Art Rave Ends in Disaster
I stormed our nations capital again, for the 3 day Art Rave festival in the Washington, DC. I met so many wonderful people while in DC. However, after giving Art Rave DC a second shot, I once again left disappointed, more so this time, then the previous trip. It probably didn't help, that prior to this show, my allergies kicked in and I ended up with an awful head cold. To top that off the heat was back, it was a stifling humid 98 degrees on Friday when I began setting up for the festival. I left at 7am in the morning from Amish country and traveled to DC, taking my time and arriving in DC around 10:30 am, I was prepared to start setting up for the festival at 11. Unfortunately, the details about the event were unclear, and I showed up to an empty lot, that was taped off. I parked and called Ken, the guy in charge of organizing the event. There was some miscommunication and we were not setting up until noon. No problem I thought, I'm the first one here, I'll get a great spot. So I decided to walk around DC, and I stopped in the Blick art supply store to browse paintbrushes, then I grabbed lunch at Tortilla Coast. At noon I went back to 14th and P, where the festival was
being held. A few other vendors were standing around confused, as they had the same miscommunication issue as I did, and Ken was in a meeting with St.Luke's church, the facility that owns the lot. After he got out of the meeting, were given our spots and began setting up for Art Rave. By 1:30 I was setup and ready to go, so I decided to get out some sidewalk chalk, I picked up while at Blick, and I chalked the ground to pass time. That's when I found out, through talking to others, Friday wasn't starting until 5pm, and ending at 8pm. The original plan of 11am-5pm was now changed from 5pm-8pm and it was just going to be a preview, with a 1/4 the amount of vendors, artists, food trucks. Well, I wish I had known that prior, as I wouldn't have thought it crucial to attend a 3 hour preview. Anyhow,I stuck it out in the heat and stayed until 8pm, with no sales, and very little foot traffic. Let me add that it was also 98 degrees, and muggy. A lot of the food vendors kindly offered us free samples and brought bottled water around to those participating, and for that, I was thankful.
After packing up my tent, and ending my day, I wet over to Whiskey Black, with Ken, (the guy who
organizes ArtRave) and was rewarded to find a
generous selection of whiskey, bourbon and scotch. This was the highlight of that Friday. I only allowed myself one glass of Iwai Traditional, neat, and 2
glasses of water, due to being dehydrated and sick with a cold. I drove to Fredericksburg, VA and met up with Hailey Dollar, who graciously let me crash at her place. The next morning I was introduced to her friends Richard Cardinal, Mark Bowers and Helly. I also got to meet her two beautiful daughters, one of which is her protege, a spitting image, with the same bubbly bright personality as her mother. We sat and chit chatted for a bit and I noted that it was like being in a house of cultured misfit Bohemian artists, and preformers. Despite being sick, it brightened my day and got me in the right mindset to continue on with ArtRave and the heat of the weekend. I drove to DC, and mentally prepared myself for a better day. Only to find out there was no place to park when I got into town. I parked at Whole Foods, which has a 90 minute free parking lot, for customers. I purchased $40 worth of water, berries, and healthy snacks to make it through the day and then schlepped my art to my tent and re-setup. I was
exhausted by this part, sweat pouring, and a head cold that was bringing me down. I decided not to let any of that stop me, and I live painted while listening to the live music, which ranged from world music, to jazz to gospel. After 90 minutes, I retreated back to my car, and blasted the AC. I then drove around DC until I found a spot to park for the day for $14. I rushed back to my tent, sprint jogging the 3 blocks, which further aggravated how awful I already felt. Unfortunately, once again the heat kept many people from attending. Those that did attend, weren't purchasing. I did however meet many wonderful people, who were kind enough to chat with me about my art, and enjoyed my work. Those moments perked up my spirit and at least brought some purpose to my day. By the end of the day with only a single print sale, and a few buttons, I decided to throw in the towel. ArtRave wasn't the right venue for me. I didn't participate on Sunday, despite paying $59 per day for each of the 3 days. I was too ill and too discouraged to carry on. The point of me sharing this blog post with readers is to inform my audience that not everything you will do on your journey, will be easy, or successful but do not let that stop you from continuing on. I think a number of people who hear me say that "I am an artist", when asked what I do for a living, glamorize it in their minds. They think I just paint, and live handsomely, only painting and being eccentrically me. That idea is a myth, and couldn't be farther from the truth. I still have to do tons of things I hate doing, like blogging, updating my website, posting shop listings, writing emails, art shows in heat, photographing and documenting my work. There is a LOT of WORK between paintings. Being a self representing artist is just like running any other small business. In fact, at this point, I should be called a non-profit, as I am not really profiting at this point in my career. Being an artist is still my dream and at the end of the day, I know that I am doing something I love, whether it is easy or not, I will carry on. It's my passion, and I honestly feel like I have to make this dream a reality. So if you like my art, and you want to continue to see me create. Please support my art by buying a piece, a print, anything. If you can't do that, at least share my posts with others, so my artwork can gain more exposure, leave encouraging comments, or feedback you think would be helpful. Thanks for reading and be sure to join my mailing list, if you haven't already.