and let them
catch you right and that continues to work and you know I don't make normal
[ __ ] and I don't work with normal people and no I've always had that freak flag flying pretty high and I think it just
got a little higher you definitely have and that's what I love about you and that's what I loved
about you immediately when I met you and it's like it took you about 20 minutes I feel like when you came on the art show
scene before people really knew you and and were like oh my God you know Betty Yeager oh my God
and that's what I missed like you're kind of a younger up and coming badass and then all of a sudden you're not
doing it anymore it's like um do you think you'll get back to it are you just enjoying what you're oh absolutely I
hate this [ __ ] I hate being by myself I don't have an audience it's like you know we make this cool stuff and that in
person banter learning about new people and learning about new experiences and being
able to share your stories with people and see where you have similar Landing
points or touch points I miss human beings I miss my friends I mean I went to Des Moines and I didn't tell anyone
because I just wanted to see my friends and get some [ __ ] hugs that was amazing you came down from the Twin
Cities area you're up your Studios up there and you drop down to Des Moines for the day and I think you just did a
one like down and back you didn't even hang and party with us later did you I didn't part of it was like I don't know
if I have become such a Luddite and such a homebody I didn't know what would
happen to me when I got around a bunch of people like yeah pandemic yes but also as a
single human being who's like three really close friends moved away during the pandemic like I didn't know if I
still had it and I didn't know if I still wanted to be around that many people because student and art fairs
that's a lot of people that's not just like four people rolling through my studio in a four hour time period yeah I
missed shows I miss my friends I miss meeting new people I miss learning new stuff how'd that feel for you was it was
it weird was it like like get back into the public and walk in the street and because we don't give a [ __ ] about the
masks outside and anything else because it was like it's like no pandemic Des Moines was on yeah yeah no no yeah no
rules no regulations just kind of raw dog in it [Laughter]
I think that's their new city motto actually
and raw dogging in Des Moines I never even applied because I didn't
quote unquote professional tent so I was like ah you know maybe one day I'll go visit it and see what it's all about
Susie showed up in a uh in an easy up I think and they moved her to a rental but they uh yeah they're particular those
Des Moines uh storms are no joke I mean storms are no joke and I think they're only getting worse but it's not like I'm
coming coming in hot with a Walmart tent I mean and then these shows a million
times and I do it as safe as possible you know yeah and when I have to set up
my jewelry and it takes me three hours in the morning to do that and an hour to put it away at night the last thing I
want to do is spend an extra three hours putting up a [ __ ] tent yep I hear you but you're safe you're out there and if
the weather wants you the weather takes you yeah right wind that's one thing I don't miss is [ __ ] wind wind can eat
my ass uh you know I used to love wins I used
to love sitting up and now it's just like now it gives me heart palpitations I'm like oh come on and at our age we
don't need any more of that [ __ ] no we don't right I said I had this one I'll
tell you a quick story and I want to make it about me this this one's about you but I was doing Greenville artist beer and I was up at the top of the hill
and I was between kind of between two buildings so it was creating a wind tunnel anyway and then when a storm came
through it forced through the wind and I'm hanging my big dumb ass off the top of the tent and I'm going like Captain
Ahab yeah look at take me and I'm screaming Against the Wind and it's like
it's everything's cutting in I look behind me there's a burger joint and if I let go of the tent it's going to go
right into the porch where all these you know 50 people are hanging and I'm never going to be able to work again because
I'm going to be sued and I'm sitting there hanging and I realize like the storm is over just as quick as it began
and I realized that only me was affected so I'm just hanging on this tent like a
Maniacs agreement and everybody else is like what's his [ __ ] problem what is his problem it's just it's a little
drizzle what you got in your coffee Mr Armstrong that's right people people ask
it man hey speaking of what's in your coffee this is how I picture you working you got a joint in the corner of your
mouth you're squinning against the smoke you got a hammer in your hand and you're just like [ __ ] let's go she's like
yeah I worked with her how's the weed work for you in your working process I know you're a fan
fantastically yeah you know I got a bunch of different strains that do a
bunch of different [ __ ] for me I got some edibles I do not drink when I am
making jewelry I did it once on accident and I have permanent nerve damage in my thumb
I don't even drink that much anymore because it was such a social activity but we'd keep some steady I don't know
how my hands are so steady with how much coffee I drink it's great it's not like it it's doing the work for me I'm an
occasional smoker very rarely and I remember you passed something on to me at one show and I went out on the back
porch and I smoked it and I did not sleep that night I was like my head was going a million miles an hour I feel
like I was hanging out with Snoop Dogg and Willie Nelson and I just was like Jesus
yeah I can't what the [ __ ] was that I gotta remember that my strains are very
strong yeah brother what's happening
not at all but it made me aware of the fact that you know I'm not sitting
around with my friends playing music and hanging out and just whatever this is a
different thing like what are you smoking Betty it's a steady strain of stativa when I'm at the studio really uh
I think I probably have a very special pH in my body of ADD ADHD uh you know a
little seasonal depression uh right I don't mean to laugh I'm totally with you
no everyone's got their different [ __ ] man certain medicines never done a damn
thing for me except for get me high in the way that I don't want to and growing
up in Washington state that I think the THC might have just been in my bloodstream and it might have been I
don't I don't really do anything else every once in a while have a little shot of whiskey sure but that stativa isn't
active ingredient right is that like so you've got two different strains of weed you get sativa which is a little more
active and then you got Indica which means into couch probably puts most folks to sleep or
relaxes them I drink coffee I mean I've always kept weird hours and I finally
come to a point where I'm like I should have no shame about getting up at noon
or one and just [ __ ] keeping those wheels turning until two or three in the
morning there's there's uh something about the night time that feels like the right time for me to be
creating almost like I'm like a magic jewelry Gremlin just like stoking the
fire all night long Rumpelstiltskin and you wake up in the morning and you get a pile of jewels
pretty much sometimes that does happen I'll work through the night and go home
because I'm tired and come back and be like who made this that's amazing see like I have to stop like I'm I think I'm
the weirdo and I've mentioned this before but I I work Bankers hours and I don't know what that's about but like
that's when I feel my most productive and then like I am just this weird nine to five guy and that that's like that
kind of fits the model I guess for me but I just do it and then that's so weird yeah but the light affects me too
and I hope it doesn't you but like that I can't work late at night really the light changes I don't like that I prefer
more of the natural light for finishing and I don't know it's tough there's definitely like I don't like do I have
any rules I tend to not set diamonds at nighttime because the daylight is much better so
you can really see like what the stones are doing and I also tend to not work on customers jewelry late at night in case
something wild happens so like custom stuff yeah so I'm just
like letting my freak flag fly late at night and it works for me how do you balance custom work being kind of mostly
an online guy and doing the [ __ ] that you want to do because that custom work takes me 10 times longer than the [ __ ]
that I want to make yeah or even the perception of it like oh God I gotta do this stuff and you I think about it for
a month and I think about how hard it's going to be and then I do it and it takes me an hour and I'm like what do you what are you [ __ ] around for like
yeah but that's work you were working right I mean I mean it's all work that
whole like do something you love and it never feels like a day where that's [ __ ] but also like I love what I do
and I think at this point I can confess that it does come pretty naturally getting weird and trying stuff someone
recently told me that I have a gift and that is not being afraid of [ __ ]
up um I'm like I don't I don't care like as long as I'm not melting down the same
thing in the same way as long as I learned from each mistake I'm not scared of making mistakes I'm not scared of
losing time materials is a different thing if I break the one carat diamond
well yeah there's tears right definitely but your
work is not you know we're not talking about Dave gilletti here we're talking about Betty Yeager there's something wide open about your work Dave has this
Precision that's very like if one line is out of place then you know it if
you're looking at his work whereas your work it's like one line is out of place [ __ ] you here's another one it's more
like jazz or if something is too symmetrical I'm like oh I don't like you I gotta [ __ ] you up I gotta like toss
you across the room this is bugging me like right those two things next to each
other look like eyeballs or titties I can't stand it like so with the that custom work is there
that pressure because it's somebody else's perception of your work or do you still get to go wide open I think that I
have curated a really cool clientele base and it is very very few and far between
where I have a client that is so rigid that is like I need this this way and I need this color diamond in this exact
size and I think that I have taken so much time in finding my people and
having conversations with them before starting the project where I can say hey
this is a really good idea I want to make sure that you're not concrete on having this 90 degree angle here and if
you just give me a little artistic freedom I promise I won't make something that sucks that's amazing like standing
in front of my work people can see what I do they can kind of see that there's no actual formula to
it and if you try and put me in a box it's not gonna work no that's not going to go well for
anybody so let's talk about your people you know you're you're mostly online now is it mostly just Instagram yeah I sell
on Instagram through my stories about once a month or so
some things happen to me in my formative years of working with Susie at Studio Vincent where I saw a couple really
talented artists at the beginning of the internet get totally ripped off like a
company be like we're gonna do this great thing we're gonna put everything online in a shopping cart and you can
just push buttons and someone copied all their designs Mass manufactured them in
China and made cheap shitty replicas that was the early 2000s yeah brutal and
let's get the [ __ ] out of me not like I'm so cool everyone's gonna copy me but more so like I don't want one of my
clients wearing my rings going out into public and seeing someone with a cheap replica of it yeah and so that's one of
the reasons why I don't want a website with I mean it would be like for me it would be like standing naked in front of
a bunch of straight white CIS people I don't I don't I don't want it all out
there yeah I hear you so okay you but you're
putting it out on Instagram and you're doing your stories um are these people that found you on Instagram or the people that met you in
person you kind of cultivate relationships and then they follow you through Instagram yes
got it everything all the time a little bit of both also I feel like
uh something I've always said and I've always believed is I get my best clients through my best clients I'm never really
spent a dime on advertisements and so if I have a good client that will treat
them well I will make sure they get the really good [ __ ] or first dips on a new batch of diamonds uh I'm not talking
discounts but like cultivating a relationship and when I send them a package be like hey there's like three
business cards in there if you don't mind put one in your wallet because you obviously really dig my [ __ ] and you're
gonna tell your male person or your sister-in-law or some stranger on the
street that's like what the [ __ ] is that right on yeah so this is why I wanted to
talk to you too about this because like there's no set way I mean you could do
the Betty way you got enough work you're turning [ __ ] down you're turning down the custom work my Customs have been
closed for eight months amazing and do you they're not really closed
though right can can I eat food no a cute queer person is like hey I want to propose to my sweetie and I'm like [ __ ]
yeah straight people out of the way you get wow sorry you always tag your stuff
not at all never you don't apologize you Nev you always tag yourself queer artist
why is that important it's taking care of a community that's always been pushed
to the side taking care of our own I don't know I'm I'm the [ __ ] boss I think that
visibility is really important I think taking care of the community that's
always taking care of me is really important and also maybe to keep my DMs
free and clear of people being like hey hey lady hello ladies yeah don't [ __ ]
call me a lady I got your lady uh right here like right but inclusivity is super important to
you and it is on a broader scale and it's like um here I am doing the podcast you know
Douglas and I were born one day apart in 1970. we found that out later so here we
are a couple of 51 year old white dudes making our art and we want to be more
inclusive what do we do to make things a little bit more inclusive too you learn you read some books you get the access
to the same [ __ ] I do that's why when people like how do you learn that it's like open your [ __ ]
ears and pay attention to what's going on and you decide what's important in your world and you decide how you're
going to include other people and make sure that black people and brown people and queer people and trans people and
Ace people have a space in what you're doing instead of definitely catering to
an audience that has always been catered to the world is run by Rich white straight cisgender dudes and their time
is [ __ ] up they've had their Spotlight and if one aging queer
cisgendered woman that be me can make people feel a little more special in this [ __ ] up world I'm
gonna do it I'm gonna go out of my way to make sure that you know their lights a little brighter
they gotta save space even if it is on the internet like whatever we make our
own rules I feel like my parents always taught me rule number one don't be an [ __ ]
like that's the DNA like that's the Baseline don't be an [ __ ] it's pretty
[ __ ] hard no it's not and it's also really easy to be an [ __ ] and close yourself off into a bubble and not learn
and I think that sounds lonely and boring and I got the lonely part covered I'm just
trying to make sure I'm not boring you're definitely not boring daddy you've never been boring
Clifton Henry earlier episode I can't remember if he said this to me on the podcast but it's like you can't love
Black Culture if you don't love black folks it's such a great bass line too
but it's it seems so simple but so many people [ __ ] it up yeah I mean it's easy
to close yourself off from the world and be like no what I know and I'm good with it and I'm just like yeah I want to
learn new [ __ ] every day I'm six feet above not six feet under like yeah why
would you not wanna grow more and learn more and try and be a better person for the people in your
life and also for the people on the outskirts of your life what people you don't even [ __ ] know you don't have
to know somebody to try and take care of them you don't have to know someone personally to want to make sure that
they're going to be okay like it's not that hard to be a good person I think it takes more effort to be a closed off
[ __ ] amen it really does all right nice taxi good night everybody
[Laughter] one of the things that I love about you
bringing that inclusivity into your work and into your posts on Instagram is that
a lot of times when you do those sales you you like to give back to the community you know and you have these
things and you're like you're bringing that back like talk to me a little bit about that and and why that's important
I think that highlighting marginalized communities is important because I'm
pretty sure anyone looks at me they're probably like oh what a nice straight white girl oh my God I'm not for this
thing from straight which is great it's a nice cover sometimes but also yeah I'm gonna use that straight white girl power
to help people kind of like you know when you are asked to white man it up
yeah totally you know and that's it you don't always
get those opportunities and sometimes those uh present themselves and sometimes you're just like you know you can just get in there and
be like hey uh I'm just gonna use my six foot two white straightness and just
kind of step in and be an ally if I can um and that's and again it just goes
back to the kindness thing yeah you got a little give a little you've got a lot give a lot there's so many companies out
there that make so much [ __ ] money and they don't give back to the communities that are helping them succeed no and they don't even see the
irony in shooting a giant cock-shaped Rockets into space and having that much
money it's like could there be a bigger metaphor for too much money just sending
your giant dick into space it gross no right thank you so you talked about
your parents a little bit and your parents taught you uh if you have a little you know give a little if you
have a lot give a lot and you're you're trying to give back your overhead gets cut when you are dealing with covid and
and all of a sudden you're shut into your house and you're not spending money on gasoline and car repairs and everything else
and show fees and yeah so who are you giving back to I've learned a lot from a
lot of my friends in Minneapolis and I'm less about charity and I'm more about Mutual Aid because Charities like I have
all this money and I'm gonna use it for a little bit of power and a little bit of clout whereas Mutual Aid would be like you're helping individuals or an
organization make a community better if you can do it why not do it I like to
focus on indigenous groups black groups specifically black Trans organizations
because I am a queer person and there are so many things I have to be thankful
for because of black Trans women and men right I'm a part of the queer community and the queer Community has always had
my back so I got to turn that around and do that as well um growing up in the Pacific Northwest a
lot of my inspiration and friends and family not blood family is indigenous
and like the indigenous culture is something that's a part of my upbringing
even though I am totally white and I want to make sure that those people are taken care of one of my favorite
organizations is adopt an elder which is helping Elder indigenous folks they have
done a lot of work in helping those artists get their art out into the
public and they do it for free so you've got a tradition of making rugs that's
about as old as dirt yeah and they help these communities get their art into the
eyes of more people they also help them hold on to their tradition a little bit longer and I think that's really
important yeah that's incredible I feel like marginalized communities need our help I just want to help people but also
if I can Inspire someone else to be a little less selfish and a little more
looking out for the people that have inspired them loved them taught them
support them why the [ __ ] not you know it's like everyone learns in a different way in a
different capacity and I think when you see someone else doing something that is
good that it resonates with those good human beings and maybe it'll catch like
wildfire and if not maybe I can just give some money to some people who could really benefit from it right and it
definitely sticks out in my mind because whenever you know I follow you on your Instagram and I look at your stories and I always see that you're giving back to
things that are precious and and special to you and it does inspire I don't want
to just take through my my work and and just go into these communities and take and it's it's cool to try to
I don't know try to connect on a deeper level like I'm just gonna I'm just gonna
get pissed and salty for a minute here like when Jazz Fest was canceled yeah
and then I don't know hurricane came through it's online a lot of artists were like
jasmus is canceled how about you take that [ __ ] boothy
and you donate it to a mutual Aid in Louisiana for people who have been helping you make
so much [ __ ] money at that Festival like do you know how far that's gonna go to get people a generator so they can
live in a house with lights so the refrigerator can work like we should be giving back to these communities that we
just like float through once a year right besides the whole like well we're going and we're spending money to for an
Airbnb or we're going to restaurants it's like you know we can be a little bigger than that and we can give back to
the communities that make our job our jobs yeah what about the community so they're just filled with Rich [ __ ] though can we just take them yeah yeah
yeah okay oh I charge them extra Republican tax old Wi-Fi tax weird
glasses tax you got your gun showing tax go [ __ ] yourself I'm gonna take your money
you're gonna come back for more goddamn right all right so uh let's talk
about activism here and what you lived with through covid you were on kind of
Ground Zero of George Floyd and I mean it's not even too far from where you work
oh it's like a half a mile from my house yeah I mean you were you were in the [ __ ] so
talk to me a little bit about that it was pretty wild yeah I was uh very tense
I mean I'd never seen so many [ __ ] guns in my entire life and it wasn't the citizens it was a [ __ ] National Guard
coming in not wearing masks and [ __ ] up our city and scaring everyone with
political Shenanigans I don't know I feel like I was on an accelerated
learning track yeah um I think what wasn't shown nationally
internationally is the way that the community took care of their own and also didn't take any [ __ ] right St Paul
police department Minneapolis Police Department is one of the most dangerous organizations in the nation they've
killed so many black and brown people with zero regard for their life and zero regard for their responsibility and if I
got a lot to say about that bring it on there's like unmarked
Vehicles pulling over in neighborhoods getting out of their cars shooting guns into the air and leaving and those
individuals were later found out to be police officers and people seriously for the sheriff's department it's just a
bunch of [ __ ] it is wild and I wish that I could say that so much has changed
we're still not being heard black men are still being murdered by the police department here in Minneapolis I mean
I'll say that that's part of my privilege with that I will definitely say that as far as like the education
goes because you know I only know them through through Susie and through you
but I follow Sweeney Brown on social and was remembering when they were having
issues with the police I mean I respect what they have to say online and so I'm watching and I'm looking but I was also
like this is totally my privilege because they're sitting there saying how much
they hate the police and I'm sitting there going oh why do you how what's wrong with the police what's wrong with
the police they've only happened to me because you're a white guy yeah sure look at the outfit you get to wear yeah
the police department was started many many moons ago to catch slaves it is an organization that is
built on racism and power exchange and it hasn't changed I have called the cops
once in my entire life I still kind of regret it but also someone was trying to run me over with their car and I stole
my credit card blah blah I've other than that no
okay no like yeah it's uh it's pretty eye-opening to see how much the police
don't care from going to protests or watching them just like rip in with
their pellet guns and open crowds of women children people not wearing masks not giving a [ __ ] about their Community
yeah how was it specifically at that time like you're down in it you're out
there um living it you're still going to work but you were out there protesting or demonstrating there's a difference there
and those those words and what words we choose but how was it being in the [ __ ] uh I mean it was pretty exciting to go
to protests and stand up for people and put my big dumb white body in front of my friends and make sure they didn't get
hurt I'd stand in between I'm a barrier whatever I got nothing to lose I don't have like I don't have any kids I don't
have a partner what am I gonna lose like I would much rather put my mouth my body in the way and also listen and learn
and try and unsew the racist seeds that are in my jeans and your jeans and all
the [ __ ] that we're taught and it was a lot and it was exhausting and it was
[ __ ] scary but also I'm a white girl something like this not it's not scary for me because this is something I've
always paid attention to but also maybe more people are paying attention to it now if you don't stand up for what you
[ __ ] believe in what are you doing yeah what it's not like have you know it's time for something if you don't
stand for something you're a piece of [ __ ] how about that that's I don't think that's gonna be a
very popular bumper sticker I know I know that's why I love you
but it was really crazy to see the my adopted City in Minneapolis through my
wife and then my uh City that I spent you know 99.9 of my life in uh erupting
at the same time because we had this beautiful Street of uh pristine
Confederate monuments uh that that all of a sudden people opened their eyes to
and said you know wait wait a minute [ __ ] this too at this at the same time
you know people a lot of people of color were very aware of that and something
took all the old white people so it took something for them to wake up and be like whoa hey we just got a racists and
rapists and pillagers let's burn it down and for anybody that's listening to the
podcast too and we talk about privilege and it might be bulking at the same like I don't know about this I'm like well
here's here's a specific example of my what we call White Privilege and it's
the fact that I grew up walking distance to the Confederate monuments and I would
just walk my dog down there I delivered newspapers on Monument Avenue walk down there see the sculptures and just think
that they were pretty they were just cool sculptures as you pass the confederate museum and the Confederate
Cemetery as you pass the daughters of the Confederacy
um it was a separate thing like well we can't actually call it the Ku Klux Klan
so let's call it the daughters of the Confederacy instead and so yeah I mean
and and opening my eyes to that and then the way that feels and then to see the
incredible response sculpture that went in the kahindi Wiley in front of the Virginia Museum that was at the
intersection of Monument Avenue that was you can see this person of color writing
in the same stance of Pride as you do uh Stonewall Jacksonville the road so it
was just my privilege to grow up within those and not have to think about what they meant and to just be like who cares
they're pretty I went through a period and my life was like nah they're they're history yeah that doesn't mean they're
right right and is there any other place in history that has sculptures to the losing side yeah you want to put up a
[ __ ] statue of Jeffrey Dahmer or Ted Bundy no yeah it's glorified in the name
of America or it's or even George III you know and there there's a really
amazing painting of pulling down King George uh After the Revolutionary War
and it's like well there you go it's time yeah I'm glad lots of people are waking up I mean we all have a lot to
learn I have a lot to learn there's tons of weird white supremacist behavior that
I have to unlearn if you can make the world a better [ __ ] place do it yeah
stand up for somebody do it if you can teach your old racist relatives a little
something do it yeah there's small acts there's big acts like I never thought I would
live in Minneapolis for so long ever but during the uprising was the first time
that I felt a part of this community and I felt welcomed into so many different communities and doing whatever I can at
the moment I don't always have the money so sometimes that means you know running food donations to schools or food banks
or telling people about it like hey then we don't all have money sometimes you can just like take a load of
groceries get money from your homies get money from your Rich racist relatives and go spend it on money for diapers for
the community why not and you know if if people are listening to this and they agree with some of the things that
you've said or disagree with it [ __ ] it it at the end of the day what we're boiling it down to is is why can't you
be a little bit more kind yeah right I mean isn't that what it's all about just try and be a damn decent
human being and also like it's never too late to unlearn something never it's like never too late to unravel something
even if you're a racist on your deathbed it's okay to be wrong I promise
absolutely and even like we were talking about this
just the other day we were talking about like so like you can think that your parents aren't racist and then they'll
drop a while he's very well spoken on you it was like he's very well spoken
did you just say like that what the [ __ ] was that that's awful yeah yeah like that that don't do you not
realize that that's a racist statement you sound so ignorant for a white person you didn't say that about Jane Pauley
why are you saying it about Oprah foreign hard eye roll for those of you who
couldn't see that hard eye roll I don't know but I feel like we could actually hear the eye roll
I saw the bottoms are white jesus I mean that's a small Act of love because uh
teaching your racist relatives when they say something racist I mean I was always uh
may not believe this but I got in trouble a lot at the dinner table for telling my dad to shut the [ __ ] up and
not use a certain words he's like I'm telling the story I'm like I don't give a [ __ ] about your [ __ ] story you
can't talk like that you can't say things like that it's 20 20 like I
unlearn things all the time absolutely you know I remember hearing yeah I remember actually this I remember it
really clearly because my my racist old grandparents and uh family aunts and
uncles were sitting around the dinner table and I was young and I heard the n-word for the first time and I walked
up to my grandfather and I asked him what it was and I got a huge laugh and he just stopped talking and he stopped
telling the story and came and talked to me later he's like look you were not being raised with that and I remember
him apologizing for it and I had a like having a long time I was probably like nine or ten and having a conversation
with my grandfather about I don't know it's just those kind of things I don't know why I do know why it sticks
in my memory but it's it's amazing what we have grown up with that you don't
think of you know that you just live with or like it continues to happen and
like I'd shut that [ __ ] down at the dinner table and everyone else at the dinner
table would be like oh you're being so rude I'm like I'm I'm not the one saying racist words or
homophobic words at a table where almost half of your children are queered dad
mom like no you know when I came out to my dad
when I was like 16 years old I was like what would you do if I brought a girl home he's like you bring girls home all
the time I'm like no like if I liked her like her he's like like if you wanted a
neck in the back of a car at a movie and I'm like God yeah Dad he goes well that depends is
that on what he goes well I don't really care who you date you could date a man you could date a
woman you could date a trans person he didn't use those words but we're just gonna go with it you could date black
brown yellow purple I don't care as long as they got a boat as long as they got a boat it's like you
can marry whoever you want baby efficient right right my dad's a
fisherman he's just like he loves fishing he's he's never done it for a living he's done it to feed his family he's done you know what you can find
Common Ground sometimes it's fishing I guess right I know and I'm like well what kind of boat dad I gotta make sure
that he's like oh give a [ __ ] it could be it could be a robot it could be a canoe or a kayak [ __ ] it could be a blow
up Coleman raft from Target I don't care we got a boat that's okay which was you
know pretty different from how my brother is coming out was and I'm like Dad did you forget that conversation
because it's still true like I was very young when I knew it wasn't a fun
Teenage life let me tell you but yeah did he come out when you were you were
much younger like when you're like high school age or yeah to my parents well to my dad not to my mom she couldn't she's
got so many weird deeply rooted things that she learned from her mother that she has an unlearned just like many of
our parents from different Generations but like I don't know I've always been a [ __ ] weirdo I've always been queer
when I was in high school I got called all the bad names in the world like
queer Butch [ __ ] you name it it was thrown at me and I just
oh sometime I learned to be like a duck and just let it roll off my back because we're all gonna have different opinions
about each other and some are more vocal but I don't really give a [ __ ] I'm just gonna be who I am and if that's me all
by myself in the end in a dinghy back to the boat
Common Ground if even if you're coming around as a boat it's got to go somewhere right if you're coming
ground's on water that's that's right oh Jesus I wanted to
get down into it with you more than I wanted to hear about life story and and uh but your life story is interesting
too I started making jewelry at a very young age out of whatever I could get my hands on and then realized after
somebody told me I couldn't go to college because they didn't have money for it and I couldn't make jewelry for a living I had always done it for myself
right as a I don't know an outlet for my feelings because I had a lot of feelings
yeah and uh found a school in Minneapolis and a in the back of a
magazine remember magazines yeah so you went to like a trade school yeah I went
to uh I moved from Tacoma to Minneapolis to go to Minneapolis Community and
Technical College very cool I feel like a lot of people it's it's a disregarded
kind of way to way to earn a trade absolutely I have been looked down upon
in the big fancy Arts Community because I went to Technical College when people are like oh did you go to mcad did you
move to Minneapolis and I'm like [ __ ] no you think I got that kind of money I think that there's this weird don't get
me wrong education and every single different type of form and way that you get an education is extremely important
yep I don't think anyone should be poo pooed for how they gained that education no way I realized that my parents were
basically like college is paid for don't worry you go wherever you want and then when it was my turn youngest of four they're like oh we don't have money so
you're not going to college and I'm like so I found a school and got a lot of
jobs and packed on my [ __ ] up and took a train to Minneapolis and took a chance
and I went to mctc because it was uh one
of two schools in the nation that taught gemology and diamond grading and the other school was like 65 000 a semester
and I was like what couldn't we do for like two grand what can we do you're
right yeah how much for a snip I'm like the Bruce Springsteen John Cougar
Mellencamp of jewelry making like I'm not sure if my collar is blue or my
neck is red but it's a little of both maybe a little bit of both so I come
from a family of talkers I'm sure you could be very surprised with that I don't know what you're talking about
this is this is a news make a couple friends when I leave the house so I figured you know I bet if
somebody gave me the technical skills to do this that I could come up with the creative [ __ ] and I could use my mouth
to to get me where I needed to go so went to mctc working for corporate
America Borders Books and Music to put on some fancy clothes I.E lots of
cleavage and too much jewelry went downtown just talking to jewelry
stores to see what kind of credentials I would need from a college to work at a
jewelry store and everyone was like what are you talking about what are you talking about and
I walked into Studio Vincent and there was some lady with leather pants on and and she basically shoved an application
down my throat very cool this is for the studio yeah this was for Studio visit and I was like she's like no you should
work here and I was like I'm perfectly happy working with my job for corporate I'll take that application yeah this is
the downstairs did you work downstairs first like in the showroom or did you get a job working on the floor with with
Steve Vincent first oh I started at the bottom and worked my way up so this was when he had a gallery space in gavity
Commons and it was like super like glass walls and teeny tiny yeah yeah so I worked at the gallery and then worked my
way into an apprenticeship I worked as a salesperson and I was his best I was the best salesperson he ever had and he told
me that right I can say I can sell some stuff yes you can
yeah and I think I told him that that was my like I was like I want to be a
Goldsmith and I want to do an apprenticeship and I don't know if that's in the cards but if you give me a chance
I won't do you wrong I was so dedicated and I gave my 20s to that man yeah like
I didn't drink on Friday nights because Saturday was when couples would come in and nobody wants to buy an 8 000
engagement ring to someone who smells like the Triple Rock or First Avenue
nobody nobody I mean I was a I feel like none of my friends would recognize me
from the I had platinum blonde hair and that was a pantyhose and high heels and
skirts and dresses and [ __ ] yeah and Victoria was my secret and
and if you don't know Betty now now she's she's more cowgirl boots and booty shorts really I mean I could live my
life in jeans and a t-shirt or short shorts and Boots that's right my I don't need to I'm not
trying to fake anyone anymore I don't need to put on a dress for nobody oh you're not putting on airs is that
that's that Betty's not so tell me a little person drop some truth on me as
far as this goes uh I kind of hate the term salesperson because I feel like I imagine like middle-aged dude with a
comb over and a pinky ring that's either gonna sell you a bad car give you a venereal disease
yeah I feel like a lot of artists are really good at being an artist and some
of them can't sell their work I think that the secret to my success is I I don't [ __ ] if I don't like you it's
probably very aware on my face that I don't like you I'm a really bad liar so
that might make me a good salesperson but I also think that it might be easy to be around me however you are whoever
you are like I'm not a discriminatory person to the furthest of my knowledge
so I think that maybe people are at ease but also I'm excited about what I do
and I always have been and I think uh working at Studio Vincent
as a salesperson for so long asking people for so much money for things
yeah got me really comfortable and being like kind of Romancing the Stone being
like when people are like how much is this I'm not gonna be like this is eight thousand dollars I'm gonna be like oh this is made of platinum with a carrot
and a half diamonds you want to learn something cool you should see how this [ __ ] thing is made you should see the
hammer that you gotta use to do this like blah blah blah I feel like I love to go on adventures and sometimes I take
people on adventures with jewelry it's not just a piece of jewelry like it's a little part of my story and uh I think
that that excitement and that like hard on for what you're doing how you're doing it makes a really big difference
to people instead of like you know my [ __ ] doesn't look like anybody else's it's Unique maybe I'm a little unique I
don't know what do you think maybe a little bit it's not you know I know artists that
are really good at sales like classic almost used car sales and I don't think they do as well as the people who are
going after the honest connection and that's what I'm trying to do and I know that's what you do and it's like okay let's let's tell some stories let's get
down into it let's let's talk about the who I am who I'm I'm trying to be I
always feel like I just have my worst show of the year is usually my first show of the year because I just haven't
really I've forgotten how to talk to people yeah you're a little squeaky the wheels are a little scary yeah it's like
it's like a big bottle of WD-40 yeah definitely and sometimes it's a you know
big old bottle of Maker's Market but you gotta open yourself up the way you can and it's it's just gonna I don't know I
I appreciate that about you because I when I did first meet you it was definitely more of a ah [ __ ] I know you
and it's like you just lay it all out you know and it's kind of like ah okay I
and there's very few people I was lucky enough to meet my wife that way and it's
like this recognition and I always say that about her I'm like oh [ __ ] I think my wheels are gonna fit your cogs it's
just and it's that kind of honesty that I appreciate about you laying it all out on the line I just put my cards out on
the table that's why I'm not a good poker player somebody recently was like what are you not good at I'm like
drinking and lion
those are great things not to be good at it's good at laughing good at connecting
with people I look like I could hold a lot of booze but I'm a [ __ ] lightweight also I don't need liquor to
have a good time I could have let's go away sober is a Jay perk usually I'm stoned though but I I'm you know I mean
I'm really surprised no one's been like oh for a good time call I've called you before
oh yeah recognize her that number looks familiar
hey here's something that you brought up early on in the conversation that I wanted to Circle back to you said
something about not feeling ready to apply to shows because you felt like the work you had was not current man is that
some horseshit just apply okay yeah it doesn't feel so Rusty I mean literally the last show I did was yeah Baltimore
2020. I don't know there's this weird looming like do I have to reinvent the wheel like right do I need a new display
do I have to go buy a new tent do I need to make new tables probably not no way I
don't know it's like Mark Maron I was listening to one of his comedy bits about he was talking about exercise and
getting back in shape and whatever and he's like I need to Liz like whatever blah blah blah and he's like he always
tricks himself into thinking he's got to buy the magic pants or the magic shoes that are actually going to make him do
the [ __ ] that he has to do it's like and I know a lot of artists do that with a magic Booth you know Matthew navsker he
and I talk about booths and things and I'm like I always want to tell them you don't need the magic Booth you don't need the new magic table just get out
there and sell your [ __ ] you'll be all right I mean you've seen my setup my setup's like all right well if somebody
leans on this table it's not going to fall over and if uh [ __ ] hits the fan and a
tornado whips through I can just like ball this into a backpack and I'm good I
don't want a fancy you definitely could but your setup has a certain style to it and you have a certain branding to your
to your work that that works for you and and it's all um you I can go grab your your most
expensive piece off of your table pretty much and just look at it yeah
we're talking artists here but you know you've got it like you lay it all out on the table as far as your yourself you
put all your [ __ ] out on the table as it is it's like I you know I've picked up some of your work before and be like oh
my God I'm just holding a 3 500 piece you know I can't just but you know so you just went up a
weight class and that's like eight ounces of [ __ ] silver and I'm like exactly you could break somebody's teeth
not only in that jewelry but it's a statement to [ __ ] around and find out you could you could you know this is on
a chain line if you could make somebody lose a tooth if they're [ __ ] with you from six feet away you remember the
piece I picked up but you know it's just it's it's all out
there and you're laying it all out there and it's it's all part of your style too so and I appreciate that being pretty
and I know you work on it but it's pretty well realized it seems like from the shell you emerged pretty much fully
realized thank you I feel like jewelry is one of those things that I hear a lot standing behind that table of people
being like I don't like jewelry and it's like okay please consider jewelry's art and there's lots of Art and when there's
so much jewelry that means there's so much ugly [ __ ] that's right that's been done
a million times before so like maybe you just haven't found the right jewelry yet it's also this weird like accessibility
thing where people are like oh expensive stuff I don't want to touch it and that's kind of one of the reasons why I
lay it all out on the table except for like I have two cases where like I would cry for maybe too long if one of those
pieces got stolen so they go in the case but and you've had it happen too haven't we all I know that Kentucky story
[ __ ] Chester his name was Chester tell us a story he took my jewels
when you sell hiring and items as you know sometimes people have to come visit
it a couple times in an art show right so then you're like you're like oh you're back you're back to like maybe
buy something he was scoping out the case he talked to me we had conversations he told me how much he
liked my jewelry and he was uh scoping out my [ __ ] and waited till I went to
the bathroom my assistant was there and uh stole maybe like four pieces that
amounted to about five thousand dollars and it came back from the bathroom and
my friend Jules was like oh your buddy Chester came back and I'm like oh what was he looking at and she's like oh no
and I'm like the pieces that aren't here and she's like oh my God girl I'm so sorry I'm like
he had three other artists three other jewelry artists at that show he picked like the biggest heaviest silver pieces
I told the show directors and they're like we're gonna call the cops I'm like don't call the [ __ ] cops I don't want to call the cops I don't want to call
the cops like they're like but how I'm like Capstone means this to handle I
don't believe in the cops I just want my [ __ ] back I don't want anyone to go to jail I don't want to ruin anyone's life
because they made a poor decision to [ __ ] with the wrong [ __ ] generous of you because I sure as hell like to catch
their leg outside the car door I mean you know I would love to find them in
person because little did they know I have a photogenic memory and if I ever see him again I'm not a violent person
but I am prepared and words cut deeper and truer sometimes I did find out I
feel like I didn't tell anyone this but a year after that happened I went back to Louisville to do the same show and I
went to a Gallery downtown Lulu which is like a strip in Louisville there's
probably like five or six smaller galleries there and this one one was like oh don't you just love Louisville
and everybody's just so nice and trusting and I was like actually [ __ ] no I don't let me tell you and she's like
oh [ __ ] sir and I was like jesser did she know Chester what she's like
older man I was like yeah it looks like a short mama's boy version of Fred Armisen from SNL and she's like yeah oh
my God that [ __ ] and I was like tell me what you know he's known in Louisville he really likes
the same steel really big heavy silver pieces and who knows if he's like reselling them or just hoarding them uh
he kept hitting the same like four Galleries and they kept calling the cops and the cops didn't do anything because
they didn't have proof so they set up their own surveillance and caught him and he went to jail did they catch him
no [ __ ] did he ever find out what happened to your stuff no because I
didn't because they didn't follow the rules and file a police report
I mean it's just stuff right it's just stuff let's put his party your he made a
connection yeah you know I mean it would feel different if he didn't treat me like a human being if and if I
didn't treat him like a potential client also right a human [ __ ] being like don't lie to me don't be a dirtbag I
don't know if there is a lesson because I really don't want to put my jewelry in a case it's just like the same thing
when people are like oh so you have a gun I'm like [ __ ] no I don't want to live in a world where I feel like I need a gun to do my job to just be another
human being who sometimes happens to have a 75 pound sack of jewelry that costs about 250 000 like you know right
my daddy taught me to walk like people shouldn't [ __ ] with me and also maybe get a really big knife and put it right
where my best largest asset is which is my bottom um
I've seen your Jewels too you can you know if you're wearing any of that [ __ ] you can you can stand up for yourself I
mean part of me is like oh please try and steal this bag you'll take too yeah I wish the [ __ ] would and with my four
and a half foot long legs I'll just kick your dumb ass over and you can just turtle out
just turtle out I will never put my jewelry in a rolling
bag because that makes it too easy I hear you we all hide our [ __ ] but we gotta be we got to watch out for each
other we all do different things with the baby the baby comes with us
yeah can I carry your books for you we watch out for each other though
we do also I will put this out there hey artist friends if you are a non-jewelry
artist and you have some friends that make jewelry check in on them if you
want an escort to their car right see if like if you can spare an extra 35
minutes in your day to wait till they pack up and make sure that they get to their car I am a big girl and I can
[ __ ] take care of myself but that does not mean I don't appreciate the company or someone looking out for me
absolutely and also yeah I totally know what you mean you know what I mean
because you have Susan and I mean definitely I would rip someone's head
off with my teeth if they ever [ __ ] with Susie because she's not as big and
scary as me she could be scary when she wants to but I know what you mean oh I
know oh yeah but no that's a that's a huge Point um you know people talk about
Jewelers rolling up in their cars and they can set the show up in you know a few hours without the big display and
you can roll you know she's rolled in in a little Volvo hatchback people are like oh my God here comes a jeweler but at
the same time you're sticking around an hour after the fact and and I'm getting there two hours early and I have urinary
tract infections constantly because I can't just leave my [ __ ] Booth unattended yeah take another break and
then go talk to your Jeweler neighbors and let them go to the bathroom if you're selling 2D that doesn't walk away
way or check it you're next to a jeweler and you see they're by their self be like hey uh I am here with my partner
and one of us can check you out you know watch you for a while or whatever you need to take a break just let us know so
feel free to uh use the restroom or get your period because we've got your back
right Jesus especially your women Jeweler friends
yeah next time you feel like being like Oh you're dealers you just roll in here and
use it knock that [ __ ] off right all in the same boat we all want everyone to
have a really good show like I have been sized up by so many people like oh you're a [ __ ] Jeweler it's like
listen ask her do you would you how would you like to take your entire tent
and your entire livelihood and pack it up and put it in a backpack and carry it around every day right and maybe knock
your party with your friends because you got 250 000 sitting in your hotel room like right I have never personally
forgotten my um entire body of work in a backpack in a bar
but I know it's possible for you guys oh it's not possible for me but it's
probably a reason why I don't drink so much anymore either never come close but it's like you know let's all just look
out for each other uh when you get precious little expensive things that are sometimes heavy I don't know this is
you know just look out for each other quick given the jewelry is a hard [ __ ] time yeah other artists a hard
time for their medium I just give them a hard time for being homophobic
crab apples like awesome anybody out there at a show and I'm at a show and
some your neighbor's giving you [ __ ] call me I will set them straight I'm not scared of anyone I've done it before
just be nice to each other that's all it matters not call me
be nice yeah in case you didn't know my favorite movie is Roadhouse so
be nice be nice until it's time to not be nice
I love you Betty I love you too thanks for coming on the show I appreciate you
more than you know I miss you I'll give Susie a big squeeze for me okay I'm gonna go do it right now I love you
Betty thanks again love you too will bye bye bye bye that's a different podcast
ending awesome talk with Betty well I really
enjoyed what you guys had to say yeah no apologies from Betty She is who she is and you get what you get um I like the
part of her talk where she's talking about people who have lived their lives
with privileges that they don't even realize that they have you can kind of feel this sense lately uh with where we
are this kind of like this impatience everyone's so like impatient and and
angry and there was a story that I wanted to share that happened uh this
weekend at the Grove and it involved some of our good friends of the Pod Amy
Carson and and Daphne Covington they're packing up the show at the end of the show they're getting all their stuff
into the van and we look down and they're about 10 10 12 booths down from us and there is this huge altercation
this shouting match and I see these two ladies just like hurrying and scurrying
in and out of their van just trying to like avoid this deal well what happened is one of the food vendors had their
food truck hooked up to their their truck and they pull right up to where Daphne and Amy are and they want to exit
where their van is at at the curb and they had just like through them they want to just go basically drive through
them and they wanted them to move their van and they wanted them to move now and neither one of them want any kind of
Confrontation and they were like we just have one or two more things to throw on the van we'll be out of the way but this
wasn't fast enough for this privileged [ __ ] so it just so happened right at
that timing a security guard who wasn't going to take any [ __ ] from anyone was there and he said you guys finished
packing up I've got this and this shouting match between these these two guys was intense and it was vehement and
I'm so glad that they got out of there without any like any fist being thrown but nowadays you don't know if a gun's
gonna get pulled if someone's I mean if it's gonna go to blows But ultimately the idea was that this guy wanted out
and he wanted them to move because he wanted out and it was his time so yeah I
mean I'm glad that that person stepped in so that they didn't so that Amy and Daft didn't have to stop what they were
doing right but um I ain't [ __ ] with Amy and Daphne you want to stay on their
good side there's nobody I love more than those guys but it's like man they can stick up for themselves that guy was
in trouble if he kept pushing it yeah but I think he was really trying to throw his privilege around and just boss
them the heck around and it's just not right it's just not right at all so nope I messaged them the next day because I
was wondering if we needed to go over there as you know an artist Community to help him out but when I saw that the
security guard was the one who was doing the yelling I thought okay maybe they're not even involved maybe daff and Amy
aren't even involved in this deal so I I out of curiosity I texted her the next day
and I said was that aimed at you and she told me the whole entire story and I
said well I'm glad that you weren't like in the conflict that you were just conflict adjacent for that situation
conflicted Jason yes haven't we all been there I mean there's always some kind of kind of breakdown I remember doing a
show in uh South Carolina Adele I was doing that show and it's a tough
breakdown you have to do a lot of dollying to get out of this cool little castle that's there on you know there
was a literally a hurricane coming in and we were getting the outer rings of this hurricane and my neighborhood he
and I had a great weekend he's he's like but pulled right in front of the back of
my van couldn't even open the back of my van I'm like Brian what the what's going on he's like well I've got to get my
work out it's like okay okay uh you know if
people I don't know it all becomes me me me sometimes we need to step back
and be like do a little reality check here you know when we start finding our impatience and our what about me meter
going through the roof we need to take a deep breath and say okay it's all about all of us we all need to make this work
together right that's a little Kumbaya is that how you're gonna bring us out there
all right it's the singing portion of the podcast that means it's over ladies and gentlemen thank you for tuning in to
another independent artist podcast I'll see you next time who do we have on the dock at Douglas next episode we have
another Minneapolis native Kimber FEI bigger the bronze Humpty Dumpty lady I
went to her Gallery in studio and got immersed in kimber's world and it was
just it was a lot of fun so that's awesome I've admired kimber's work for uh many years and it'll be interesting
to hear the talk for well I've heard it but it'll be interesting for everybody else to hear it uh next time we'll see
you folks in a couple weeks be safe out there on the road be good to each other don't block each other's Vans and don't
be an [ __ ] there we go all right bye guys this podcast is brought to you by
the National Association of Independent Artists the website is also sponsored by
zapplication that's and while you're at it check out Will's website at will
1:32:31 and my website at be sure to subscribe
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