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.
Haley, the Program Manager at Local Color, invited me to come vend at the SoFa Street Fair this Sunday from 2-9pm in Downtown San Jose on South First Street. I and other vendors will be near the Reggae Beach stage. This will be my first time vending at this event but I've attended as a guest a few times. There are art vendors but it's mainly focused on the live music scene in San Jose. I have a few buddies in bands that are performing this Sunday. Aris, The Wet Bandits and Novel. Check out their flyers below and come out this Sunday!
I crossed these things off my to-do list today:
At the two events over the weekend I noticed I was out of Large t-shirts in all styles. Yesterday, when I did inventory, I saw that I was out of a few other sizes & styles too. It's time to reprint more shirts so today I went thru my sales history to see what sizes sell faster and which sizes sit in inventory longer. When I added up all my shirts that have gone out it's an even 200! I couldn't believe it. I thought it would take at least a couple years to reach that number but I did it in 15 months. I'm super stoked about this milestone but also about my short sales history that will help me make better decisions going forward.
Thank You to everyone that wears my t-shirts!
I hate folding shirts, it's one of the suckier parts of this job. At first I was folding my shirts by hand and you could tell because they all came out looking different. Then made my first Folding Thingie out of a thin piece of cardboard. All my shirts now looked uniformly stacked on my table. Everything was good until I bought plastic bags to ship online orders and the shirts needed to be opened and refolded so they would lay flat in the bag. I also bought paper shopping bags for events and the shirts didn't sit quite right in them either. I needed a more elegant solution. I made the Folding Thingie v2.0 out of thicker cardboard and made it just wide enough to fit my folded shirts perfectly into both bags by just folding them in half once. I take it to events to refold shirts that people pick up and I use it again when I count my shirts afterwards. And although I hate folding I do want people to touch the shirts, hold them up and try them on if possible. Making sure the t-shirt is a good fit is far more important to me than how they look on a table.
Since taking these photos I've cut the Official Frankie Mcfly T-shirt Folding Thingie and made it shorter. It needs to be relabeled as v2.1
Today, Yolanda (@muchamuchachas) and I went back to Backesto Park to vend for Viva Calle San Jose's "Parks To Roses" event. Viva Calle's website says, "Viva CalleSJ is a free recreation program that temporarily closes miles of San Jose streets to bring communities together to walk, bike, skate, play
and explore the city like never before." There were tons of people passing thru the park and I got to talk to a lot of people who came into my booth and checked out my shirts. It was another good day!
On the more technical side, I managed to compact my vending gear and free up a little more space in my car. Last month, my car was packed to the gills when I did the Jazz Festival. I realized I wouldn't be able to bring new shirts or new product if I didn't make room for them.
This was kind of a last minute event. My friend Yolanda (@muchamuchachas on Instagram) booked two vending spaces for her and her daughter. Her daughter couldn't make it so Yolanda asked me to come vend in her place. The event was fun and laid back. I talked to a lot of cool people and sold a few t-shirts. Other highlights included: A guy on a motorcycle getting knocked over by a car (he was ok), a dog shit next to my canopy, and the owner didn't pick it up, so I put a flag on the dookie so no one would step in it, and seeing my blue undies thru a tear in my favorite shorts. Good times! Sunday, we'll be back at Backesto Park for Viva Calle. I'm looking forward to another fun day!
Remember that large drawing a started a few weeks ago? Of course not.
I started inking a large (18" x 24") drawing without a sketch and or solid idea of what it should look like at the end. Naturally I got stuck and let it sit for a few weeks (bottom pic) till I had time to sit, stare and think about the piece for a while. Today I took a picture & printed a copy (top pic) of what I had so far. I sketched some new lines with pencil and redrew some lines with a pen. I'm liking how it's coming along. I might make prints of this later if/when I finish.
Stay tuned for more wippity wip goodness...
I worked with the Downtown Screen Printers again tonight. Things didn't go as smoothly as yesterday but it made me appreciate what these guys do a whole lot more.
Tonight I helped my buddies Alex & Jimmy, the Downtown Screen Printers, with a big print job. 100+ shirts with one color on the front and two on the back. Jimmy loaded the shirts onto the platen, Alex laid down the ink and I took the printed shirt off and put them in the dryer to cure. I was able to ask lots of questions and see first hand how they problem solve when issues came up. It gave me a better understanding of the t-shirt printing process which I never got to see firsthand before. It also got me thinking about when I bought screen printing gear and built my own one-color press. I'm glad I tried and learned but I'm happier letting the professionals handle the printing so I can focus on the design and everything else.
The Downtown Screen Printers printed my "San Jose" shirt, EMNSJ, back in May/June.
The picture below was taken tonight after we were done. It took about 6 hours from start to end.
I finally got around to folding & counting my t-shirts, after vending at the Street Mrkt on 9/6, and I updated my inventory online. I try not to wait too long after events because I want my online inventory to match what I actually have on hand. I got bit in the ass once for waiting too long. A couple people bought medium black & pink San Jose shirts online a couple days after I sold out at an event. It was a tiny fire that I was able to put out relatively quick but I don't want that to happen again. So, as of right now the online store inventory matches the actual inventory on hand... so go and buy now!
I also added 3 new options for SJ stickers:
I took a picture every time I got up to clean my brush or take a break, and at the end of each night. Over 40 hours of work in a 17 second video slideshow.
I slept for 12 hours and I still felt tired all day. The mural, DJ events and lack of sleep wiped me out. At night when I started feeling better I put away the clean laundry that's been out since last Sunday. I also stretched and went out for a walk to get some fresh air.
This coming week I'm playing catch-up. I need to fold & recount my shirts, update my online inventory, and prepare for a two day event I'm vending at this weekend.
I worked on the mural about 10 hours a day. Monday thru Thursday.
I DJ'd a 2 hour middle school dance on Friday night and a 5.5 hour wedding Saturday afternoon.
They were all a challenge but they were all wins. My brain is mush right now from lack of sleep.
I forgot to write a blog post before bed.
It's done! My first mural. I've assisted friends on a couple other murals but this is the first one that I came up with and painted myself. I would do a few things differently the next time around to save time and headaches. As much as I complained about how long it was taking me, I had a blast. I got to hang out with my friends who were also painting murals and meet a lot of cool new peeps. If you can't tell, there's going to be a fire extinguisher on the bottom red portion of the mural.
If you want all the murals in the #Gallery408 Blowout, they'll be up till the end of the year at the old Local Color building in downtown San Jose (27 S 1st St, San Jose, CA 95113)
It's slooooooooooooooooowly coming to life! I spent 9-10 hours up close & personal with the wall, a bucket of black paint and a brush. Tomorrow I'll do it with color.
I started working on my first mural on Monday. It's part of Local Color's Gallery 408 Blowout. (click the link to learn more about Local Color) I'm doing my EMN design on a wall that's about 4-5 feet wide and 8 feet tall. There's also a fire extinguisher that's going to hang there so I'm working around that and the sign. It's a lot different than drawing with ink on paper or digitally, like I'm used to, and I'm learning as I go. The image below is after 9 hours of drawing with pencil, 2 coats of white for the eyes & teeth and the little bit of black outlines. I started by drawing directly on the wall then sketching it as I went along. I also tested some colors and decided on a minty green fill and blue border. I have 2 more days to finish it but I'm hoping I can do it in one. Wish me luck!
Years ago I spent hundreds of dollars on screen printing equipment and countless hours learning how to use it. I originally intended to design AND screen print shirts myself. I tried so many times but wasn't able to achieve the results I wanted. It was really frustrating and it discouraged me from moving forward. I almost gave up on my t-shirts before I even started. I don't remember how long it took before I decided to let the professionals do the printing while I focused on the designs, but it was a long time. I did manage to print some decent looking shirts for my brother's studio before eventually selling all my equipment. I don't regret trying & spending all the money learning to print myself, I only wish I had cut my losses sooner. Looking back, it was a great learning experience.
Some of you might not know that, besides the art & t-shirts, I'm also a wedding and events DJ & MC. I've been doing it for 6 years now. It's hard work but very fun and rewarding. Last night I DJ'd a corporate event. Next week I got a school dance and a wedding.
The Street Mrkt was a blast! I got setup early and was able to visit my artist/vendor buddies and bought an original piece by local artist, Jemal (@thejemalshow on Instagram) and picked up some rad Garbage Pail Kids pins from Jodi (@xicana408) She always has the coolest shit! I even had time to drink a couple beers at Uproar Brewery before the event officially started. I gave out over half of my flyers and sold a few t-shirts and stickers. It was a good night.
Make sure to come out to the next First Friday Artwalk & Street Mrkt next month. It'll be the last one of this season. Hope to see you there!