Since coming back to Arizona to attend college, I have frequented different art fairs with my aunt and uncle. While we see a lot of the same artists at most of them, every once in a while someone unique appears. Sometimes it's nice to know who will be at an art fair, but other times, it's fun to browse and see what you can find. I always think about how working one would be challenging, but wonder if it would pay off. I have worked a booth at the Sunnyslope Art Walk in Phoenix and while it's only 3 hours, it's a lot of work to set up, break down, and to be perfectly honest, it's a lot of work to smile and be pleasant to everyone who passes (even when you are not getting a lot of sales).
When thinking about faires, festivals, conventions, or conferences that I'd like to work or at least visit, I have a hard time deciding. In class, we learned about Unique LA. I had never heard about it before. A place for all things creative and unique? Totally!
I've always heard about Maker Faire from various blogs I read, especially, of course, the Craft and Make Magazine blogs. Maker Faire's happen all over the US and are a couple of days of creatives and inventors making unique and interesting things. I'm not sure I'd participate in it, but I'd love to attend!
Another sort of convention I'd be interested in attending is The Bizarre Bazaar. Again, I've heard about this one from craft blogs and podcasts. According to the website it "is a unique marketplace featuring hundreds of exclusive exhibitors selected from the best craft and gift shows in America." I think it'd be chaotic to work because it has grown so large, but that doesn't mean I wouldn't like to go sometime!
The National Needlearts Association recently had their Winter Trade-show here in Phoenix. They have trade-shows around the country and I would love to attend one sometime to check it out, especially if they come back to Arizona!
While I'm interested in attending the previously mentioned conventions and fairs, and, if I built up a brand, possibly work one or two, one that I could see myself both attending and working at for sure is called The New York State Sheep and Wool Festival, or as it's more commonly known by fiber enthusiasts, Rhinebeck. I've heard so much about Rhinebeck from various knitters, spinners, and podcasters that I feel like I've almost been there once. Worse on the pocketbook than any fiber or yarn store, this festival has everything from workshops, vendors, and fleece sales, to sheepdog trials and fiber animal (sheep, goats, llama, alpaca) shows.
Photo by Garett C. Lown
Many knitters and fiber artists use Rhinebeck as a meetup. I know that the knitting (and crocheting) community website, Ravelry, usually holds a meetup there. (While I'm not totally immersed in the Ravelry community, maybe I should become more involved. I've been on it a few years. Who knows, I could network there!)
So, what would I do at Rhinebeck? As a vendor, I think I might like to sell yarn I've spun and dyed. Now that I have a spinning wheel do to that, why shouldn't I put it to use?
Photo by Garett C. Lown
I think that maybe if I made more felted creatures, I could sell those, too. I'm sure that if I went to Rhinebeck and walked around, I could come up with something else I could make and sell. But until I do, let me tour the festivals!
....Alright, confession. I'm not all Fiber and Art. I have a geeky side, too.
I happen to love Doctor Who. (And lots of webcomics. One of my favorite webcomic artist was there that day and she gave me a sketch!)
This was taken at Phoenix ComicCon. Someday I'd love to go to ComicCon in San Diego (maybe when I'm living there?) but for now I'm content with wandering the Phoenix one.