The 2015 Ameriflex Hose and Accessories #OCRS (Oil Capital Racing Series) Awards Banquet was my first banquet with them, and an awesome night.
After I launched the @JoeyPerryArts pages, I was looking for opportunities to get publicity and exposure, to start gaining a following.
During Fall Break in 2015, I came across a local sprint car racing series near me called the Oil Capital Racing Series (OCRS). I went to their website, and found the contact information of their Public Relations Director, John Lemon. I introduced myself in an email, and hoped for the best. The next day, I received a call. It was from John Lemon. I told him about my art, and that I needed a chance to get my name out there. He gave me a chance to create posters to present to the 2015 OCRS Champion, and top five in points at their Awards Banquet. I gladly accepted the offer, and got to work. My Grandparents took me to a copy store, and helped me get copies made of the posters in case fans wanted to buy some.
We arrived early, and John greeted us at the door and helped get my display table set up. After the awards were handed out, he said my name, and introduced me to the crowd, as he motioned me to come to the stage. I had created an abstract drawing of a sprint car with the OCRS sponsors' logos on it. I put it in a nice picture frame, planning to donate it to the series. I hoped that it would spark some conversation around my name.
When I handed it over to John, he brought up the idea of doing a giveaway to the crowd to get them interested in it, and I was actually pretty excited about it. As he was bringing up that idea to the crowd, a racer sitting toward the front spoke up, and suggested that they auction it off and take bids for it instead. John handed the drawing back to me, and told me to stand there, and hold it where the crowd could see it, while he walked arounds with the microphone, taking bids. I stood in disbelief as the bid rose higher, and higher. "200!", "400!", "500!" .. John said after the banquet that he only expected the auction to reach maybe $100-$150 at most, but the auction got up to $1,200! Neither me, John L, or my family that were there could believe it!
I was really excited, and couldn't believe how high the bid got. The total profits from the auction, and print sales after the banquet were well over $1,500. We deposited all earnings from that night into a savings account the next day we had been using for a few years, to save up for my first vehicle. It was put to good use, because we had just enough savings to buy a good quality pickup truck when I turned 16.
I honestly wasn't in it for the money that night. I charged $10 for copies of the posters in order to break even, and not be going in the red due to printing costs. Needless to say, I got much more than I bargained for that night.
I still do art projects with John and OCRS to get my art business started.
It was my very first time doing art projects for someone or an organization, and it was a big game changer. I had considered my art a fun hobby up to that point, but after that night, I began pursuing the idea of making it a business.