From the 21 hour drive to Texas, to being served a sweet potato almost the size of the football, to arriving at the fair, meeting amazing people, selling art, and everything in between, I am going to share with you an Inside Look about my week long journey traveling to & exhibiting at The Other Art Fair.
Day 1 of our journey began on Monday, October 18. (I say our, because my dad traveled with me :). We loaded up the rented SUV then hit the road for the 21 hour drive from New York to Texas! (The original plan was to drive my school bus down, however it wasn’t quite converted/ prepared enough for the trip :) We spent about 10 and a half hours driving (well actually my dad did all of the driving! I offered to drive to give him a break, but he simply said no thank you, I got this, as he put the petal to the metal…haha. He amazes me). Anyways we drove through Pennsylvania, Ohio, and stayed the night at a hotel in Kentucky fairly close to the Tennessee border. It was a decent drive. I thought it was pretty neat that we passed by the Churchill Downs, which is where the Kentucky Derby is held. Plus on the drive down one of my friends saw the video of me on my Instagram painting “Effervescent” (the original hummingbird painting) and she bought it!
I had it packed with me on this trip, because I planned on displaying it in my booth, however she purchased it and I couldn’t have been more excited to know that it would be going to a good home once I got back from this trip!
After checking in at the hotel and going through my suitcase, I came across a little surprise!
My mom put a sweet little, hand written note in my bag! "Thank you Mommy!"
Day 2, Tuesday, October 19. We checked out of the hotel and hit the road again for another 10 and a half hour drive. (And yes! My dad drove all of that too. He is a rockstar!) We drove through Tennessee and got to pass by the huge Bass Pro Shops pyramid at Big Cypress Lodge in Memphis, then we drove over the Mississippi River into Arkansas and decided to take a lunch break at a Longhorn Steakhouse. We are so glad we did that. The food was delicious! From the fresh bread, served warm to our main meals, it was by far, way better than how the Longhorn Steakhouses cook their meals back in NY.
I ordered a grilled chicken with a side of asparagus and a baked sweet potato. My dad ordered a cheeseburger with a baked sweet potato. When they served us our food, we couldn’t believe how humongous the sweet potatoes were!!!!! They were almost the size of a football! They even gave me 2 chicken breasts! I remember thinking to myself “Wow! They certainly know how to cook here in the south.”
After our filling lunch, we hit the road again. On our final stretch we listened to some comedians on YouTube and then turned up the radio as we listened to some of our favorite road trip songs, such as “Midnight Rider” by the Allman Brothers, “Thunderstruck” by ACDC, “Hotel California” by the Eagles, and some others :)
Once we finally arrived in Dallas, we drove to our Airbnb, unpacked, called our family back home in NY, then went to bed.
Day 3, Wednesday, October 20. This was like our “rest” day. The fair would begin the next, so we used this day to drive to the Dallas Market Hall, which is where the fair was held, and we found where the loading dock was and the parking. After that we visited a few local stores , took a walk (our bodies needed that after the 2 days of driving :) and then we relaxed the rest of the evening in our Airbnb.
Day 4, Thursday, October 21. It’s was the first day of The Other Art Fair! I remember waking up with butterflies in my stomach ;) Not the nervous butterflies, but the SUPER EXCITED ones!!! We had to be at the Dallas Market Hall for load in/ booth set up at 9:00am, since that was the time slot I booked to unload. We had until 4pm to complete the booth set up, but we finished before lunch time! Setting up was very exciting and fun for me. I finally got to see everything I had worked so hard on for the four months prior to the fair. All of painting were hung,
my prints were neatly stacked in the browsing the bin, my business cards and brochures were displayed in their handmade metal holders that my brother had made for me, and my table was set up with my email list sign up, social media bar codes, and a stand for my iPad to display a video of my painting process. Everything looked way better than I had imagined it would.
I have to give a lot of credit to my dad for helping me with the set up and hanging all of my paintings securely & evenly. I couldn’t have imagined doing this part with out him.
After set up, we went back to our Airbnb, and ate lunch. While eating lunch, I checked my emails and noticed I received a message that “Enlivenment” (my original zebra painting) sold on Saatchi Art!
The Other Art Fair and Saatchi Art are collaboration partners for this fair. The Other Art Fair ran the fair, while Saatchi Art provided us artists with an online selling platform with curated collections for the Dallas Fair. I had my originals listed for sale on Saatchi. And it was actually one of my best collectors who purchased “Enlivenment” on Saatchi, because she couldn’t make it to Dallas to buy it in person. I was so happy to know that this painting would be going to wonderful home after this trip!!! I was filled with a ton of enthusiasm and decided to do work out in the living room. My dad decided to go visit another local store while I was releasing my energy. I even did some dancing after working out to try to help calm some of my excitement before taking a shower and getting ready for the show that began at 6pm.
The first night went so well! I loved meeting my booth neighbors and other artists. Here was one of my neighbors, Jessica M. Chaix. Her work is beautiful!
This was one of my favorite pieces of her's...
Another one of my booth neighbors was Aaron Jackson Bowman. He has such a bright, positive, and fun personality.
It even shines through his work!
Another one of my booth neighbors was Rebecca Bennett (unfortunately I didn't get a pic with just her:(
It was truly an exciting night for me. I sold an original to a lovely collector!
(This collector also visited me two more times over the weekend of the fair! That was very sweet and kind of her to do!)
Day 5, Friday, October 22. It was day 2 of the fair. Which was another fun day for me! I got to meet another lovely collector. She purchased “Mellifluous."
Another one of my highlights from this day was, I put on an unplanned dance performance!!! I just couldn’t help myself when I heard the DJ playing such fun and groovy music!
Day 6, Saturday, October 23. It was day 3 of the fair, and the longest day (it felt pretty short to me though ;)
The fair ran from 11am-8pm that day. It was a great day! I got to take some time to walk around and meet other artists.
(me and Zeisook You)
She has gorgeous floral photography art! I really liked this one of hers...
I met Rapheal Crump. He's originally from New York and is now based in Dallas. (woooohooo another New Yorker:)
His work is super cool! It's vibrant, it has style (and what I like to call.. a little bit of NY swag ;) and each piece is full of life with a meaningful story. My favorite piece of his was his cowboy boots and rattlesnake painting.
Another one of my highlights of this day was I got to see the inside of the cool Sweet Tooth Hotel Booth. (Clips and pics of that are also in my vlog). I also met Danny Broadway (unfortunately I didn't get any pictures with him:(
In addition to all of that, I got to meet another lovely collector who decided to purchase “Intention”
She was so sweet! She took of picture of me with her new painting!
Later in the evening I felt the itch to dance again….so I put on another unplanned dance performance for the crowd of collectors. Some of them came up to me after wards saying I put on a nice show and didn’t even realize it was unplanned and that I was actually one of the artists selling works. They thought I was just a performer for the art show….haha…I loved it!
Day 7, Sunday, October 24. Awww….the last day of the fair.
It was a bitter sweet day for me. Bitter, because it was the last day and I wanted it to be longer ;) and sweet because not only did a collector purchase “Reverence”
but also because I got to end the fair day on a high note…….I got to dance with my Daddy! One of my booth neighbors recorded it! It was truly one of my favorite moments from our whole trip!
As soon as the fair closed at 6pm, we disassembled the booth, packed up the paintings and gear, loaded the car, and drove back to our Airbnb for the final night before driving 21 hours back to home in NY.
Here are just a few more pics from the last day...
Here is Ana Kim and I. She is based in Chicago and loves painting animals too.
Here are all of my lovely booth neighbors from the aisle! They were a wonderful group of people to be around the entire weekend. We all agreed and said our aisle was the best aisle in the whole fair!
SHHHH......don't tell the other artists we said that!!! HAHA...inside fair joke :)
I truly enjoyed every minute of this trip/ experience. I learned a great amount, met wonderful people, collectors, & artists, made lasting relationships, and the best part of all….I got to spend it all with my Daddy by my side! I couldn’t have imagined doing it without him.
“Thank you Daddy. I love you!”
You might be wondering why I chose to do The Other Art Fair, why Dallas, how did I prepare for the show, etc?? Well I hope to explain the "behind the scenes" story (specifically the 4 months prior to/ leading up to the fair) in a future blog post.
Please don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions. I look forward to staying in touch with you and I thank you for reading about my "Other Art Fair" journey!