so, what’d you think of the shadow art fair?

I’ll give you my thoughts later, but I was wondering what you made of yesterday’s event… Did you have fun? Did you buy things? Did I hug you? Did you visit any other shops and restaurants in Ypsi while you were here? Any suggestions for next time?

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  1. Oliva
    Posted December 7, 2008 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

    On a cold December night in our sweet, earnest city, what a beautiful thing to step out front and sense the Shadow Art Fair going on just a few blocks down the road. Even the prospect was warming.

    And then we went, and although upon entering the Corner Brewery the number of human bodies was sort of squashing and surprising, it was a wonderful thing, another warming element this frigid night. Even when you bonked into somebody or got pressed between several people, everybody was friendly and forgiving.

    And the wares? Many wonderful things, as usual. We were sad not to see the great soap woman and also a certain pillow maker who was here in the past. But there was another pillow maker.

    And we saw many neighbors, had such a nice time. And we did buy! We got some one-of-a-kind presents for others and ourselves, and we had tasty beverages and food at a big table at Corner Brewery–and great company.

    One regret–I didn’t go get a hug and gumbo. And I wanted to get some of Mark and Linette’s cards and Ypsipanties, but I ran out of funds. Phew, I can order them online.

    I wanted most of all to stop by Mark and Linette’s table to say a giant THANK YOU for this truly splendid semiannual event. Packed with warmth and great neighbors (in fact or in spirit), inspiring artwork, wonderful colors and shapes, and a really heart-filling evening, despite ridiculous cold. Thank you, thank you!

  2. mark
    Posted December 7, 2008 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for the kind words, Oliva, but any praise for the event that might be coming my way should be evenly shared with the other four people who run the event with me: Melissa Dettloff, Jennifer Albaum, Molly Mast and Tim Furstnau. Together we create one efficient, brilliant, inspired individual. I’m just glad that I can contribute something toward that. If we played music, we’d be the Beatles. Everything just clicks. (On my own, I’m not much.)

  3. Jude
    Posted December 7, 2008 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

    Yup, we attended and wrote our observations here:

    Hope this is useful :)

  4. Posted December 7, 2008 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

    It was pretty good/pretty fun. My son bought a comic, I bought a mug, all of us got free t-shirts from the VG-Kids, and my wife and I enjoyed a beer. I have been meaning to actually introduce myself to you and Linette and was going to do it yesterday, but y’all looked pretty busy. I didn’t try the gumbo, mainly because I had a hard enough time walking around and looking at stuff and drinking a beer. I can’t imagine trying to eat soup too.

    One suggestion I have for the future (and I have no idea how you would implement this) is to invite a few different folks. I realize that’s kind of a hard thing to do and may even be a bad thing to do, but a lot of it reminded me a little too much of the one this summer, if you get my drift. But hey, I’m sure I’ll be back again at the next chance!

  5. Derek Foreal
    Posted December 7, 2008 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

    There was this one guy there selling the same comics he sold last year with a different cover. I wouldn’t let him participate anymore.

  6. Aaron
    Posted December 7, 2008 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

    My wife and I had fun– nice to see so many people out when the weather was so bad. I bought a Cynicalman comic book from the Hamtramack Artist Collective. Thanks for your work (and others’) to make it happen.

  7. mark
    Posted December 7, 2008 at 7:37 pm | Permalink

    “We were sad not to see the great soap woman and also a certain pillow maker who was here in the past.” -Oliva

    “One suggestion I have for the future (and I have no idea how you would implement this) is to invite a few different folks.” -Steve

    These two comments reflect the situation pretty accurately. People want change – they want to see new stuff – but they like to see people they like there all of the time. It’s a fine line to walk. According to Tim, who did the math, we had something like 20 new vendors this time. At least, I think I remember hearing him say that. And that’s out of a total of fewer than 50. Every time we make it a point to rotate out old favorites. And, when we do take repeat vendors, it’s usually because they have something new. So, yeah, there’s this difficult line to walk. We want new stuff, but we want some old favorites too. Invariably people on both sides have issues, as I think the above quotes from Steve and Oliva illustrate. All we can really do is keep doing what we’re doing, knowing that we’ll piss people off, but hopefully not so much that they stop coming.

    The cool thing is, a lot of the vendors we rotate out understand the situation we’re in and understand. Two come to mind who we didn’t have at this fair, even though they’ve had very popular displays in the past. They both still came to the event yesterday, and, I think, had a good time hanging out. And, I’m pretty sure that both will apply again in the future. They know that in order to keep it fresh we need to try new things.

  8. mark
    Posted December 7, 2008 at 7:52 pm | Permalink

    And, in response to Derek, I did bring my old comics with a new cover. What he does tell you is that the new cover contained the phrase, “Same Old Comics, New Cover.” So it wasn’t like I was trying to trick anyone. And I debated bringing them. For the most part, I wanted to have all new stuff this time. But I thought that they deserved another shot. And I’m glad that I brought them. I met a lot of folks who hadn’t read them.

  9. Brackache
    Posted December 7, 2008 at 9:18 pm | Permalink

    I liked it.

  10. Ryan
    Posted December 7, 2008 at 10:14 pm | Permalink

    The highlight for me was the feeling of your coarse beard hair rubbing against my soft unexpecting neck while we were locked in a warm embrace.

  11. applejack
    Posted December 8, 2008 at 12:08 am | Permalink

    I had a good time, but there were two issues which made it less fun than last time. For one they were all out of the special shadow beer before I got there; and secondly a very close friend of mine who is not quite 21 years old yet was stopped at the door and had to sneak in to enjoy (and purchase) some art.

    I love that it’s at the brewery, but why can’t they do wristbands, or handmarkings, or something so that we could include more youngsters (like college students, for instance)? I know liquor laws can be difficult to work around, but it sure would be nice.

  12. Robert
    Posted December 8, 2008 at 11:26 am | Permalink

    Applejack, I was stamped on the right hand upon entering the place. I assumed it was to show I was old enough to drink. Now I’m thinking I was singled out for more sinister reasons. I know how much Mark hates me.

  13. Paw
    Posted December 8, 2008 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

    Did you know that you let someone in who would be selling pictures of people’s feet?

  14. Paw
    Posted December 8, 2008 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

    Xs were for assholes. Squares were for the un-hip. Circles were for the cool. I’m looking at mine now. It’s a big circle with a tiny X in the middle.

  15. Dirtgrain
    Posted December 8, 2008 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

    I had something like a panic attack, carrying my 16-month-old son, sweating profusely while trying to get off my jacket and Walter’s jacket and then my flannel shirt–all while immersed in the crowd. No tables were available, and my sister and friends hadn’t shown up. It was close to the feeling I had years back when I was chased by a horsefly for forty minutes. Then Linette saved me, kindly taking our jackets (thanks, Linette).

    I started breathing easier, and we found a table. After a cool-down period, during which Walter and I realized what a cool place the Shadow Art Fair is to people watch and look at ceiling fans (Walter’s second favorite thing to do), I recovered. We had fun.

    My recommendation for future winter fairs is to have a coat rack or coat-check place (if there was one and I missed it, then booger). I saw several tables “claimed” with jackets on the chairs but no people–and I later discovered two such tables were solely functioning as coat racks for at least thirty minutes, as people came and reclaimed their coats and left, without ever having sat at the tables. Coat racks would be cool.

  16. Huckett
    Posted December 8, 2008 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

    I liked that there were a number of cool items under $10. I bought those. Learning from past experience, I also showed up right at 12:00 p.m. to see if I could beat the crowds…that worked pretty well. Even got a parking space in the lot.

  17. Old Goat
    Posted December 8, 2008 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

    The beer was good!

  18. Brackache
    Posted December 8, 2008 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

    How did the artists like it? Were sales remarkably different this time?

  19. mark
    Posted December 8, 2008 at 8:03 pm | Permalink

    I haven’t heard anyone complain about sales yet, so I think that most people did OK. I personally didn’t do that well, but I wasn’t expecting to, as I left all of our big sellers at home, like the Iggy shirts and the Ypsipanties. I sold some cards though, a few comics, and a couple of sewn pieces. All things considered, we did pretty good. We made back all that we’d spent on getting cards and stuff printed, so that was good… I think everyone was just pleased by the size of the crowd. Given how bad the weather was, I don’t think any of us were expecting that it would be so packed for so long.

  20. Posted December 8, 2008 at 8:25 pm | Permalink

    It’s the first time I’ve participated as an artist, and it did a lot to reinforce my feeling that SAF is one of the coolest things around. If I happen to participate again, about the only thing I’ll really need to change is to park a camp stool or small folding chair under the table — the nice folks across the aisle and then the fellow Bike Ypsier that let me borrow chairs have my nomination for sainthood. I was impressed with the crowd, especially considering the weather (or at least those bits of the weather I could see through the window).

    I did a longer writeup here:

  21. elviscostello
    Posted December 8, 2008 at 9:46 pm | Permalink

    Had a great time, and my 17 year old daughter and her boyfriend had a blast. I bought some prints for my wife (for Christmas), your “depression” Christmas Cards, and some really cool postcards for my cousins who love Winnie the Pooh, that say, “It would be cooler…if you were Chrsitopher Walken.”
    My daughter bought issue 1 of “Found” and I’ve become hooked. I’ve ordered the two books.

    I don’t know, we probably dropped 40-50 dollars. What a great day and it let me be cool in the eyes of my 17 year old. Thanks. Good seeing you again.

  22. elviscostello
    Posted December 8, 2008 at 9:50 pm | Permalink

    One other thing…My daughter wanted to see the Cat…

  23. Visitor
    Posted December 9, 2008 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

    I liked it a lot. Highlights: The table full of zines, the Killer Taupe people, the rock posters, the record stencils, the glowing robots and the beetr. Awesome awesome.

  24. Teri
    Posted December 9, 2008 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

    What do you call a person who likes to rub up against people in crowds? I think I might have been standing next to one of those.

  25. Susan C.
    Posted December 10, 2008 at 1:36 am | Permalink

    Great job again, MDM! The Shadow is the best arts/crafts show in town! We always have a wonderful time, especially because we can sit down for a beer and a snack after shopping, hang out with friends, and then get back up and shop some more! Great mix of artists, very creative stuff, and all very affordable!

    Suggestions this time: After dark, the lighting in some areas was really poor–I felt bad for the artists in those areas. I literally could not see their stuff at all. Also, the Animation Station had a bad spot–too much traffic in that area.

    I am constantly surprised at how many people I talk to don’t know about SAF. One amazingly wonderful thing is all the cool/free or cheap entertainment–from the Anal/Oral Kitty to Melissa’s monster to Molly’s Foot Photos to Hugs & Gumbo, and on and on–you could market/advertise these sort of “happenings” in your promotional mix, and might draw even more folks to the event!

    Overall, great job once again. Thank you for bringing such a wonderful event to life in our community!

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