Today was the Elmvale Sci Fi Fantasy Street Party, where I was a featured artist, and I had posters, flower buttons, weed buttons, hand-painted buttons, ACEOs, stickers, small metallic "Pineapple Grrrl prints", postcard prints, paintings, and a piece of resin art. I almost didn't have any room for my portfolio, but I squeezed it in.
And then...I sat there drawing inspiration cards for 6 hours and talked to the guy beside me while people barely glanced at me or what I had to offer. I made $1 by selling 1 sticker to a friend for his guitar case. At the end of the day as we were packing up, Kimberly, one of the organizers, slipped me an envelope with a gift certificate for a local restaurant as a thank you for being a featured artist. I thought that was so nice of them and felt good after a whole day of being unknown and unrecognized amongst the superheroes, super villians, and pop culture icons.
My mom said that maybe when people saw me drawing, they were afraid to interrupt me, which is valid, however when anyone passed my table and looked interested, I set down my pencil or pen, looked them dead in the eye, smiled, and said "hi". Like, what else am I supposed to do? 99% of them never even said "hi" back, they just kept walking. The only people who really talked to me or showed any interest in my work were other vendors and they weren't there to buy.
I had a wall behind me where I hung 6 posters: the one with the storyteller standing on the mountain of skulls because I figured dystopia was sci fi; the one with the girl cutting the unicorn's head off because unicorns are FANTASY CREATURES; the fairies burning down the orphanage; the one where the Princess of Hearts has the Prince of Hearts tied up and is about to feed him to her carnivorous plant; and "Dinner's Ready". I had 12 poster designs, both in colour and black & white, so I printed out all 24 and made like, poster catalogues out of them, with the blurbs we wrote for each one for the art show in September pasted onto the opposite pages. Only 2 people looked at them. I don't think they understood the concept that all of those pages were available poster size. Without hanging them all, which isn't practical at any venue due to space, I don't know how to sell these posters. I can't sell them online because the posters are $30, but it's $22 to ship them to the US in a tube, and even though it's cheaper to fold them, no one wants folded posters.
I'm pretty sure people weren't put off by my pricing, I had stuff from 50 cents to $900. People weren't even taking my business cards unless I told them to, and I have really cool business cards! People just were not interested and I'm not outgoing enough to make them interested, I guess.
I *will* be doing the event again next year because this was the 2nd year our town has done this and it was way bigger than last year, which stands to reason that next year will attract new people, plus all the people who came today will also come next year, and they will hopefully recognize me, my grrrls, or my logo. People seek the familiar and recognizable. That's the only way I can explain some of what I saw today.
It's also our town's biggest summer event and being there really made me feel a part of this place for the first time, which is weird because we've lived here 12 years, but I hang out at Green Sprouts in Barrie, I eat pretty much everywhere in our area except my town, which as much as I love it dearly, is desperately lacking one local thing done well. I shop on the internet or Walmart in Wasaga Beach. I don't drink or go to church, both big activities here. The only place in this town that has ever felt like "home" to me is the comic book shop and the Sci Fi Fantasy Street Party is all the goodness of that one place taking over our whole town for a day, which is awesome. I *LOVED* seeing all the people dressed up, even when I had no idea who most of them were. There were these guys dressed like mecha-army guys of some sort with big guns and they had a frigging bluetooth speaker strapped to one of them, playing their characters' theme song. How amazing is that???
Also, one of the other vendors came over to check out my work, and she specifically told me that she likes my brown girls, which made me feel good because no one buys or says shit about them, so I never know if I should keep painting them or not but I like them, so I do.
Anyway, the steampunk fairy above was started at 10am as a rough copy in my sketchbook, then sketched for real on paper in pencil, then inked, all by 2:30pm. (Then I started and finished another, but it'll be patrons only.) This FREE colouring page is dedicated to all the nerds and geeks I saw and met today, letting their freak flags fly.