the "Vegas Betty" story
King Features Inc. (the company that owns Betty Boop and Popeye ) were looking for an artist to create fine art paintings of their beloved characters. At the time, my art was in galleries in Chicago, Key West and Las Vegas. They reached out to the S2 Art Group who represented me, and asked if I wanted the job.
I spent the rest of the year creating 8 original pieces that were to debut on January 1st. Time seem to fly by, and before I knew it, it was opening day. The gallery planned a "Meet the artist" event at 1pm. The event was at The Venetian hotel in Las Vegas. The gallery had promised to promote the event by displaying posters through out the hotel and casino. The posters looked great. They used my "Vegas Betty" painting with the King Features logo. This event was going to be great
New Years Day, Knowing I needed to be at the gallery opening, I still stayed up until 4am the night before. While in a dead sleep, I was awoken by a very loud phone call at 10:30 am. "Ziggy, you need to get down to the gallery right away" I knew I didn't need to be there until 1pm, so I asked "Why?... "There is a gentleman here from Japan who wants to buy your original Vegas Betty painting ...but he wants a picture with you"
I stumbled around to get dressed, hopped in my car and drove to the gallery. Feeling a little like a big shot for having just sold an expensive piece of art, I pulled up to the hotels valet, threw the guy my keys and tipped him $10. Walking thru the hotel, I started to notice the lack of posters the gallery had promised to display. I looked everywhere, not a single poster could be found. 'Oh no"...What if no one shows up?". .... "How will people know about the event?" .... "I wonder if I can I get that $10 back from that valet?
As I got closer to the gallery I saw it was packed. There were people everywhere. I was grabbed right away to take a picture with the new owner of my Vegas Betty painting. Limited edition prints were flying off the walls. I was signing things left and right. My new paintings were a big hit.
When it was all over, I asked the gallery owner "Why didn't you put up those great Vegas Betty posters like you promised? He smiled and said, "We did... people kept stealing them!" I just giggled.