The month began with a zine fair way out west, at Penrith’s Regional Art Gallery as part of its recent exhibition: Zine Factory. Surprising for its distance out of town, the fair pulled quite a crowd and it was a busy day filled with artist talks, music, croquet, hot coffee and home-baked goodies, as well as the usual market stall action.
The highlight of the day was certainly in the meeting of some happy, interesting people: fellow zinesters Ivana and Jasmina (on the table next to me) and Miss Helen (star of the Zine Factory exhibition, who was on the table opposite), and Sonya who introduced me to her wonderful Matchbox Project which I was to later discover was to include some of my Storybook stickers.
(1) Penrith Art Gallery; (2,3) my table at the start of the day.
Last week’s Verge Arts Festival at Sydney Uni played host to a zine fair on Friday evening…here’s some shots taken of our table before daylight faded completely and darkness rapidly descended (seems no-one thought to test the lighting levels suitably practical for a night market, and discovered too late that fairy lights in trees and coloured lamps uplighting buildings might look pretty but don’t really help customers see product on market stalls…oh well).
(1,2) me + the table at Verge that I was sharing with Ms Redhead; (3) Helen setting up; (4) our tables set-up + ready to go...
This recent flurry of zine fairs in the last few months has given me the opportunity to develop and test out a few new product ideas. My zine fair table can now be found laden with such things as:
Mini Majellen zines: where it all started, I guess. MM zines are always an interactive purchase as each cover features a unique ‘found thing’ (the insides are all the same), and it’s always interesting to watch people select the ‘found thing’ that they most identify with. And yes, the 'things' are all literally 'found', usually on city sidewalks...
‘Storybook’ stickers: miniature collages made from combining 1930s vintage storybook imagery with various textures and patterns from things like old German banknotes, bonds certificates, fabric patterns, pianola rolls, sheet music, paintings and craft papers.
‘City fragments’ stickers: using my photography of urban details from cities around the country, and displayed in a fittingly old + beat-up wooden cigar box.
Badges: based on imagery from my own paintings, vintage storybooks, and old atlases. Possibly the biggest selling item on the table, although stickers wouldn't be far off.
Red Shoe Girl badge sets: most commonly purchased by females looking for cute/small gifts for friends… The RSG badge set features all 4 of the Red Shoe Girls that I have painted to date. I'm looking forward to expanding the set in the coming months with 4 new girls and their cute red shoes.
Postcards: something new I’ve only just started selling. These postcards have the backs of aged/vintage postcards while the fronts are literally fragments of pages from old, recycled children’s books and atlases. The plan is to use this old index card file (bought at an op shop for $4 – bargain!) to sell the postcards out of, although this is currently an untested point-of-sale idea…
Handbound books: made from scratch using recycled leather and a mix of papers that can include anything from textured drawing paper, music paper, pianola roll paper, atlas paper, coloured paper, translucent paper, or pages from old + varied books. I’m working on a range of these books at the moment, in3 sizes: A5, A6 and the tiny and cute A7.
And the most recent addition to the merchandise line-up:
Scrabble pieces: made from genuine old wooden Scrabble tiles, and available in a range of end-uses including ‘brooch’, ‘magnet’, and ‘sticker’, with ‘pendant’ coming soon (when I figure out how). These were very popular at the Verge market, especially when they were displayed sitting on the original Scrabble board! I’ve since custom-made these for a few people and posted them out, so if you’re interested in one, just email me what letter and style you’d like, and we can organise it from there. Same goes for any of the products above (email me for prices).
Production is in full-swing this weekend in preparation for the TINA (This Is Not Art) festival in Newcastle this week coming (Thursday 27th – Monday 1st). Sunday (the 30th) features the TINA Zine and Independent Press Fair (Australia’s biggest zine fair), and that’s something we’ve been looking forward to for months now. JD and Jo are flying down from Bris, and together with me, DD and Helen, we’ll be driving up to Newcastle for the 5-day festival. Can hardly wait!! Come and see us at the zine fair if you’re in the area…
Maybe it's the Spring air, but it's like Sydney can't get enough zine fair action this month. 3 fairs in the space of 4 weeks seems a little crazy to me, but I'm not complaining, especially when one of them is the biggest zine fair on the calendar in Australia. TINA (This Is Not Art) festival kicks off in Newcastle at the end of the month, and we're all excited to be going along this year for the first time!
Closer to home, and as soon as THIS FRIDAY NIGHT, there's the Verge Arts Festival on at the University of Sydney, which includes a Night Market and Zine Fair. From 6-10pm Friday the 14th, on Science Rd + in the graffiti tunnel. Bands playing. Food to eat. Zines and things to buy. Should be a great night...
One minute I was totally preoccupied with all these fun, interesting things going on, and the next, swhoooosh August was gone. Just like that. And now it is already well into September, and I haven't even yet told you about all the new and interesting things from August. Sooooo...
First of all there were The Shins (totally wonderful band and if you've seen Garden State you'll know what I mean) who played at the Enmore Theatre in earlyish August. I'd bought tickets back in May, so I had many months of anticipation leading to this one night, and the boys did not disappoint. I had a brilliant night (just look at that happy smile!), and the historic Enmore Theatre venue was a new experience for me too...
Later in the month, DD and I went along to the Rose Siedler House (another piece of Sydney architectural history) to see the annual 50s Fair put on by the Historic Houses Trust. If you're savvy with Australian Modernist architecture, you'll know that the house was designed in the 1940/50s by the famous architect Harry Seidler, and it's since become a very iconic building of the period. Hence the 50s Fair.
In addition to being able to walk through the fully-restored House, there was also live 50s music and dancing, food stalls, cars, and a mini-market of period collectibles and goodies like fabrics, books, buttons, clothes, toys, and housey things:
I'm not sure how these quite fit in with the 50s theme, but I was pleased with my purchase of these cute little tin brooches:
This month I chanced across a book in the Glee Books catalogue that looked like it would be totally my thing ... Vanessa Berry's "Strawberry Hills Forever" book is mostly composed of excerpts from her vast back-catalogue of zine writings, and boy-oh-boy, this girl can sure write from the heart! It's a wonderful read, with stories that offer a captivating perspective about life in Sydney's inner-west and a quirky observation of often overlooked urban details that I can absolutely appreciate.
The other book that was the highlight of my month's reading (and please tell me there's no shame in admitting this), was the final Harry Potter book, The Deathly Hallows. I was lucky to get my hands on a copy of it as an audio book - so, every morning I'd be listening to Harry Potter on the bus + walk to work, and ditto every evening on the way home - it was great. I think JK Rowling did a fabulous job of rounding out the HP series, although I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a teensy bit upset that there'll be no more Harry Potters to read after this last book :(
In an earlier post on Shelbyville I mentioned hearing Heidi Hibberd for the first time at a gig at the Woodford Folk Festival, and how much I loved her unique + quirky songwriting ability. Well, recently Heidi put together her debut EP, 'Stars and Streetlights', which she is currently launching in Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney, so check out her website if you think you'd like to go along to listen for yourself. I already bought myself a copy of the EP, which came with a lovely little book in a lovely brown-paper envelope, and I can recommend it with a smile:
Here's a fantastic website for anyone interested in scoping out the coolest stores and eateries in the world's greatest cities (Sydney, of course being one of those). Touted as "urban cartography for global shopping experts", Superfuture is all about maps and reviews, so it's a handy resource worth checking out (oh, and its design is schmicko too).
And something I only just discovered recently - a website called Georgie Love - it's sort of like the Australian version of Etsy. Captioned as "handmade pleasures", it's true to say there are lots of nice creative things to find on this site:
Well, that's enough from me for one post. I'm off to sort out and catch up with my Daily Photos - they seem to have gotten away from me for a while there, and I must remedy that while I have a bit of spare time on this long APEC weekend... ;)
This album shows some of the artworks I've done over the years, and covers a range of mediums including coloured pencil, charcoal, pastel, oils, watercolour, polymer clay, photography, architectural renderings, and a whole mix of others. 'Mix' is a good word...