Art Fairs and Wine Walks and Stress, Oh My!

Featured Image – photo of The Vase, An Original Painting by Cherlandra Estrada

Art Fairs and Wine Walks and Stress, Oh My!

August 31, 2016 @ 2:51pm

Arts Alive 2016 came off without a hitch! I have to admit that I wasn’t really expecting that because of the week I had directly proceeding it. As fate should have it, I landed a full week of continuity work on a film. That’s pretty awesome because the film work that I currently rely on the most to survive is sporadic and usually very unpredictable. I actually didn’t know that it was going to be a full week because originally it was only three days. They called me a couple of days in to let me know that they were continuing for the entire week. I hesitated only for a minute because the reality is that I need to burn the candle at both ends right now to lay a solid foundation for the future that I want. I knew it was going to make preparing for Arts Alive tough but I told myself I could stay up into the wee hours of the night to get things done. I’ve survived on very little sleep before and I planned to take a mini break right after the fair.

Well, I rolled the dice and they came up snake eyes.

By Thursday, the 12+ hour shooting days combined with the 3+ hours of daily travel AND the sweltering heat took a serious toll. I was so tired that even the thought of physically being at the fair at all completely overwhelmed me. My two new paintings weren’t complete and I hadn’t had two seconds together to even dig through storage to locate all my display supplies. If I even could push myself through the exhaustion to get myself to Arts Alive, I knew it was going to be a terrible experience because I just wasn’t ready. Very tired me tends to be pessimistic. I seriously contemplated pulling out. Yeah, that’s how the only-20-hours-of-sleep-over-5-nights thinks. On the Saturday morning of the art fair, at about 1am, I was just getting home from working the last extended day on set. I had nothing left and I knew I still had to wrap all my paintings and find everything that I’d need to set up my tent. I opened the door to the house and almost burst into tears. Right in the entry way were all of my display supplies, organized and ready to go. My rented tent had also been picked up and as I made my way into the living room, I saw that all of my paintings had been neatly wrapped and protected as well. You all might be thinking that the Shoemaker’s Elves had been moonlighting but unless an attractive Hispanic man was their new ringleader, you’d be wrong. It was hubby. As tired as he was from working almost as man hours as I did that week, he found the energy to help support my dream.  He’s pretty amazing.  Although I barely made it to couch (where I passed out that night), I do remember my last thought being that everything was going to be ok. After a mere five hours of sleep, I greeted the next day to find out that everything was.

My brother had spent the night in order to help me travel all of my things and set up for the fair. Not an easy task when you are moving paintings as large as The Vase (featured image).  I also learned that my sister, who was going to hang out with me for the day in my artist booth, had purchased snacks and drinks and packed a cooler for us. I was a walking zombie but all of this love was not lost on me. Little did I know that The Universe was going to send me a lot more love that day as well. Here’s a quick list that I’d like to share in appreciation:

♥ Binky (that’s mini me) – Stayed with me the entire day to show love and support.

♥ Hubby – Helped me set up and take down.

♥ Michael (my brother) – Provided the services of his truck for setup and also take down (rushing back from a fishing trip).

♥ Nancy (my sister) – Packed us goodies and provided companionship for the entire day.

♥ Anne-Marie – Took time from her insanely busy schedule to carry on our “bestie” tradition of supporting each other at events.  She has never missed an Arts Alive that I’ve shown at.

♥ Auntie Ruth – Dropped by for a quick bite and to show love and support.

♥ Joel – Spent most of the day with me, providing support and awesome conversation.

♥ Leslie and Brennan – Dropped by to say hi and show support for my creative path.

♥ Tamara – Left another event to ensure that she came down to show her love and support.

Because I was in Langley, I also got to see some old familiar faces and catch up with people I haven’t seen for such a long time. One such interaction was with Michelle, a fantastic drummer, who I hadn’t seen for quite some time. I told her about Patreon and I have since learned that she has also joined the crowd funding ranks! Part of my reason for pursuing my creative and authentic life is to inspire and help others to do the same so to see that coming about makes me extremely happy.

Reflecting on the day, I would have missed out on so much had I let exhaustion win. Although I am often shy when it comes to speaking about my work in person, I was able to meet some lovely people and learn what they feel when they look at my art. It never ceases to amaze me how art appreciation is completely subjective. One person will walk into the tent, beeline straight for a piece that speaks to them. They will explain what makes it so appealing and exclaim that it is definitely the best one in the bunch. Five minutes later someone else will walk in and do the same thing except they are looking at a completely different painting. Even when it’s the same piece, the experience that they have with it is different. I have a piece psychedelic piece called Afrolicious that grabs a lot of peoples’ attention. One person thought it was my interpretation of Angela Davis and someone else just knew it had to be Jimi Hendrix. I find that so unbelievably interesting.

I wonder what weird and wonderful experiences I will have at the upcoming Wine and Art Walk in Abbotsford next week.  I can’t wait!

August 31, 2016