Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Art on Lark

As a sponsor, Exit 97.7, Albany's local, independent radio station, had been fiercely advertising the event for weeks before. At my day job, where I have this wonderful radio station playing perpetually, the dj's would constantly remind me..."only 2 weeks until Art on Lark...only one week...3 days"...ahhhh, ok ok, I know, I have a ton of work to do!

I worked a lot of late nights in those two weeks before the show, jumping from bottle openers, to wallets, to necklaces, to scarves, back to bottle openers, etc. My soundtrack was mostly the Fugees radio station on Pandora.com, with a little bit of the Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings station thrown in, good vibes to work to. I didn't have much of a social life, coming home straight from work, to then work all night, missing happy hour with the usual crew, not spending much time with my partner. Hopefully it would be worth it, this festival draws a lot of people and I wanted to make some sales and get the Revel name out there.

The morning of Art on Lark I walked up my street, yes, right up the street, to Lark Street. There were two women from the Lark Street Bid, the organization who put the event together, checking people in. The process was easy, I already knew where my spot was because of the information vendors received in the mail. The Bid had fulfilled my request of having a spot on the corner of my street and Lark Street.

I headed back down to my apartment to meet Amanda and start bringing up the gear. We made two trips together, then Amanda made multiple subsequent trips for the things we had left behind, and extra water throughout the day. The proximity was convenient, being able to walk to the event, and not stress about packing every single thing we could possible need.

The day started off well, some sun and a steady flow of people in the morning and early afternoon, although it didn't seem as busy as last year. I was close to the middle of the segment of the street that was closed off with stages on either end, so I didn't get to hear any of the music. Furthermore, since there was a steady crowd in the morning, I didn't get a chance to break away and check out the other artists, so I don't have much to say about the festival as a whole. I can say that the crowd that it drew was very friendly and seemed appreciative of art and the work that goes into it. It's a real ego boost to have people come by and tell you how talented you are and how much they like your stuff, but it would be even better if each of them actually bought something.

The dark clouds started rolling in, and at around one it started to drizzle, then it poured. What miserable conditions after all that work and excitement. I heard there was a young woman just standing behind her table holding an umbrella over her work. It's hard to think that so many people's main source of income relies on these outdoor festivals, when so much depends on the weather. It didn't pour the entire afternoon, but it was wet and gloomy enough to keep people indoors, and Amanda and I under our canopy, which now had tarps as walls blinding us from the other vendors.

Maybe this is just how it goes, the past three events that I've sold at, and the only ones I've blogged about, have had some kind of outside occurrence negatively influencing the turn out. But craft fairs are just one avenue to sell your artwork, and still a good way to meet people and talk to them face to face about your work. In the end I did make a decent amount of sales, learned about some other places to sell my work, and had a great time with friends that visited my booth, so I guess all there is to do now is to keep creating.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

New Product Announcement: Scarves

I am very excited to announce that Revel Scarves are now available! They had a test run at the Brooklyn Indie Market, and many more will be available at Art on Lark in Albany, NY this Saturday, June 26th. They are 100% cotton voile and come in the traditional bandanna size, 18"x18", and a slightly smaller 14"X14". I hand paint them individually with reactive dyes, making them each a unique piece of art work. Wear them on your head, around your wrist, around the brim of your fedora, wherever you need a splash of color. They will be available for sale online soon, after Art on Lark, so if you can't make it for the party on Lark Street, check www.revelinart.com soon!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Brooklyn Indie Market, June 12th

This past Saturday, June 12, was my first time participating in the Brooklyn Indie Market, in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn. Amanda and I left her family’s house in Nassua by a quarter to nine armed with both directions from Google Maps and a Tom Tom. Of course the two wanted us to go in completely different directions once we got further west on the island, so we followed the sultry British voice of the GPS, hoping we made the right choice. We spotted the red and white striped tent by 9:30 and easily slid into a parking spot across the street.

Set-up was not until 10:00, so we stopped at the Fall Café across the street from the venue for some breakfast. We continued to give this establishment business throughout the day as a trade off for using their bathroom. It was a vicious cycle of buying a drink to use the restroom, drinking it, and then needing to go back and buy another drink.

We walked across the street and into the tent to be greeted by Kathy Malone, the organizer of the Brooklyn Indie Market, who led me to the middle of the tent and let me choose which side to file in on. It was a small space, but not crowded, with enough room for around 15 artists.

Pedestrians started wandering in before 11:00, the official start time. The morning rush seemed to be overflow from a nearby farmer’s market, as most had fresh vegetables. Most were young families, with infants and toddlers, and even a young girl rocking a Snow White costume riding a scooter. From what I saw this is the majority of the Carroll Garden’s community, the market’s central customer base. Most of the day was slow, although traffic did pick up in the late afternoon. Other vendor’s said it was slower than past weekends.

In the afternoon I went for a walk down Union Street and was reminded that the World Cup was being aired, and saw that the bars were packed with people in there American flag swimming trunks and Uncle Sam hats. Perhaps that was a factor in this Saturday being slower than others, and maybe a game ending gave us that afternoon rush. There was that one guy who ran through the tent wa-hoo-ing with a hand drum, and that other guy who was admiring my work with ‘I’ve been drinking all day,’ glazed over eyes.

I’ve only shown at one-day art/craft fairs in the past, never a weekly market. The Brooklyn Indie Market does not seem to be a destination for anyone, other than my mom and my friends who came. The customers were mainly people who were walking by anyway and decided to stroll through. The rotation of vendors and groovy tunes does help the market stay fresh and interesting, and there is ample foot traffic in the neighborhood. I think the key at this market is to know the audience and offer what they want, and to have a display that will grab the passer-byers, and force them to stop and shop.

Towards the end of the day Kathy came around with champagne for the vendors as we were anxiously waiting the end, but still hoping for one more sale. Amanda and I were very excited to buy a print by Rebecca Sherman, a very talented artist, and in the end I made a decent amount of sales, and hope all of the artists did as well.