My location in sunny Southern California allows for ample art fair opportunities from the smallest town farmer's market to the most highly regarded juried festivals as well. In order to start my season off with a bang, I applied to the esteemed Patchwork Indie Arts and Crafts Festival last month and much to my delight, I was accepted to the May 15th Long Beach show!
As I mentioned, it's been a while since my last fair and I find myself frantically, but gleefully preparing myself for my maiden CA craft voyage. I'm resolved that there will be no half-stepping with my set-up at Patchwork. I have already begun to devise my product layout, purchasing display racks and baskets mined from a variety of sources including the local thrift and ebay. I'm designing my own cards, tags and promotional items. I'm sourcing out tents, tables and lighting. Oh, and naturally, I'm creating a gang of new art, art objects and accessories for the occasion. I'm expecting a complete emotional collapse about a week before the even, but so far my crazy train has remained on the rails. The battle cry for success has become "Branding and Cohesion"! I intend to present a unified art identity front at my booth, without any hint of the chaos that created it.
|A hint of said chaos.|
Of course, every war has its casualties and preparing for this beaux arts battle is no different; my dining room table is now crusted in a festive array of pink glitter, resigned to its new fate as a circus side table as I create a handmade bunting banner for my display area. Yesterday, I spent the greater part of the afternoon designing hang tags (the kind you tie on to your work to denote cost, not the things that hang eerily off your hide awaiting removal). My dedicated studio space is creeping across its confines to the common areas of the apartment as I build inventory and gather supplies. As I look around I realize I would have done well as a communist general, commandeering property to suit the needs of the state. Especially given the fact that l'etat c'est moi.
|Bunting bits, pre-construction.|
Despite the mess, I'm truly excited to begin the season. I'm fortunate to live in a city overflowing with parks and public space. Markets and fairs abound just within the confines of my municipality and I'm hoping that momentum will serve me if I merely take advantage of what's nearby. Reclaiming DIY may have truly begun with a boot in the ass from the world wide web, but I believe its future lies in the old fashioned notion of gathering a community to meet its artists face to face. Inviting an audience to witness what we do in the flesh via demos and conversation and allowing them the chance to satisfy their senses by experiencing art first hand is gratifying for everyone. And access to corn dogs and cotton candy whilst immersing yourself in culture certainly sweetens the pot.