jimi gherkin, peter lally, gareth brookes, saban kazim and many others.
printing always takes up more time and effort than you can possibly imagine and so it was that i had to miss 'are you zine friendly?' on thursday and 'spoken night out!' on friday. saturday and sunday however were great days.
saturday brought us 'collaborama'. visitors and exhibitors were invited to contribute drawings, collages, writings and ramblings to a zine printed on the day by the footprint workers co-operative. there was also a screenprinting workshop, live music and a draw-along to a specially composed piece by resonance fm's radio orchestra.
sunday at st aloysius social club was a more traditional small press fair afair, but no less good.
aside from a feeling of elation what did i take away from the festival?
i remembered browsing through some of gareth brookes and steven tillotson's work as a visitor at previous fairs and dismissing them on account of their density. it wasn't that the work didn't look good, it was the fact that as a visitor you try to take in as much as you can in order to decide what to invest in and what not. it is near impossible to give every thing you see the time and attention it deserves so a comic or zine that takes more than a superficial glance to appreciate is easily dismissed. the same goes for work that on first glance does not esthetically please. hopefully this just illustrates my own shallow way of looking at things.
sharing a table with gareth b, steven t and julia homersham i had the luxury of being able to look at their work more closely and to realize what i had missed on previous perusals. and it made me resolve that in future rather than to try to take in everything at a fair to limit myself to a selection of comics and zines and to give those the time they need.
of course all of the above probably applies to my own work too and it made me think that if other visitors do look at things the way i did, then i should be more aware of how i present my work myself. if i exhibit at fairs in the future i will have to consider more carefully what i need to do to make my work as accessible as possible without compromising the integrity of the work itself.
it was my first proper experience as an exhibitor at a fair, so i wasn't quite sure what to expect. i came armed with any- and everything i could imagine needing, including two pairs of scissors (in case of multi-tasking) and a pack of crackers. as a visitor i always feel uncomfortable when people push their work too hard and in the end it seemed that having something to do was the best way to both distract myself and to give visitors the space they needed to look at my wares without feeling pressurized to buy anything.
on the sunday i found myself next to chris bateson and melody lee. melody's work is very deceptive, soft and dreamy on the outside but deliciously dark and funny on the inside. one of my favourites was rabbit love story*5, which doesn't only contain black humour but also truth.
last but not least thanks very much to all of you who came along!