Huge post here from an effort that was a long time in the making. Last year an artist from one of the venues I'd been associated with invited me to come take a look at the massive Syracuse Arts & Crafts Festival she is a regular vendor at, confident I could do well with the hepcat segment.
In front of my booth/tent on Sunday the 28th, just shy of closing time. By then I'd gotten used to the flow and the concept of selling myself. This was performance art on a grand scale, and it did get tiring to have to always be in character. Not sure if it's my scene but I had to try it once and the results were moderately profitable enough to be interested in next year.
July 2012's festival with my big sister artist Elizabeth Andrews, a Roycroft Institute trained artisan with a background in etching, printmaking and now painting. She was confident I could make this work, provided some of the raw materials used to construct my booth, and most importantly drilled me on the basics of selling in such an environment. Took a while but I caught on and am infinitely grateful for her patience with me ;]
With my 2012 fest Drill Sgt, Columbus Ohio based artist Kate Morgan! who gave me a thorough 101 on festival prep including the need for walls, carpeting, bags, a smart fone, a chair & cooler, alternate footwear, discount bins, sales slips, backstock, and a waiting spot and an escape spot where festival goers would not be present. I worked in record stores for a few years too, plus almost twenty years off/on at a grocery store, and did have a good idea of how it would be. But without Kate's must-have list it would have been a disaster, and was thinking of her while carving out a piece of carpet at two in the morning the night before. Thank you, my dear!!
Loaner & second hand booth materials.
Pratice setup in the back yard. A condition issue with the tent developed casting doubt onto the scheme, and that blue canopy ended up working against me. But for a first timer with zero budget it worked pretty good.
Sorting zombies the night before. The pile got smaller!
Load-up at three AM on Friday. I did not sleep before setup and paid the price in the heat. Likely blew almost all sales on Friday except for a few who insisted on taking home some of my art. For them I say thank you! and I'll be ready for you next year.
Ceramist Tim See looking over the initial booth setup on Friday.
He chuckled, and yeah. It was cute.
Saturday's somewhat more robust tent setup! and the bins of cutout zombies did very well.
With artist Tamaralee Shutt, a regular at my Syracuse shows this year & an advocate of everything I've undertaken. Megacheers!
One highlight of the festival for me was witnessing artist Kelly Curry's restoration of a 33 year old mural spanning the entire side of a building right across the street. A separate blog post about this project in the works, and until then here's some video from Saturday morning when I went over to see wazzap:
With ceramist Leslie Green Gilbault, one of the leaders of the Broad Street Gallery group in Hamilton and recipient of an Honorable Mention award for the vendor's art competition. Hot!!
Lookin' cool with JDHS classmate Michelle, onhand with her new twins.
Rubber baby buggy bumper five times fast.
My first customer from Friday! who bought "Zombie On Downers". Thank you, my dear! look me up on Pinterest by September ;D
Taking a break with another high school classmate, artist/designer Mary Mollica of The Decorative Paintbrush. Link coming!
Mary's booth setup at the far end of the "alternative festival" on Montgomery St., and she did quite well ;D
With artist/photographer Richelle Maki, who helped supply me with the tent! Thank you, my dear!
Chowline at the Everson Museum's cookout for the vendors + guests.
Friday's biggest laugh and someone had to point it out to me. And no it's not the bird. Try lower, let your mind seep into the gutter, and remember this is Syracuse.
8am Saturday morning.
This lady was hammering on her copper for three days straight! I loved it.
With The Art Store's Leslie Barnett, another Steve advocate who was overseeing the sidewalk art on the other side of the festival.
My number one customer from Saturday! They'd wandered through on Friday and after the young gentleman told his mom he wanted a zombie. Talked about it all afternoon so they made a special trip downtown to the festival today to pick one out! He could have had any he wanted & chose one of the $5 bin heads painted on a sock drawer divider. Had to have a picture! and as they were leaving he smiled and said "I like your zombies." YES!
My number two customer from Saturday! Mom & dad had just finished painting the upstairs and the kids got an allowance to buy some art for their rooms. Mom helped him choose and I hooked them up with "Zombie With No Eyes" from October at a cost that fit within his budget. His sister wanted a zombie too but dad said no and I sent them next door. I am stoked to know these youngsters will be enjoying our artworks for many years to come. YES!!
Some video of the dulcimer & fiddle guys at work, they were my heroes on Sunday and the ending is funny. Watch!
BUSTED! Caught this fair damsel snapping a fonez pix of my nice painting there and demanded one with her as fair compensation! The charming moment even ended up on video and it was my pleasure to let her off lightly with it. Plus a biz card and my dear please drop me a lyne! will make sure you get a nice little study painting from that series. Plenty more where that came from ;>~
Packed up and done, 6:49pm on Sunday July 28, 2013.