The past 3+ months for me have been spent working 10-12 hour days into the early hours of every morning doing everything I could to prepare for this past weekend: building canvases, sawing, nailing, screwing, pulling things apart, putting them back together, sanding, gessoing; sketching, painting, inking, touching up; cutting, taping, messing up, starting over, printing; wrapping, labeling, pricing, packing, unpacking, repacking; emailing, organizing, collecting, cleaning, polishing… Every day felt like chaos and stress and depression and fighting for motivation and inspiration. And now it’s Monday, August 11th, a day I thought would never come… And it’s all over. And it was all worth it. (Firstly, do you see that cat on a leash? Someday we will have a cat on a leash, and we will bring it on tour, and the world will be wonderful.)
The Mystic Outdoor Art Festival this past weekend was better than I’d even been allowing myself to imagine. The weather was absolutely perfect. The street I was set up on was blocked from traffic, and was right next to downtown and the Mystic bridge. I had a big spacious sidewalk behind me, a stone wall for friends to sit, and a nice shady tree for probably one of the coolest locations at the festival. Lots of friends did come by and kept us company for most of the weekend. We had amazing and talented neighboring tents all around us, and the festival volunteers constantly went out of their way to help us out. Our street really felt like its own community! I’d definitely love to come back next year and request the same booth location. (The two photos above are both from my street on Sunday, the first being taken at 7:30 AM before the festival started, then at 11:30 AM as the crowds began packing in.) There was barely any down time at all, and I found that I couldn’t help grinning constantly. I actually had such a wonderful time on Saturday that, even though I was completely exhausted, I couldn’t sleep and ending up getting up at 5:00 AM on Sunday, ready for day two!
And the payoff? I sold over 40 pieces of original artwork, a couple of the books I’ve illustrated, and handed out close to a thousand business cards, stickers, and prints! I could not be happier to be getting back into the “art for art” scene.
P.S. Our friend Rick over at the Day, New London’s local newspaper, added a blurb and a few quotes from me in his write-up for this year’s event! Check that out here.