Artfairing

I've always loved going to artfairs and artisan markets.  Just like the European open air markets, varied vendors selling their handcrafted wares that they've dreamed of, poured into, stocked up, and hauled out for this one event.  All of those adorable little tents in some beautiful park setting on a warm summer day, maybe there's even a musician playing some live music and the smell of roasted nuts or something...sweet!

Now that I'm on the other side of the tent's table, so to speak, I have a whole new respect for these artists and craftsmen type people.  I think several of these outdoor markets have come a long way and really stepped up their games to make for some very well organized and lovely events that I really enjoy being a part of, rather that just strolling through.

This means applying and sending in registration forms and fees months in advance to hope you are accepted into and secure your spots in the events for the entire upcoming season. Photographs and examples of your work, your displays, you actually creating your work, etc. need to be sent. And then if you're in, you need a tent (that's bigger than me before it's even unpacked, and preferably a white one, some have presentation standards too) tables, linens, signs and banners, displays, staging props, a cart or some way to haul it all, not to mention the stock /merchandise itself!  Of course all of this has to be packable, portable, assemble-able, and dis-assemble-able quite quickly by yourself without smashing and destroying all of your hard work,...hoping that the weather is decent, and the unloading zone isn't five blocks from your booth spot or that at least there might be a sidewalk and not a mud path to haul it all over and through.

Yes, artists, artisans, crafters and the like, I salute you, this is not easy by any means!  I hope your summer is blessed with much sunshine, (and sales!) and enjoy the fairs!

Fabricating

When I studied graphic design "back in the day", we used to actually cut things out with Exacto knives and paste them elsewhere with horrible, gooey, toxic-smelling, rubber cement.  Now "cut and paste" are simple clicks of a button on a keyboard.  I'm an old school artist, there's just something about using real paint and real brushes the way it's always been done, but I have to say, some of this new digital technology for artist's is way cool!

I've just recently discovered, and am learning my way around, print on demand (POD's) options and opportunities, to put your art on just about anything!  Some of these sites and shops have been around for awhile, but digital advances are making these things easy and affordable for anyone to use and now they're popping up everywhere.

On sites such as Fine Art America, Redbubble, Zazzle, Cafe' Press, to name a few, you can upload your artwork and see how it will look on t-shirts, pencil skirts, silk scarves, throw pillows, duvet covers, shower curtains, phone cases, etc., etc., how cool is that!  This can become a huge waste of time just playing with all of the  options, but what a fun way to waste time right?  And then there's Spoonflower, my new obsession, where you can design and print anything on any kind of fabric!  Beautiful, glorious, yards of fabric,...or even wrapping paper, or wallpaper, and even see what it would look like in a room!  It can be printed digitally in small runs, and then you can make it into anything you want, again, how cool is that!!!  So I just had to share my excitement for these things, even if I'm coming to the party late, to an old school artist who's not really a digital fan, this is kinda awesome I think.