I picked up another small graphic design job today! I met with my buddy, Adam, (socially distant, outdoors and with masks on) to discuss redesigning his bands logo. We talked about what he and his bandmates have been through over the years and their plans to release their first LP. I also talked about how I've been considering doing more graphic design work for clients now that Covid has taken away my DJ & vending gigs. His band logo, and the other design I've been working on, are good first jobs to help me get my feet wet doing freelance work, which has never been appealing to me before.
Today sucked. I felt depressed all day and I didn't know why. Maybe the loneliness of sheltering-in-place is finally getting to me. I barely did any work on my Hearts & Stars piece, just made a quick digital mock-up with a black background but didn't lay down any ink. I couldn't get myself to workout or go for a walk. I went for a long drive, took Capitol Expressway from east San Jose all the way to Campbell, but didn't feel any better when I got home. Later that night, still in a funk, I noticed the the note on my calendar, "MLK Exhibit Day One." Today was supposed to be the opening of my art show at the Martin Luther King Library downtown. I wonder if that's why I down all day. I wasn't aware of today's date but maybe subconsciously that's what has been bugging me. For the past few weeks I've kept my head down and worked on my drawings for the show. It was a goal I was working towards. I recently got confirmation that my art show, and all other exhibits, were postponed until further notice. Now I don't have anything to work towards, besides finishing my current drawings. There are no DJ gigs till June, if at all this year, and no event vending opportunities in the foreseeable future. I hope this depression was a one-day thing. I don't want to lose any more momentum and risk undoing everything I've worked so hard to do over these past few months. Wish me luck!
This is kinda what it looks like when you go to @sanjoseday on Instagram and scroll to my post. It's one long seamless image broken down into 10 slides. I laid out a bunch of different digital drawings & designs I've made over the past few years. It was fun making this and participating in the virtual art show since we're all still sheltering in place. The actual San Jose Day event has been postponed to July 18. Hopefully we'll be over the 'Rona by then. Fingers crossed.
April 8th (4/08) is San Jose Day. There was originally an event planned for this Saturday, the 11th, but it was postponed to July 19th because of the Covid-19 pandemic we've been dealing with for the past few weeks. Instead of just waiting till July, Haley, who runs San Jose Day, thought it would be fun to host a virtual art show via Instagram on 4/08. She invited me and a bunch of local artists to submit up to 10 images/slides that will go on a single post. I had fun with mine and pulled an all nighter yesterday working on it. I can't wait till everyone sees it!
Here's a tiny sneak peak, follow @sanjoseday on Instagram to see the whole thing on Wednesday 4/08
I spent this morning reading over the EDD website (California's unemployment dept) to learn more about filing an unemployment insurance claim. I've already lost 3 DJing gig and 2 vending events due to coronavirus concerns so I figured it was time to file. After reading all the info, I called EDD and the recording said they were experiencing large volumes of calls and I wouldn't be able to file over the phone and to use the website instead. Doing it online took me a while and don't think I filled it out correctly. I'm really hoping someone calls me back. While I was on the EDD website I couldn't find "Mobile DJ" as a work-type, but saw that "Ritual Circumciser" was. Weird. After filing with what EDD I called my bank to discuss my car loan. I also called my credit card company, my health insurance provider, Covered California and my auto insurance provider. Since all events are canceled I'm not going to have much, maybe not any, income for a few months. Every person I spoke to was very helpful and understanding of the situation. Hopefully things get better soon and it's safe to go to events and things go back to normal. If not I might need to start a new side hustle performing ritual circumcisions.
I figured it was only a matter of time until weddings started getting canceled due to Covid-19/Coronavirus concerns. Tonight I found out the wedding I was supposed to DJ in two weeks got postponed. Last Friday the fundraiser I was working got canceled that very same morning. DJ events at this time of year are already slow to begin with. So are the festivals where I sell my shirts. Two events that I was going vend at next month also got canceled this week. I know I shouldn't complain and I will try and remain optimistic, but damn, most of my income comes from working events. I'm going to try and file an unemployment insurance claim next week. I'll also need to contact my bank regarding my car loan and my credit card provider to see what my options are for late payments. Money is gonna tight the next few weeks, or months. Aside from that I'm doing my best to stay healthy and positive during this weird & uncertain time. I hope you and your loved ones are too. Let's hope we get out from under this soon.
Today I and counted all my shirts after the Local Color Daytime Market on Sunday and updated my inventory online. This is the part of the job that sucks the most so I'm always trying streamline and improve the process to make it faster and easier to do. Everything from the way the shirts are folded, stacked, stored & logged has had some thought put into it. I recently made changes to how I log the info so I can see how many total shirts I have in stock per design/style and made it so I can quickly figure out how many of each size & style has gone out. Making those little tweaks are fun and the data it provides is valuable.
I had so much fun at Local Colors Daytime Market today. I hung out with my artist/vendor buddies, saw friends who came to visit, made new friends, got a surprise visit from my cousin Rick and his wife Sabrina, drank some delicious coffee from Tono Coffee Project followed by some IPAs, brought home a new t-shirt, sketchbook & button, sold a few of my t-shirts & stickers, and ended the day with a big ol burrito before heading home. In the next day or two I need to count & fold my shirts, update my inventory and make sure my gear is prepped for the next gig which is San Jose Day on April 11th.
I posted about this a week ago but the event is tomorrow so here it is again... come to Local Color - Keystone at 491 West San Carlos Street (formally Keystone Restaurant Supply) in San Jose from 11am to 3pm for the local artisan daytime market. I'll have my San Jose t-shirts for sale and a bunch of other artist friends will have their wares available too. There's also a food truck and coffee service by Tono Coffee Project so come thru and "buy somethin' will ya!"
I was up late tonight getting my design ready to print. I even picked out colors from the Pantone color book. The whole sticker will be 3.5” tall and 5.5” wide but it will be kiss-cut so that my name & yellow border will peel off. I’m hoping I’ll have them in time for the Local Color Daytime Market on Sunday.
Earlier today I drew this monster that ended up looking like that character from the cartoon, "Aaahh Real Monsters," I also received this promotional flyer for the Local Color Daytime Market to share. I'll be vending there, along with other artists/friends/vendors next Sunday, March 8th from 11am-3pm. (491 W San San Carlos St) and just a few minutes ago I vectorized my 10th Shape Thing.
The event today at Orange Moon Salon was a lot fun. I got to meet you new vendors and hang out with old friends. Many thanks to Catrina for inviting me and Ruth the salon owner for hosting the event. Check out the pics below
I went to Smart & Final today to buy candy to have at my booth tomorrow at Orange Moon Salon. I had candy dish with Bazooka bubble gum that ran out at my last event. I chose Bazooka because they used to have little comic strips inside the wrapper when I was a kid. At some point they switched from comic strips to them to puzzles & games. I was excited to find out they made a Throwback version of the gum with old school wrapper and original comic strips featuring Bazooka Joe.
If you're in San Jose and want to get an early start on your holiday shopping and support your local artisans... well come on down to Orange Moon Salon on 953 Park Ave. for the Luna on Park Artisan Market. I and other vendors will be there selling our wares. Also check out the salon on any other day to get your hair did. Ask for my friend Catrina or the salon owner, Ruth. They are super cool people and I would totally get my hair cut by them if I had hair.
For the past few weeks I've been in contact with a gentleman who stopped at my booth in October during the First Friday Street Mrkt. He was with his son who talked with me for a little while about my San Jose shirts. They didn't buy anything but I gave them a flyer before they left. A couple weeks later the dad emails me because he wants to buy a couple shirts, and my online store showed I was sold out. He asked when I would have more available again because he wanted to buy a couple for his son and his son's girlfriend as Christmas gifts. I let him know that I was in the process of printing more and I contacted him as soon I as they were available. Today I delivered the shirts after his son left home because they're going to be a surprise. Just thinking about the excitement of unwrapping Christmas presents, and those presents being my t-shirts, totally made my day :)
I had nice streak going. There were a few cheater posts, where I couldn't think of anything so I'd just write a few words or post some drawings, just to say I posted something. I did 56 straight days in a row. I'm a little bummed out that I missed a day. I wanted to make it at least to 100. Oh well.
And in other womp-womp news, it doesn't look like that vending opportunity in downtown is gonna go thru. We'll see.
I got some good news today. I might be able to vend, for multiple days, in downtown San Jose over the next couple months. It would be indoors too and I wouldn't need my canopy. It should be a lot of fun if it goes thru! I'm still waiting on more details and confirmation. Stay tuned...
I went to check out Campbell's Oktoberfest today. I don't think I've ever attended one before and I heard it draws a lot of people. I went to see if my booth & shirts would be a good fit for the festival so I could come next year and vend. I learned at the Jazz Festival that my gear doesn't do well at all events. I walked past all the vendor booths today, starting on one side of the street then the other side as I walked back. On the way back I stopped at Recycle Book Store. It was my first time there and right when you walk in there were a few Edward Gorey books on display on the counter. I love his illustrations & wanted to bring them all home. I walked around the store and saw a painting on the wall done by my old roommate, Jeremiah. I then found a book called Street T that features tons of pictures and write ups on graphic t-shirt designers. I had to have it. I bought it instead of the Ed Gorey books. After leaving the bookstore I stopped by Mike & Niki's Honey booth. I know Niki from a networking meeting we both go to. I sampled some honey and bought a jar of their Double Chocolate Creamed Honey. It's so good! I almost ate half the jar already. I had good time at the festival, even though it was a reconnaissance mission. I think I might vend at next years Oktoberfest. We'll see.
This was the last Street Mrkt of the season and it was a fun one. I sold a few shirts, saw some old friends and talked to a lot people. I'm looking forward to next season starting with SubZero in June. In the meantime I gotta keep a eye out for more vending opportunities.
Holy crap! I've been working all day on making zines of my Inktober drawings from the last two years. I procrastinated and, as always, it's taking way longer than anticipated. I wanted to have a few available for the Sofa Street Mrkt Friday night but that's not going to happen. I took pictures of all the drawings with my phone and processed them using Gimp on my laptop. I then brought them into Illustrator to lay them out and resize them. All this after making a mockup zine by stapling papers and writing notes & page numbers on them. I have all the images for 2017 finishes I just need to design a cover and a few inside pages before I can say it's done. I had to stop working on the zine so I could draw my Inktober drawing for Day 3 and write a blog post before bed.
I keep a checklist of all the gear I use at events. This way I don't have to spend time looking for things before the day-of. Just grab and go. All the smaller items go in plastic tubs, I got this idea from my DJing job. I used to use two big tubs (with orange tape in pic below) but recently switched to three smaller tubs. (yellow) It's a little easier moving around three smaller tubs than two big ones. I also used to carry a bunch of items I never used so now the big tubs are for storage. Today I went through my tubs and checklist and made sure everything was in there and left them ready for this Friday's Street Mrkt.
That's how I roll.
Today was another fun event downtown. I saw a bunch of friends and met a lot of cool people. As I was setting up my canopy in the morning one of the hinges came apart because of a missing nut. I looked all over ground for it and in the bag but never found it. I think it fell out last week at Backesto Park. Good thing I had gray duct tape with me. The only other issue was the wind. It picked up from time to time and would blow some of my shirts off the top of the piles. The coolest thing about today's event was being setup next to my artist/vendor friends Mario (@dimas__11), Claudia (@klawd), and Fernando (2force129) Make sure to check out their work on Instagram.
Earlier this month I designed & printed 100 flyers with my website info to hand out at the First Friday Art Walk. Last weekend I gave away the last flyer at the Viva Calle event. This week I worked on a new flyer to give away Sunday at the SoFa Street Fair. Like last time, I folded a sheet of paper into quarters and sketched ideas on each one. I took a picture of the one I liked most and digitally inked it in Adobe Illustrator Draw on my iPad. The last bits were exporting the drawing to Illustrator on my laptop to add the text and laying out the 4 copies to print. After making sure it looked good I printed 25 sheets at home and took them to Office Depot to get them cut. I'm happy the way they came out. Tomorrow I'll be putting them inside people's bags when they buy a shirt or hand them to people who come into my booth. I still have to design a new business card but I think these are a fun alternative in the meantime.
Last year, before I first went out to sell my t-shirts at an event, I had made two t-shirt displays from a long sheet of two-inch gray foam. I only had one t-shirt design, the 1.0, and it came in black or white. I didn't print any Smalls in white so when I went to go make the displays I was forced to use Mediums. One year later I'm still using the same displays but with more t-shirt styles. All is well until I realized that the Medium sized shirts sell faster than the Smalls. A couple times I've had to pull the Medium shirt off the display because it was that last Medium in that color. Now that I'm running low on inventory I thought it would be a good time to finally cut the foam displays down a size. If only dropping a shirt size in real life were that easy.