I got invited to join a prestigious paleontology group. Usually you need a degree. I’m the one in the field doing the work and this got recognized that I am an expert. Interesting talking to other experts in the business and we agreed there are issues in the future with the entire fossil trade. Universities and governments feel in general all fossils belong in museums and not to be sold on the market. They belong to the people. This includes found treasures, arrowheads, shells, artifacts, and ice age finds as I deal in. There could be a time none of this will be available on the market. Without going into details of what we see and has happened already.
COVID was not a huge direct issue. Business went on and no word that there was an increase in cases due to the show. However many dealers could not show up. No one from China for example. Many dealers had last years inventory brought out of storage to offer nothing new. Prices of most everything has gone up. Shipping has effected all of us. The price of overseas containers has doubled. Much has to do with COVID.
Some items will be hard to get and going up in price, especially blue lapis. Those who can invest in it by getting inventory should. Looks like plenty of money around, but man agree the rich look richer the poor more poor and the middle class is paying the bills. There were a great many homeless near my show, three times what I saw in the past. Theft was not a huge problem however.
I got toast and coffee at the local restaurant and it was $6.50. Not long ago that bought an entire big meal. So interesting changes. Hotel, shows fees, and advertising will all go up by a 3rd next year. I myself wonder about inflation, a depression, so hedged with my money investments in general. I did not get as many supplies to produce more art. I do have a lot built up ad can use my own fossils, but did not get amber, cut stones, opal as I am used to getting. Want to make sure alI have enough $ set aside to pay the bills over the next year.
I met with my book partner for the first time! Met here in Tucson. He has been handling edits, new covers and advertising. Book income over the past year has doubled as a result. The old way of selling physical books is outdated. 90% of sales is kindle downloads. Marketing this is out of my league.
Am working on audio books now.. We worked on a template for setting up recording with garage band in the computer. I learned some tricks and requirements to help me. I look forward to audio books. Dubbing in some sound effects. Looks like first will be previously unpublished collection of short stories, as a test. A book is a big undertaking! I think I want to do audio beginning with book 9 not published in print yet. I feel book 1 is not as popular these days with the changing times. Reality does not sell, dreams do.
So I am here in Tucson until April. I have been working with some of the high graded fossil ivory I acquired, to create knife scales for the add on value. All I need here is my bandsaw and belt sander. I’ll be adding lots of knife scales to my web site soon. Custom knives sold well. Not so much art, however had some good wholesale deals on my art with stores, but had to come way down on prices. Raw materials sold best, thinking many customers are turning to production of their own crafts to supplement incomes. Not spending on luxuries like jewelry. Knife is a survival tool so selling. So this sums up what has gone on during and since the big show. Picture with a customer interested in my mammoth tusk.