This past Saturday was my first and Barnes and Nobles’ first Mini Maker Faire. I wasn’t sure what exactly to expect, whether I would be on a panel or if I would just be demonstrating how I go about making my dolls. Luckily for me they just expected me to show my dolls to people and explain how I construct them. Seemed easy enough, but what I didn’t know was that I would be the first table directly in front of the elevator on the second floor in the children’s department. I love children and all but I WAS NOT READY lol! The staff had to sneak me out so that I could take a break and they also had to block the children so that I could pack up to leave when it was time for me to go. I really enjoyed them, they asked me everything from how I made the dolls to why did they look so sad. One was extremely pro-active, she had her mother take a tally of all the materials I used so that they could pick them up and get to work on making a doll that very evening. Another little girl outed her mom who secretly called my dolls creepy by shouting “I don’t think they’re creepy, I love them!”. She gets a gold star in my book for coming to my defense. Overall, the staff was amazing, the children were adorable and inquisitive and I went home without any of the promotional cards that I brought with me.
I was off to what I thought would have been a slow time for me and I honestly was looking forward to taking a break, so I decided to stop applying to open calls and learn how to enjoy life and the fresh air. I Instead found myself juggling a Maker Faire workshop that I was asked to conduct at Barnes and Noble on the 7th of November, a group show at The House of Visual on the 13th, a commission that needs to be done by October 30th for a recording artist, an ongoing redesign project that I’m working on for the National Domestic Workers Organization and I still need to make my damn costume for Halloween! I’m very excited by all of this but this is ruining my plan to sleep more lol!
I was asked by the Community Business Manager of Barnes & Nobles who I met through a friend to participate in the mini Maker Faire workshop. I knew that he was a fan of my work but apparently his whole branch is as well, I’m looking forward to being at the event but I just wish I had more time to prepare for it. To make life a bit easier for myself, I’m going to rehash a workshop that I’ve done where I demonstrate how to start building a doll from scratch. I really need to finesse it since Margaret Honey who is the President of the NY Hall of Science is going to be there, so I better not screw it up!
The idea of the show at The House of Visual has been kicked around a few times by me, Cisco and Robert who are the founders of HOV previously, but we’ve yet to plan on a date. Since they are now mentoring a new artist who also makes dolls, it was the perfect time to have it. Thankfully with this show I will be able to bring work that I already have on hand and not create anything new.
The commission that I am working on is for an artist named Billy Black. He found me on Instagram through one of his friends and contacted me since he and his girlfriend loves dolls. I am currently making a doll of him so that he can present it on stage at his show on October 30th in Philly. I’m hoping on a bus to see the show and come back in the morning just in time for Halloween. Hopefully my costume will be past the initial sketch stage that I am in now… Can you tell who it is? I’m definitely an 80’s baby lol!
Here’s a few pics from Me and Ignacio’s latest Installation “Melanchromatic”. It was part of boom! theater’s monthly salon show that showcased poets, comedians and boom!’s very first screening of Puzzle People which is a weekly series about two friends who love puzzles more than people. It was an amazing night!
I have a load of new items that will be slowly trickling into my Etsy shop over the next few weeks. (I take a really long time to list items, they need to be properly photographed and documented). The influx of items is a result of an outdoor art show in The Bronx’s Little Italy area being a total washout! It was such a sad day, there was little to no foot traffic and there was at least one artist that I know of whose art was damaged by the rain. Thankfully there was a 99 cents store nearby where I was able to get a beach umbrella to shield the few pieces that I did choose to put out. No Melandollies were harmed in the making of that show. There may be a second or third date scheduled for it but in the mean time I’m putting my new pieces up for sale in my Etsy shop. Getting ready for the show made me realize a very important thing, I work much faster than I think I do. In about 3 months time, I cranked out 18 small wall pieces/ornaments, 9 dolls in frames, 2 busts and about 20 small people in bottles. There were plenty of late nights and events that I had to miss but in the end it made me realize my capabilities. At one time it would take me 3 months to create 2 dolls, boy have the tides turned! Well in the mean time, you can check out the few items that I currently have in my Etsy store. I will keep you all posted when I add my new pieces to the shop, hang tight!
I had another successful go at the Northside Festival with my larger works! This year it was for two days instead of one AND they offered free over night storage so I wouldn’t look like a crazy bag lady with my shopping cart on the train. There were less kids at the festival to play with the pieces as they did the year prior but the “adults” were taking selfies as usual, I found a few uploaded to Instagram 🙂
I’m looking forward to participating again next year!
I am still hastily preparing for the Bronx Little Italy Art Show. I want to try to focus on more affordable pieces so that everyone could have a little Melandolly of their own. It’s at that point where I’m beginning to feel the crunch, I have about 2 1/2 weeks to try and crank all these little ones out. Wish me luck!
I have been feverishly working on a brand new set of pieces to be sold at the Bronx Little Italy Art Show this June 28th. I’m not sure exactly how many pieces that I’ll have by that time but they will definitely be priced to sell! Please be sure to stop by, I will have more details of the time and location as the date approaches. Please stand by!
For those who haven’t seen this piece named “Women’s Troubles” in its entirety on Facebook, Instagram etc., here it is completed. As I may have mentioned before, this piece explores the problems that women face in the workplace and at home. At work, women face issues such as being overlooked for promotions, unequal pay and sexual harassment, while at home they are to assumed to take on all of the domestic duties. Our roles have changed drastically but society still views us as being less than that of our male counterparts, making it very difficult for us to succeed in the workplace.
With this last piece that I’ve worked on for Innuendos, I found myself sculpting a couple of things for the first time. The most challenging out of them all were the eight arms hands down (no pun intended!), but the most unusual out of my first time items were the feet. I never bother too much with sculpting feet on my dolls because I am very anxious to get to all of the other mundane tasks of doll making such as sanding, picking out fabric, the dreadful sewing, hair gluing, etc. I usually just paint some simple shoes on like a ballerina slipper or a sock and get on with it. It came natural to me to create them, I just found it unnecessary to focus on them for my characters, just like ears. (There’s only one Melandolly that I’ve created with ears lol!). This time I felt the need to have actual feet. I wanted to have one foot bare with toes and everything and the other in a high heel. The bare foot is on the domestic housewife side of the piece while the heel is on the career woman half of it. I wanted to play up the “barefoot in the kitchen” phrase and also create the ideal vision of a business woman in heels.
Want to see more? Come see the finished piece at the Andrew Freedman Home at 1125 Grand Concourse, Bronx, NY 10452 from March 6th through April 1st!
The opening is this Friday from 5:30-9:30pm, hope to see you there!
I am very proud to be a part of this upcoming show with the Bronx Arts Factory. The show is curated by Yolanda and Yelaine Rodriguez and they wanted to choose 10 female artists to connect you to the female form and the struggles that women face. I am still working on my pieces but I wanted to share a few of my work in progress shots. The name of this piece is “Women’s Troubles”. I wanted to illustrate the changing roles of women and the problems that they face as they make an attempt to live up to society’s expectations of them along with trying to balance their work and home lives. The show will be at the Andrew Freedman Home at 1125 Grand Concourse, Bronx, New York 10452 from March 6th through April 1st