This is what I’d call a satisfying day.

This is what I’d call a satisfying day.

Today was a busy day, but it was the kind of busy day where you keep your head down and put one foot in front of the other and by the end of it maybe you stepped on your own feet a couple times, but you got it all done. And you just want to tell everyone about all the stuff you accomplished! So here it goes. I’ll warn you now – this is purely self-indulgent journaling, so feel free to skip it. A nice snapshot of a typically busy Advokate day, though – looking back on it, I think there would be less ulcers in the world if more people could do this – do what they love and enjoy all day. And maybe I post it here as proof to my husband that “working from home” doesn’t necessarily mean there’s time to do the laundry! (Joke – that angel does pretty much everything around here.)

This morning at 9:25 a.m. I hopped in my car and wolfed most of a granola bar on my way to Adirondack Audio and Video to inventory and unpack the artworks that came in for the Power of Music show that opens on July 9. I’d have been nervous about it if I hadn’t helped Jenny Hutchinson, the gallery director of LARAC, with this very thing and learned from the master how it’s done. So I carefully opened each package and documented where the bubble wrap was wrapped and what kind it was and wrote in my notes if there was a frame that had a bit of a ding or scratch and one by one opened them all until they were done! Then I roughly laid out the show, with some help from Carl at the front desk. Running up and down stairs until things look mostly in the right place. We’ll hang it next Wednesday.

Lady Sax Player 2 by artist Rachel Weissberger

Lady Sax Player 2 by artist Rachel Weissberger

Around 11:30 I hopped in my car and finished the last bite of granola bar, starving, and called my favorite printer, Jason at Liberty Graphics, to tell him I needed more of the posters I asked them to run yesterday. I went to Staples and bought some business card holders for the Shirt Factory (the informational tables there are great but needed a bit of organizing), a ream of 100% recycled printer paper for myself (crabbing to myself about how it’s so freaking expensive to do the right thing!) and some supplies for the Power of Music show – bubble wrap to return the packages, labels, etc. I had to check out three times so I could separate the receipts. And as I was walking in to Staples, I bumped into Christina Kaidas of Sterling & Co. and had an awkward moment because I didn’t recognize her with her sunglasses on at first and then a car wanted to back up into where I was standing once I did recognize her – but she said, as I was flubbing through saying hi and not able to spit it out, that she was having that kind of a day too. Thanks, Christina!

Then I went to Jo-Ann’s for picture frame hangers and a nice lady in the checkout line in front of me (who accidentally held up the line confusing the computer with her coupon) gave me a coupon. It was actually kind of sweet in this held-up line; a bunch of lady crafters were behind her and nobody was a snot about having to wait and we all got chatting. Of course, by this point, my stomach was waving its arms around and saying, “Did you completely forget about me down here or what, lady!?” so I had a Snickers bar on my way to the printer’s. Once I was there, I thought a Snickers wasn’t a good lunch so I popped over to North Country Coffee Cafe for one of their awesome everything bagels. It was busy in there, so as an afterthought on my way out with my arms full of posters, I snapped a shot of it to post on the Glens Falls Economic Development Group’s Facebook page since it’s a relatively new South Street business. You’ll see from the comment that I probably should have taken the shot inside if I was trying to tell folks how busy it was inside! Oof. I meant well.

Sound Sculpture by Albert Chmelar

Sound Sculpture by Albert Chmelar

I ate the bagel on my way back to ADKAV, frantically picking poppy seeds out of my teeth before going in to find another piece had arrived – this really amazing Sound Sculpture that had very specific unpacking instructions. It was maybe my favorite, though! It has tines that jangle when you touch them gently. And Carl gave me a chocolate chip cookie, which was nice. And I got to see the process of installing neon! They’re having some custom neon signage done by West Signs – it’s going to be pretty rad, in the shape of decibel meters.

THEN (good thing I ate on the go! By now it was near 2 p.m.) I went to KMA and picked up the “butt cans” we had ordered for the Shirt Factory and Joe helped me put them together. I brought them over to the building and put out the business card holders and talked to a tenant about a leak in the Garden Level after all the rain last night, and took a photo of the nice new bulletin board down there for Facebook.

A photograph by Jeff Anderson

A photograph by Jeff Anderson

I came home and emailed Jason at Adirondack Audio and Video about the morning’s work and was only home about 10 minutes before running late (Ack!) to an Advokate meeting around 3:30 with new client Jeff Anderson, a new photographer at The Shirt Factory. We talked about publicity and about the art world and The Shirt Factory and all kinds of things.

Then I came home and made some tweaks to a brochure for Dog Logic and sent them off to Elizabeth for approval. THEN I sent off the press release for the Power of Music show. THEN my husband Cory came home and I hopped out of my chair to kiss him and ask him about his day and tell him about my day. THEN I wrote about it here because I was proud of everything I did today!

Next? Some website updates for North Country Arts Center, notifying Power of Music artists we received their work, eating dinner at my desk, follow-up emails to the two meetings I had yesterday with new clients and going through all the emails I didn’t get to reply to today. If I’m up to a late night, I might design a website tonight.

BOOM goes Advokate! I’m busy as a happy little bee. Sometimes it gets stressful when everything needs to be done at once – but days like this are what it’s all about. Lots gets done and I truly enjoy each of the ten million pieces that make up my day. Visiting briefly with my printer, seeing and having the privilege of handling new artworks, graphic design, shopping, writing, Facebook, emailing, buzzing around the Shirt Factory, getting to know new clients… It’s not one single steady job, but I love it and I love all the people I work with.

When I was talking it out with Cathy and Mark in my last few months at my former job doing the calendar for the Chronicle, they said well hey, lots of creative types end up piecing together a few different things to make up their one job — the tough decision I had to make was whether to stick with one steady thing that I liked, even if it meant I didn’t have time for all the other things I’d like to be involved in… or to jump off the cliff into the unknown and try to gather enough paying gigs to make up a liveable income.

It’s working out so far. Sometime soon I’ll have to think about saving for retirement and things like that, but the fact that I haven’t yet defaulted on my student loans and mortgage seems like a good sign! Things keep looking up. I’m happy and incredibly grateful.

Kate Austin-Avon
kate@advokate.net

Kate Austin-Avon is the owner and founder of Advokate, LLC. She lives in Glens Falls, New York, with her husband Cory (Vice President of Advokate!) and their three children.