Friday, November 30, 2012

Bazaar Bizarre

At the prompting of the Significant Otter (who split the table with me as a way to inaugurate her new graphics business Rose Hip Press), I waded into the holiday consumerism festivities for the first time this season.
There are a host of different markets that spring up, and unfortunately due to our late arrival back in the 'Banks I wasn't able to get off the waitlist for some of the prime venues. And usually getting a table on the second of two-day bazaars is not a good sign, as attendance tends to peter out and the energy level ebbs amongst the vendors. But aside from a relatively weak turnout this one was far from a dud, in fact it was a great time reconnecting with some friends and folks, plus a bonus bunch of unexpected encounters made the entire event memorable.
I have a real appreciation for what it takes to spend time in the trenches peddling one's wares, and all the time and energy it takes hauling stuff around to different venues, setting up displays and working the crowds for such an intense and short window of opportunity. For glassblowers, weavers, photographers, ceramicists and woodworkers, among many other artisans, these series of community showings represent a culmination of countless hours of creativity and craft, and are the ultimate example of supporting local businesses at the grassroots level.

The new line of cards was an excellent way to start getting one's name out, and for regular readers the snowman posted above might look a wee bit familiar too! In between the flow of people were some lulls to catch up in the sketchbook - it's always a good time to do some work, which also doubles as an impromptu demo if anyone wandering past wants to watch and maybe pick up a few insights on the process. So maybe a half-dozen or so of my pen & ink originals over the seven-hour gig got worked up with watercolor, and as usual I scored some ideas along the way from casual conversation, swapping stories, and basic eavesdropping. Many books were signed to both new and long-time fans, including a couple eyebrow-raising inscriptions (to paraphrase a couple notable ones, "_________ [daughter]: please pick up your undies in the bathroom" and "________ [dad] please stop farting in the car") and one of which in particular I'm proud of pulling off on the spot. When asked to come up with something for a guy from Budapest who teaches English and loves wordplay like idioms, I think this gag nailed it.

Another sweet spot was doing a doodle for a young woman who has made a point of clipping and collecting any of my cartoons over the years that featuring the totem critter, Castor canadensis. Seeing as how she happened to be weaving some dream-catchers (using antlers) at a table down the mezzanine, I thought this one was appropriate. All in all a great time, and always well worth perusing these bazaars over the next few weeks to help out the local art scene too.

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