4 Years at SF Zine Fest & 3 Years in the City

I’ve been holed up at home today on a much needed day off, fighting a bad sore throat thing that has been going around. In the background the Giants game is on the radio. My head is a little fuzzy right now, but today was marked in my day planner awhile back as “online updates.” So here we go.

SF Zine Fest 2012

First of all, one of my favorite events of the year happened recently on Labor Day weekend. This year was my 4th year tabling at the SF Zine Fest and it continued its tradition of being one of the best experiences of my year. However, this year both the pros and the cons seemed more epic than normal. This means learning was at an all-time high!

The major con this year was my long-time partner in zines, Megan Quinn, was unable to join me for the event. It was really hard to be without her. Kaylin, of Pinup Brooches, who shared the table with me this year, helped with the tabling on Sunday. On Saturday, Mr. Matt helped me shlep everything out to Golden Gate Park, and hung out until after lunch time, but then headed out to do his own weekend-y things.

So that was the first time ever I’ve tabled alone at Zine Fest. At first, I was feeling kinda bummed, but then I realized I was focusing more on customers and actually selling zines! Gasp! I was also interacting more with my neighboring tables, and still had a fine time. I was really happy to meet Beth Dean who was tabling to my left, and thrilled to see my old friend Amy Martin back at the festival!

This year, I was really glad Zine Fest was actually on Labor Day weekend because I really saw an increase in attendance on the Sunday. I felt like more folks were out and about because they didn’t have work the next day. With Kaylin at the table on Sunday I was able to shop, chat with more folks, and attend a talk by one of my local favs, Catie Nienaber, of Dronning Vintage and Cuffington.

Catie’s talk was focused on her experiences buying and selling vintage clothing and as someone who thrifts a lot, and shops for others for costuming, I really enjoyed her stories. She gave great practical advice on buying vintage, and running a small business online, but I most appreciated that she gave great overall tips that one could apply to any life pursuit. Gems like, keep educating yourself, have art that you do just for fun, watch good movies… ways to stay inspired, basically! Things I try to remember, but often forget in the midst of  striving.

On Sunday I barely made it around one of the two exhibition rooms for the festival, and could really only walk through the second room. That was another downside of not being able to leave my table one of the two days.

Above all, I’m really proud to say that I published two new zines this year! The Great Crab Rescue, my second comic zine, and Stretch #1, my first art collection zine and the largest zine I’ve ever made, will be in my Etsy Shop soon, and I’ll be posting about them separately. I tried a new technique this year by stitching the zine bindings with my sewing machine and was pleasantly surprised how easy and quick it was. And I LOVE the ability to add a touch of color to a black and white zine and to add texture. I noticed it immediately when customers would pick up a zine with the stitched binding and go “ooo” when their fingers felt it. This is a technique I’m definitely going to continue with.

 

A big step for me this year was raising my prices. Not by a ton, but I felt bold, and wanted to be more honest about what I thought my zines were worth. I really saw a big increase this year in how many zines I sold and how much I made. It was probably a combination of better festival attendance, raising my prices, and maybe even being forced to stay at my table more! Of course I also shopped a lot… All in all another great Zine Fest!

Totally bought this awesome tshirt by Seibei

As usual, I was exhausted as the N line carried me back towards my side of the city, but I left the festival inspired. Some of my goals post-festival are to continue the Successful Artist Interview series and experiment with selling stand alone art prints.

These Days: More at ODC & 3 Years in the City

I’m currently working full-time with the ODC School Youth & Teen Program to help out their office with the start of the academic school year. It’s been intense, and I’ve been learning a lot, but it’s been fun, too. It will also be my second year with the ODC teen company, the Dance Jam, as the “Jam Sista” and we’ve already had the audition, the tough decision-making-meetings, and our first major meeting with all the members and their parents. Whew! No wonder I’m tired…

This past weekend, on 09/09/12, I celebrated my 3 year anniversary with San Francisco. It doesn’t feel like 3 years. So much has happened in those years, I feel like I’ve been here much longer.

Dear San Francisco, sometimes you’re overwhelming, intense, and stifling. Most often you’re lovely, inspiring, and totally unique. Maybe we should just say you’re a wonderful challenge. I can’t imagine my life without you. Here’s to another year!

The view from our window (not always with the double rainbow).

- LB