Sunday morning — the last day of Crafty Wonderland — I found I had nothing I had to do for the show beforehand, so I bundled up and went to Oaks Bottom for a pre-Crafty walk in the woods.
It worked out so well that I am resolved next year to make every pre-Crafty morning a walk-in-the-woods morning.
Crafty Wonderland was a wonderful opportunity and I am extremely grateful I was able to participate this year. It was also hard for me. I am an introvert at heart, and though I have a fine aptitude for socializing and shmoozing (I do not have crippling introvert-ism) such things take a lot out of me, and do moreso on the tail-end of Everything Hereafter. Even by Saturday I was definitely — overtly — showing signs of strain.
I don’t have the sort of resources that can be expended all at once; whether that’s money, energy or stamina. I need to pace myself, because while powerful things come out of those wells, they seem to refill slowly in me.
It may turn out that pushing merchandise is simply not my forte, and I’m sure that would come as no surprise anyone. I certainly didn’t *kill it* like I was sort of hoping to — but then again everyone I’ve talked to says you never break even on your *first* big event like this. So I suppose that’s reassuring. The day after Crafty I went down to I’ve Been Framed and sold a bunch of unopened fancy watercolor paper pads I’d been gifted by someone years ago, and used that money to get this fantastically weird and marvelous contraption, a sort of combination easel / stool / artbox thing.
It was a little sobering to think that blank pads of paper proved to be worth more money that week than my actual pictures, but such thoughts help no one, so it’s best not to dwell on them. The important thing is I learned a great deal from Crafty, AND I’ve just majorly upped my drawing-in-wilderness game, and intend to do much with that once drier weather hits.
I think ideally telling tales and making pictures about them and weaving the two together is really where my heart is at, and the coming year is looking like it will afford me ample opportunities to do these things. So I’m not worried.
And anyway, half the point of these kind of events is to just meet a lot of new people, and I unquestionably achieved that.
I met a lot of ernest, wonderful people. Some, like Amy from WeMake was a long time coming — we’ve been corresponding for something like two years via email. Many of you were brand new to me. Some I have already emailed or will be emailing once I find your business card, or have already emailed me.
Many of you didn’t give me a card but just a name or just a bouquet of kind words and appreciation of my work, which means the whole world to me. Many of you I can’t email and thank personally, but I wanted to at least tip my hat to you here and thank you so much from the bottom of my heart for fighting the crowd over to our corner and taking the time to tell me so. It really meant a lot to me, and honestly was a soothing balm for the more trying aspects of the event.