Yesterday I spent the day at The New England Toy & Record Show at the Kittery Lyons Club in Maine. I was invited to share space with Kevin Mann aka Captain Caveman of Kaveman Toys. It was my first time attending an event like this as a vendor instead of as a collector, and it was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had.
When I started painting again, I thought that if I painted the things I cared about, then the people who liked my work would be the ones who also liked the same things. I know it sounds obvious, but many artists including myself, have struggled with painting for themselves vs painting what they think will sell or please others even if it’s not something the artist particularly cares about.
My suspicions couldn’t have been more spot on. First with my growing followers on Instagram, then into the real world with people like Kevin, a toy seller and overall one of the nicest, most generous people I’ve met, and everyone I encountered yesterday. Fans of the same action figures and toys as me came to look at and buy my paintings and prints. We talked about the art, the toys, and their experiences growing up with them or hunting them down now. A special shout out to Mike who drove up from MA to ME just to say hi and pick up some prints in person. Hearing that he came up to see me, was moving beyond words.
I’m incredibly grateful to be able to make the art that I do, and even more grateful to share it with the people who appreciate it the same way I do. I can’t wait until I do another show, but in the mean time it’s time to get back to painting.