I have renewed respect for everyone who stands all day at a job — they are the bees knees. 😎 As I’ve said before, I joined this year’s Art Mart in Bonifacio Global City on a whim at my friend’s encouragement. Drawing is my first love, graphic design was a career choice. I figured that if I want to reboot my career as an illustrator, I need to get my work out there in the open. I didn’t know what to expect but I thought it would be a good chance to find out which of my products sell the best before I place them for sale online, right?
So I applied, slightly nervously because Arts at BGC had sooo many guidelines and requirements. Fortunately I passed but then I only had 14 days to prepare before the actual day so those two weeks were spent in panic mode.
My art prints have been ready for a while but I had to make many more pieces of shrink plastic accessories to justify my being in a craft fair. I limited it to just 10-20 pieces per design so that I could handcraft each one with care and inspect them for durability.
I also had to think about how to properly display my work. I found an old cassette tape crate — obviously not being used anymore 😆 — in my room at my parents’ which I re-purposed and used as my card display rack. I used cheap cork boards & little chalkboards from Saizen and propped them up on mini easels to display my shrinky dink necklaces, bracelets, and pins. The little wooden frames, bowls and basket were stuff we had on hand here at home. The green necklace stand is an old gift from my friend Chinggay, and the red “tablecloth” is unused fabric that I bought way back in 2004 in Nippori in Tokyo. (I was planning to have my friend Tippi turn it into a top when I bought it but it slipped my mind! Now it has a new purpose.)
What I didn’t expect:
1) The heat! Our tables were right in the middle of the activity center which has. no. roof. And oh my gosh there were no tents! 😯 The very nice organizer apologized profusely and said that she really fought for the tents but sadly, we were out under the scorching heat for five hours. Thankfully Arn and I had a small umbrella in the car but it didn’t help much — I’m as red as a lobster right now.
2) The wind. Don’t get me wrong, I’m thankful that there was a breeze at all but my display was in constant danger of falling apart.
3) The almost never-ending throng of buyers from 4-9pm and even beyond. Happy problem. Not complaining. 🙂
Lessons learned for next time:
1) Bring lots of water in a cooler. There was very little chance to leave my table — besides, it was one of the rules that “the artist should always be present.” If not for a kind soul, Alexander de San Miguel, a comics scene friend, we would have dehydrated. Alexander pleasantly surprised us by bringing us drinks from time to time without us even asking him. 🙂
2) Bring sunblock!!! And an umbrella.
3) Wear breezy, comfortable clothing. My t-shirt was light-colored and thin enough so my upper body was okay but my skirt was made of somewhat heavy fabric. Next time remind me to wear linen.
4) Have more prints available. I ran out of some but at least now I know which of the drawings are the favorites.
5) Bring lots of small bills. Self-explanatory. 🙂
6) Take a few little breaks to go around and visit the other stores. I regret not being able to check out the amazing stuff in the market because I was glued to my booth. 🙁
Also very grateful for the support of Arnold who gamely stood there in the sun to help me out. <3 We were both exhausted at the end of the day but we were happy to have met so many people. I also loooove that we got to make friends with some customers and fellow artists/crafters. <3 If you were among those whom I talked to on Saturday, thank you so much for dropping by my booth. My smile that day was thisbig because of you. 🙂
By the way, remember the pet portraits I made of my friend April’s shiba inus before? Here is one of the dogs, Mya. 🙂
I would love to talk more about the experience but I’m sleepy now so I’ll just leave you with my photo album, here.
Will I do this again? Definitely! But maybe just twice a year at most. Right now what I need to focus on is making more illustrations
and finally getting my locally-based shop up and running. It’s up! 🙂