I spent this weekend at the Booklyn AB/Z Fair showing my books and zines along with my collaborator, friend, and publisher luke kurtis of bd-studios.com. I was excited to sell a few books and zines, but even more, the event helped me reconnect and (if you’ll pardon the potentially cheesy sentiment) reaffirm my artist-self.
Just participating in the fair was a stretch on it’s own. Luke and I decided to split the cost of having a table at the fair just to see the benefits in terms of sales and connection to other artists and art fans, both knowing that the connecting with others aspect would probable pay the biggest dividends.
In that way, it was absolutely fantastic. Here are some highlights:
- I learned more about the folks at Booklyn, whose mission is to promote artists’ books as art and research material and to assist artists and organizations in documenting, exhibiting, and distributing their artwork and archives. They organized the event.
- I met Los Angeles based artist and activist Jaklin Romine who will be a guest on my podcast soon to discuss how she uses her art to address inaccessible art spaces through her working project, ACCESS DENIED.
- I met Grace Desmarais, whose comics serve to document her experience with chronic illness, among other things. Our tables were right next to each other and we chatted a bunch about various challenges and successes. Really cool and timely person for me to connect with.
There was many more artists, of course, and we connected with a few folks who seemed interested in our work, and there were even one or two potential collaborations that came out of the event. I’m really glad we did it.
In addition to all of that, I left the weekend with that feeling of connection and validation that I wrote about when I came back from Patrecon a couple years ago. Especially lately, I have felt really challenged to value the process of making work. In these moments I feel hopeless, invisible, and even embarrassed about making art, and more so in sharing my work with others. Just for the fact that the AB/Z helped me transcend that funk made it worth infinitely more than the cost of participating as a vendor.
I can’t wait till next year!