I’ve been rather MIA lately in terms of blogging, and the main culprit for this is the manic prep work I’ve been doing for the marvellous Norwich Art Car Boot Fair!
This is the second year these wonderful folks have hosted and organised the fair and it went swimmingly!… Apart from a few hiccups in the morning…
Grey clouds loomed over the venue for the first half hour of myself and my friend setting up our gazebo (for the first time, may I add, and we set it up like pros). They gradually got greyer and greyer until, just as I get the tables up and ready to decorate, they damn near exploded. It poured for another half an hour, soaking the poor people who hadn’t been able to set up their gazebos in time, and soaking a lot of wonderful stock too! The look on everybody’s face read the same thing… “Oh good god please don’t let it rain all day.” The thought that we’d spent so much time getting everything ready and looking perfect only for no body to turn up because of a tropical downpour was pretty disheartening…
But clearly Thor felt sorry for us and he called off his storm to reveal a lush sunny day!
But the weather had one more surprise in store for us… wind.
With the venue being in an unfortunately gravelled and stoney place, tethering down gazebos and guy-wires was an impressively impossible task, so it wasn’t a surprise that our awful attempts to get hooks and rods into gravel failed us and our gazebo decided to… go for a wander. Here’s an artist’s impression of the wandering…
(Clearly three years of an illustration degree and a lifetime of drawing has paid off.)
We got the gazebo out of the hedge (and off of my car…) and tethered it down to EVERYTHING we possibly could, including the car itself. That bugger wasn’t going anywhere.
With all this nonsense sorted out, and the stall set up, decorated, and looking gorgeous, we were finally ready to start selling!
I had so many awesome people come up to me, asking loads of questions, showing huge interest in everything, and even buying some stuff. The main element of my stall people seemed really interested in was my favourite part as well; my little test tube beasts! Unless you’ve been following me on Twitter, Facebook, or Tumblr you will most likely have no idea what I mean by that, so here’s an explanation.
Whilst trying to work out how to make my stall interesting and unique in order to stand out amongst the other amazing artists, I stumbled across some apparatus inspired artworks. Petri dishes, test tubes, containers and other glassware was being utilised in artistic and creative ways, something which sparked an idea. I have yet to find an example of illustrations being displayed in ‘test tubes’ in the same manner that I thought of, so I immediately got excited at the prospect of a relatively unique idea! (Something rarer than a damn unicorn).
I bulk ordered a load of boiling tubes (actual test tubes are too skinny for what I had in mind) from a marvellous apparatus supply site, The Consumables Company, and started playing around with how I could display illustrations inside them.
I really wanted to create a sense of having a specimen inside the test tube without actually having to source organic specimens. I chose to go down the route of twisting and turning the illustration to be almost flush against the inside of the tube, as if it were floating around inside.
With the tests being a huge success, I continued this technique for the rest! I ended up with twenty test tube beasts, all ready for the car boot.
With these guys done, greetings cards printed, mini originals all sleeved up, some crazy faux dioramas all finished, and a whole bunch of other stock ready to go, the stall was looking pretty full! I unfortunately didn’t have room to fit in one other idea I had prepped for, which was taking on 5 minute commissions on the day for £5 each. Next year I’ll be sure to cater for this idea as I’d love to try it out. But for now, here’s some photos of the day in full swing!
With this being my first ever stall event where I’ve displayed purely my illustration work, I’d say it went rather smoothly! Aside from the rain and the airborne gazebo, everything was marvellous. Of course there are a few thing I’d definitely bear in mind for next year…
- I need more £1 coins in my float. The vast majority of folk visiting the boot sale paid with notes (understandable really, they probably just popped to the cash machine) so I need more change for next time.
- More table space so I can trial my 5 minute commission idea, perhaps have my car sideways?
- Better ways to tether products and prints to the table, bits had a tendency to fly off in a gust of wind…
- GET A BETTER GAZEBO.
And finally, a huge massive thanks to loads of people: The organisers, volunteers, Print To The People, and Redwell Brewers for all their hard work in making the event happen, my friend Laura for helping me man the stall, all the other artists (some I knew, some were new!) who’s work was beautiful, the food and music folk, everybody who came along to support the artists and all the wonderful dogs that made my day complete… (everyday with a dog in it is a good day).
It was awesome, can’t wait for next year!
Ps. Keep an eye on the Art Car Boot Facebook page to be the first to hear about next year’s event!