Retro City Fest-recap

WOW! That was a fun show! 

We hit the road on Friday at 4:30 am. Yeah, it’s early but it’s totally worth it. We missed rush hour in Phoenix and that’s always a plus!

We arrived at our hotel, the Best Western Pine Tree in Chino, about 11:30 local time. (Gaining the extra hour was awesome as it allowed for a much needed hour lay down!) I can’t say enough nice things about our hotel. I guess actually it was a motel but that’s splitting hairs. The grounds were really well kept and it was beautiful! Banana plants, birds of paradise and lots of other beautiful greenery! We got to park right out in front of our door, so that was cool. I sometimes get anxious in unfamiliar cites when our gear is still stowed in our vehicle and we can’t park near our room. It has nothing to do with the neighborhood, mind you. It’s just my own personal hang up. Our room had a fridge (MOST helpful as we bring our own groceries so we don’t have to rely on expensive con offerings), the bed was super comfy, and the bathroom had tons of counter space! Pilar was really helpful at check in. She was super cool. I had a nice time chatting with her. Breakfast offerings were good; bagel and eggs…perfect!

Next we headed to the venue for load-in, which other than the wrong turn we took, was a breeze. Let me say first that the LA Fairplex is ENORMOUS! The wrong turn allowed us to see it in it’s entirety. To say we took the scenic route is an understatement. XD

Olivia with Retro City was always super helpful with information.

We set up and went back to the hotel to get rested up for the show.

The first day was good. We met lots of cool people, met some really cool artists and played lots of pinball! We didn’t make too many sales the first day, but had lots of looking and chatting traffic, which in my book is great! I love talking to people in person, so there you go. 

Second day was better sales wise, and REALLY good trading wise! One of my favorite parts of any Con or event is trading with other artists. I scored these lovelies:

 

I would recommend this show totally. It might have not had the attendance of a large show, but it was really well organized, the staff was helpful, security wasn’t a pain (except for that one security woman who gave my friend Ryan @Psychoswami a hard time about his service dog. She worked for the Fairplex and not RetroCityFest.) there were lots of pinball and arcade games set to free play the entire weekend. The attendees seemed to be having a great time, and it showed. 

We’ve got lots of shows coming up! Check it out!

-January 27th, 2018, Tempe Public Library ComicCon-Tempe, AZ

-February 2nd, 2018, First Friday Las Vegas– Arts District, Las Vegas, NV

-February 23rd-25th, 2018, Las Vegas Toy Con– Circus Circus Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas, NV

More dates for February and March coming soon!

Cheers!

 

 

When you run your own business……

you become a professional cat herder. Seriously. I kid you not.

I was having a conversation a few days ago with an acquaintance (a friend would have known better) when they said to me, “Man, it must be nice to work for yourself. No boss, all the vacation time you want, whenever you want….blah blah.”

I could go on. I won’t. What I will say is this:

  1. I do have a boss. She is a bitch. I know this because she is me.  She is the most demanding boss I’ve ever had in my life.  She is always whispering in my ear about my short comings and how I could work harder…..”Do you really need to take a break to eat lunch? You could eat at your desk….or you could just get a cup of coffee that way you could still work…” “It’s not that late, you’ve got a few more hours in you.” etc.
  2. While technically I do “have all the vacation time” I want, I can’t take any. If I don’t come up with new designs, or remake well selling pieces, I’m sunk. If I don’t have enough stock to get through any two shows at any given time, I’m sunk. If I don’t stay on top of my custom work, I’m sunk. It’s a fight to get me to take Sunday afternoons off for D&D with friends.

Yes, getting to travel for work is cool, but it’s still work. You start out a each day of a convention or fair with plans on how you’re going to spend the evening when in reality, when the con is over for the day, you end up eating take out and taking a face plant in your hotel room. Being on your feet for 14 hours straight, on a concrete floor, being “on” with people all day, while listening to people’s opinions of your artwork and craft (most good, some bad) all day is draining.  Not “I’ve been out in the sun working all day” drained, but more “my brain is no longer working as it should and is going to make me unconscious shortly…oh but wait, let me tear apart every comment made today about my craft…”

The ability to keep a straight face when someone tells you that their “8 year old niece could do that” or “I could totally do that” should be taught in school so you’d not have to learn the skill as a cranky 40ish woman.

Now, I’m not complaining, mind you. I worked too long in retail, factories, and restaurants to really bitch about this. I will say it’s different. It’s like being emotionally exhausted all the time. It’s all you. Schedule, Accounting, Human Resources, Sales, Design, Manufacture, Distribution, Facilities, etc.

I’m sure when I get a couple of more years under my belt doing this, I will come up with better processes and things should be a bit smoother.

If I knew then what I know now….I’d not change a thing. It’s been a hell of a ride thus far, and I can’t wait for the rest of the trip!