This was my first time participating in an event as large as Maker Faire. I must say that it was a lot of work and that two weeks later, I am still tired and recuperating, but it was well worth it. I met a lot of other makers and got to hear about all the interesting projects they were working on, along with meeting a new audience of people that were interested in my work. I also went home with 3 Editor’s Choice ribbons from the team, I totally wasn’t expecting that. Especially when I felt like I was getting my ass kicked with all the traffic that was coming to my area, that really boosted my spirit 😀
I was super worried that I wouldn’t have enough promotional materials and handouts for my workshop, but I surprisingly went home with a little more than half of everything that I brought with me. I ordered all sorts of things like stickers, magnets, postcards, and even refreshed my inventory of business cards. These will come in handy for the next event that I do, so I’m not going to stress over it. It’s always better to be over prepared than not at all.
(Photos below of workshop participants and my two special people :D)
I had to make some last minute modifications to my workshop, but it honestly went off without a hitch! I had originally planned on showing everyone how to manipulate thin wire to form an armature with pliers but after second thought, I decided to make it more child friendly for smaller children. I ditched the wires and pliers altogether and swapped them out for paperclips. I just showed them how to link everything together and tape it up the same way I would have with the thinner wire. After that, I showed them how to cover the piece with clay and gave them a handout with more instructions for them to follow at home. When I look back at everything, I made the right choice since there were quite a few small children that were having difficulty with the paper clips. The extra time was definitely to get them up to speed with everyone else so that they wouldn’t feel left out.
(One of my smaller groups from the first day)
My only regret was that I didn’t have enough time to actually look around the festival. There were so many exciting things that I saw on the website and I missed the majority of them. Next year I will have to bring more friends and family to help out so that I could run away for a bit. I would also make sure that everything in my area is set up on the first day before the social party so that I can walk around and see more of everything before the public does.
Seeing everything the night before hand was pretty surreal and sweet! Can’t wait till next time!
And yesterday’s package of magnets concludes my promotional materials for my setup two weeks from now, I can’t wait! I printed from 4 different printers (Psprint, Uprinting and Atlantis Printing, & Moo) and the colors match perfectly, I’m glad all those print production classes that I took paid off!
So here’s an update on this piece. He was originally going to be a commission for another artist, but that fell through by the time I was just about done with him. I decided to finish working on this piece since I don’t have too many male dolls under my belt. The biggest challenge for me with working on guy dolls is the styling, there’s very little room to hide imperfections. The clothing such as pants and shirts have to be pretty much tailored to fit, unlike a dress that can be loosely wrapped around and sewn in place. Another thing that I don’t bother too much with is the ears or the head shape. Most of the time I just put hair on my pieces, so getting the shape of the back of the head to be perfect and creating ears isn’t usually a concern for me. I am also terrible at sewing, so I find the notion of making pants extremely intimidating. With this piece I had to just face my fears, whip out the sewing machine, figure out how to thread it without help from mom, put my big girl pants on and get the job done. I must say that I love the way he came out, I need to get more practice in with creating more MALEndollies!
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!