FESTIVAL INTERNATIONAL DE LOUISIANE
Sometime in November, while working on custom art orders, I got the brilliant idea to apply for Festival International de Louisiane, Marche de Arts program. If you aren’t familiar, it’s a fairly big music, food, and art festival held at the end of April in Lafayette, LA. I had already decided to take my interior design licensing exam in April, which would prevent me from traveling for the beginning of the year. Studying for the exam involves hand drafting, and I was signed up for a three month online practice class. Since I had to be home anyway, I thought it was a good idea to take on another challenge.
I actually work really well with deadlines and love having a goal to work towards, so it was a great decision for me. Since January I’ve been cutting and drafting my little heart out, in addition to my normal writing and design gigs. My exam was last week, and now that it is out of the way I can focus on getting ready for the festival. I’ve got a couple of weeks left to plan my display, finish pieces, and prepare for the weekend event.
This is my first festival or event showcasing my artwork, so I’m making it up as I go. I started with no inventory at the beginning of the year and have stock piled quite a few pieces. My new work is inspired by Louisiana, architecture, maps, and interiors, similar to my previous pieces. I also did a series of small geometric patterns that are some of my favorites. It’s been fun to develop new techniques, and imagery that I hadn’t explored before. Of course I feel like I’ll never have enough pieces to fill my tent, but I’m trying my hardest.
Creating the art is the easy part; it’s all of the other tasks that I find difficult to manage. I’m sourcing and framing all of the pieces myself, photographing, editing, pricing, developing marketing materials, and I’ve just started to plan the display and layout of my tent. I’m not especially great at any of these things, and as a perfectionist it can become maddening at times. The bright side is that I’m learning so much along the way. Like it is impossible to get glass completely free of fingerprints/dust/dog hair. I would need to frame my artwork in a vacuum in order to be satisfied with the result.
The setting up of my tent display is another tricky situation. I have it popped up in my garage, and I plan on doing a practice round and laying everything out beforehand. I don’t like to leave things to chance, at least not if I want to sleep at night, so I need to have it all figured out soon. I’ve already begun making lists of supplies, things to bring, things to buy, and people to send thank you notes too (Really!? I have a list of people who haven’t actually helped me yet but probably will, and I don’t want to forget to send them a thank you note if/when they assist.) I have a list making problem, but it’s the best way I know how to deal with stress. Write it down and get it out of my head.
Of course my fear is that I won’t sell anything at the festival, but I’ve already set up a contingency plan. I’m heading to Portugal for most of May where I can drown my sorrows in good food, port, and hand painted tiles. Now if I can only find time in the upcoming weeks to actually plan this trip. If you follow me on Instagram I’ve uploaded some sneak peeks over the last month, but there are lots more to share. If you plan on visiting Festival International during April 22-24, I expect you to stop by my tent to and say hi. Now I’ve got to get back to work…