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.

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