recharge

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Oof.

This weekend went from quite a lot of work to a lot of work to “We’re Sorry, But The Human You Are Trying To Contact Is Unavailable” of work.

On Saturday, my friend Maddie and I went down to Tacoma to vend at a goth/dark themed arts & crafts fair. This was my first time taking my kink Lego cards out on the road and on its own that would have been enough. I’ve devoted no small amount of brain power on getting everything ready and pulling together the this and the that to make it happen. Tablecloth and signage and finding my old Square card reader and oh yeah the actual cards that I’ve been knocking out.

That on its own would have been enough and I’ll write about it later. But two days after I sent in the paperwork and the money to vend there, another friend who runs a massage therapy clinic wanted to hire me again to shoot at her new location, would I be free on March 31st? The day of vending? The day… oof. Fortunately we managed to schedule everything on April 1st.

And that would have been enough. Except on Tuesday of this week, Maddie asked if I’d be free for a last minute shoot at a haunted house she volunteered at last year. Seems they’d be tearing down a scene for the season and she wanted to pull something together quickly. And of course I said yes, because we do weird and wonderful things together.

But add it all up and… frankly I’m amazed I was able to walk upright today. Not so much from physical weariness as mental and emotional exhaustion. There were a lot of people and a lot of creative energy and a lot of expectations that, while really low key one at a time added up over the span of three days. Totally worth it.

Friday’s shoot was the right kind of dramatic insanity I’d been hoping for. Maddie wanted to shoot something in the haunt’s asylum so we had a crazy girl in a straitjacket and a creepy plague doctor with stark light to make it properly horrific. I only got enough time to tease a couple of images before I had to crash because the next day was getting up at the crack of dawn.

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So Tacoma! This was Maddie’s first time vending ever and while I’ve vended before, this was new. This was my Lego kink cards. This was something I haven’t really seen before and would anyone like it or would I be lucky if I made a sale or……

As it turned out, I did really well there and not just in sales. The response was very positive (not counting the usual assortment of people who nodded and smiled at my weird shit, of course) and the organizer said I had a lot of buzz going. And it was so much happening and so many conversations, all I’ve got are postcards and moments.

One woman walked by and stopped on seeing my booth. “Oh my god, it’s you! You’re the guy!!!” It turns out she bought a bunch of my cards when Doghouse Leather stocked them last month. Because she loves Lego, her partner is a full-on Lego Builder (currently working on a five year project of some Star Wars ship) and she thought the cards were fucking fantastic. I had a fan and I didn’t even know it. The only thing keeping her from buying more was that she couldn’t remember what she already had. But I got some great pointers for other places to vend, notes on what to pitch to Doghouse in future (I need to get started plotting Pride cards).

Actually there was a really fun overlap between kinky people and Lego fans. I think I may have found a market. And most of the kinky people seemed to share my reservations about kinky art, which was wonderful.

There was the undeniable pleasure of watching parents steer kids of a certain age away from my booth. There weren’t supposed to be children at all (no one under 12?) but there were vendor friends and friends of friends so a couple were around and oh, it was hilarious. “Look kids, Legooooooo… and over there, look it’s a clown!” I was dying of laughter.

I brought postcards of my Postcard design and made my costs back in one day, with a bunch of people wishing I had more designs in that form factor, so I’m pondering. I actually put out more of my Seattle cards and got a decent response from them. And the few Dia de los Muertos cards I had sold out before noon.

There was another vendor there who dug the hell out of what I was doing and gave me some direction in terms of touching base within the kink scene. I may have a couple of other leads through her for other projects as well. Meeting her alone was worthwhile. I’ll be dropping her a line tomorrow to see

To cap it all off, I’ve been invited to vend again at another event in July. I can even share space with Maddie to save costs, which sounds really bloody good. I mean, I was expecting to be stared at like a dog that’s been shown a card trick and instead I found people who dug me. Or knew people who would. Or took my card and…

It was wonderfully reassuring.

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Portrait of the artist as an exhausted vendor

And finally yesterday’s shoot consisted of headshots, some pics of the new space and not a lot more. Better, it was with people who I’d worked with before so it was actually really simple. And then an impromptu business seminar with my friend giving me some good pointers on how to build my business. While I still have to work on all those photos, it’s not like a mass of Spinurn shots. Or even a typical shoot with Maddie for that matter.

But that’s tomorrow. Tonight…

It’s been real and it’s been fun and I’m so glad it’s over. Not least of all because I haven’t had a lot of time or energy to focus on the next batch of schemes, y’know? So much has been building towards vending that I haven’t had time to shoot or plot or even plan new shoots. Just accumulate elements and tools for those shoots. Or plan to accumulate stuff.

Now I can do. And the ideas are there, waiting. I went to the Lego store today to get some more minifigs for the next wave of cards, both kink and regular. I have ideas of how to brand two different card lines, my photography business, a mailing list and maybe even more?

Is this what confidence feels like?

Watch this space. I see a mailing list in the works, at least.

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