Let's start with a number- 4. That's how many years I've been a pro (an adj. that implies a level of mastery and presumption). Art vending has to be both my least and favorite thing to do. I experience the open air and strong sunlight, and I see with my own eyes how a real-world art display stacks up to how I show it online.
When I vend on First Friday (8/1/2014), I hope absorb something new from the energy around me and the people I meet.
Vending isn't about making a transaction. It doesn't describe social/interpersonal roles that people act out when pushing/purchasing a good product. It's a ritual of gift-giving/bartering that endlessly cycles between the artist and the public. Within it, I and the people I meet chat about:
1. Each other's knowledge and enthusiasm about art + culture
2. One-of-a- kind pieces that no one knows better than me... the creator.
This passion and exchange of ideas give life and a sense of destiny to my otherwise inanimate objects.
In general, I've learned that busy market streets that match my own energy level are the best places to both meet new people and share work. In two years, I've met people from all types of professional backgrounds (such as STEM and education) that want to know more about art in general, not just what I produce. It always gave me a good feeling to know that I could provide a viewpoint that is from an artist and an everyday person. The open air helps people I meet to open up their minds, help the ideas flow easier. The chemical reaction can't be forced- the common ground between me and visitors is how we can build on what we both do and don't know about art.
The best times are when I talk about what I do, and why. It gives me a chance to talk about energy, and my obsession with extraterrestials. It gives them a chance to chat with possibly the weirdest person they've met all week. They talk about their jobs- I answer questions about mine. We chat about art markers and digital painting. Past lives in high school art clubs and tracing Taz from Looney Toons. My conversation partners are secret artists with the treasure stash of work in their attic, that create their masterpieces during a Sunday art class; or the cousin of a young gifted artist, who needs an actual face to talk to about starting out in art. Or the well-intentioned yuppie, who is confused by the black and white and seeming lack of subject matter in my artwork. Anybody, for that matter.
Tomorrow, August 1st, I will be outside, rain or shine. I will hopefully have amazing conversations full of ideas and good energy, and crank out some live art too.
See you there in spirit, if not in person.