I have been pretty absent from the internet unless you're part of the Art Hospital facebook group, in which case you probably think I've been doing nothing else. Work with the Bloomington Handmade Market and the Art Hospital has been keeping me very busy!
The Last Time I Will Talk About The Bloomington Handmade Market (for now)
Can I review an event I helped to put on? If I may say so myself, the Market was a tremendous success. Aside from a few little snafus at the beginning, we got everything set up on time in our venue (KRC Banquets and Catering) and all the artists in place. We had somewhere in the neighborhood of 1300 attendees, all of the artists seemed to do well and have fun, and there were so many wonderful things to choose from. I ended up buying a lot of soap, from all 3 of our soap folks, actually (Get Lathered!, Stinkybomb Soap and The Pink Toque -- what can I say, I was filthy) but there was so much more I wanted.
Thank you thank you thank you again to my lovely fellow organizers, Mia and Sally, as well as all of our fantastic artists, everyone who came, and an extra special shout-out to Luke Woodaman from Opera House Press who, with very little notice and almost no sleep, came through and helped us lug the rented tables to the space in his van.
Organizing an event is a lot of work, but I have to say it gets easier the more you do it. One thing I'm learning from working on the Handmade Market is that it's really not that difficult to mobilize the community and get people excited about art. In fact, it's been so easy that I'm a little confused as to why it doesn't happen more.
I should clarify that when I say "easy" I don't mean "simple." It's a hell of a lot of work. But with virtually no money and a lot of work and talking to people, we have managed to create an event that really speaks to the community and makes everyone feel involved and good about supporting local art. There is no secret, really. The secret is: we actually do involve lots of people in the community.
For example: we needed to rent about 10 6-foot tables for this past event and get them to the venue by roughly 7 am -- well before our rental company opens. None of us organizers has a large enough vehicle to tote this many tables. The delivery fee would have been $55 to bring the tables to the venue. However, with the help of Luke, who volunteered his time and van, and my friend Whitney who volunteered a storage space where we could keep the tables overnight, we managed to save that money and involve two people in the process without whom we absolutely could not be offering booth spaces at the ridiculously affordable price that we do.
At the risk of sounding incredibly trite, I can honestly say that teamwork is what makes the Market a success, with all the great support from local businesses, friends, volunteers and perfect strangers who just think the Handmade Market is neat. We're already looking forward to the next one!
Now that the Market is over I can "relax," which means "finish this embroidery commission I was supposed to have done a week ago" and also "hurry up and make a tilt sensing bracelet before I have to meet with my friend, collaborator and programmer extraordinare Ben to discuss our new top secret interactive textile project," and additionally "work on a tarot deck with Matte which we have been discussing for about a year now."
Last but not least, here's a small project I completed shortly after I had my eye surgery. Don't take it too seriously. It's funny. Pretty soon I should have a pic of the album art I'm working on for Tinyfolk.