This past weekend I participated in my first Renegade Craft Show. The Renegade has been having shows for over a decade and they travel all over the country and now internationally. It provides an event and space for artists to present and sell their handmade goods directly to the customer. It was the NYC Holiday Market, which is the best show of the year to participate in, from what I heard.
So many others vendors and attendees ask, "how is the show going for you?" I generally said, "I think it's good, I don't know, I don't have any reference because it's my first time participating." What I did know was that I worked my ass off leading up to the show and I was just glad to have pulled it all together to make it to the show and present my work in an orderly fashion.
I love what I do. I love working with my hands and I love designing and problem solving and I love color and humor and I get to throw all of those things into a bunch of stuff I make on my own. I understand it is hard to understand the process that enameling entails and what it means when I say, I make everything, when there is so much to look at. One man stood out in my mind and he was an older gentleman with a Plenty of Fish t-shirt on, clearly a fan of Broadway. He understood the processes of metal fabrication and enameling and he stood over my table asking a few questions and after he received the answers he needed he looked up at me with wide eyes and said, "well I can see this is ALL you do. I actually like to do things, like go see Hamilton." I laughed heartily because he was totally right. I didn't have much of a life or spare time while working on this show. Even if the process of my work isn't understood, I saw people's faces light up when they saw my table and that was a great feeling. After the events of this week, my heart was deflated and I considered that people might not be up for attending a craft show or in the mood for seeing a bunch of silly colorful work, but they were still there and I think it was a great event for people to come together. The smiles that came from the discovery of an enameled Cheeseburger Box were pretty fabulous, too.
So "how was the show for you?"
"I think I'm on the right track and it was pretty awesome. Thanks for asking."