August 22, 2008

Femme 2008

I am still recovering.

Driving 1,000 miles to Chicago seemed like a good idea at the time. Honestly, it did. Because of finances and the fact that I wasn't 100% sure I could afford to go until pretty much the last minute, I decided to drive. Also, I was bringing a ton of art for the art show and a bunch of stuff for a vendor table. All of my boxes and bags and suitcases weren't particularly plane-friendly anyways, but still. Next time planes are my friend.

I spent 22 hours in the car on the way there and 23 and 1/2 hours in the car on the way back. Yes, I did stop for breaks and to sleep a little. However, it still amonuts to being in the car for almost an entire day straight. I was honestly contemplating staying in Chicago indefinitely to avoid having to drive home again. But clearly that didn't happen and I am glad to be home with all that driving behind me.

The conference itself was absolutely amazing. A whirlwind of vending, participating in workshops, listening to speakers, socializing, and just reveling in all of the incredible and powerful femme energy. It's really difficult to even put into words what being in a space full of femmes and allies was like. Everyone was so friendly and loving and supportive and open. I was in awe to even look around and see all of the beauty. Physical beauty, yes, but also beautiful energy and spirit. It was unlike anything I have ever experienced before. In a world where queerness and femininity are not celebrated and often scorned, it was particularly striking to be in a space created by and for femmes. It was like a dream.

In between all my vending and the session I participated in on femme identity and creativity, I was able to catch a few workshops and keynotes. I saw Dorothy Allison speak. I think I had goosebumps the entire time. The other keynote speaker I was able to catch was Julia Serano, of whom I was not aware prior to the conference. Her talk was also amazing and her book "Whipping Girl: A Transexual Woman on Sexism and the Scapegoating of Femininity" is now at the top of my must read list. In addition, I attended a workshop on allyship, a workshop discussing femmes of all genders, and learned how to make my own pasties in a skill share.

And this doesn't even include all the socializing, lunches, dinners, pizza, breakfasts, etc. Did I mention that I am still exhausted?

I did very, very well as a vendor. I don't think I could have asked for a better first experience selling my jewelry. I sold a TON of it. At times I looked around and it seemed like every femme at the conference was wearing my necklaces. I know that not literally everyone bought from me, but a significant portion did. I made enough money to pay for the trip and then some! Which is incredible. But even more incredible was everyone's enthusiasm and support of me as a femme artist. I truly was not prepared for what it would be like to look around and see person after person wearing something I had made. It was exhilirating, truly.

Here are some pictures of my table:







I unfortunately didn't take any pictures of the art exhibit, which sucks. I really wish I had some because it was amazing and I was honored to be a part of it. We got raving reviews the entire weekend. I sold two paintings. "Woman With Flowers" and "Woman in Red Dress" both have new homes with wonderful femmes:



Let's see, what else? I have four new paintings I haven't shown you yet. I created them in the week or so before the conference to take with me. Here they are:









All new paintings will be available in my Etsy shop within the week.

I was invited to vend at two additional conferences this fall, which I will talk about more later. I also have lots of new jewelry in the works for Etsy and plans to do another art show at the apartment in October. I am sure I will have lots to write about in the coming months. For now, I feel like this post is huge enough.

More soon!

1 comment:

mazo-ak said...

this post touched me, because it touched you so much. i'm not sure how much you know that i'm so happy that you were able to attend the conference. the four new paintings are beautiful, just like all your others. simply beautiful.