Oh sweet Autoptic, take all my money and let me roll around on all your printed matter I bought when I take you back to my hotel room.
I had a mission. THE (main) mission: find Eleanor Davis, Lille Carre, Genevieve Castree, and my ultimate Tumblr cheerleader (Dan) theferdescape. All four artists’ work makes me feel overly happy like when I was a kid and saw those quarter gumball high bounce balls for sale, and knew I had a quarter in my pocket.
1. Lille Carre had a table, so I was able to spot her quickly. I gushed openly and maybe a tad too much, but her art is amazing. Plus, I found out her husband was from Alabama, so it elevated her, by marriage, to a higher level of artdom. Don’t ask. I always push someone higher if they’re attached to Alabama in some way. She was very friendly and humble. She also had a stylish necklace on.
2. When people would ask where I was from, a lot would thumb over to a table and say, “There are some Austin people at that table.” I found Foxing Quarterly who I had no idea existed, and I found it weird that I had to go to Minneapolis to meet people in my hometown who have the same tastes in art that I do. Maybe I’m not Lone Wolf. This leads to Eleanor Davis. They were selling limited screenprints by her, and when I talked to Danithan at Foxing he pointed Eleanor out in the crowd. I poised myself next to her while she was buying stuff, and eased into a conversation. She had remembered my email ramblings about her Giant Robot Post-It art I bought, and after she left, the guy behind the table said I played it off cool. It’s good to have spectator feedback.
3. I had wanted to meet Dan because, well, he was one of the first non-real life people who consistently liked my work on Tumblr. Not that the real life people’s opinions don’t matter, but they’re my friends. They love me, but Dan was a stranger. He had no reason to like my stuff because he only knew my drawings as just that, so when I found out he lived close to Minneapolis and would be at Autoptic I wanted to thank him in person. I planned it poorly, and only had his purple backpack to look out for.
I wandered to a table, and started to talk to an artist. I told him I was from Austin, and he immediately started to talk about the Butthole Surfers and Scratch Acid. I told him he won me over instantly at that point, and it’s when I looked at his name tag and realized it was Marc Bell. I knew his name, and knew he was someone that people talk about…but none of that mattered he knew about SCRATCH ACID. I wanted him as a friend immediately. (It’s all it takes.) Marc make this friend stuff happen.
The day went on with lots of purchases, but no Dan. I couldn’t spot his backpack anywhere, and decided to climb a set of stairs and see if I could do an eagle’s eye scan of the crowd before I left. I had not noticed I was standing directly behind a signing table where Marc Bell was seated. He wondered what I was doing, and when I told him why I was looking which made him ask more crucial questions which made me realize how weird it would seem to want to meet someone only to know the color of their backpack (no email or phone to contact), I sort of gave up hope. As we were talking the girl seated next to him who was eating some food turned around and started to ask some questions about the backpack and my face went blank, it was Genevieve Castree.
I floated out of the convention center. I wanted to run up to people to say how organic the experience was to just have Genevieve turn around. Not to have to be weird waiting at a table or circle around waiting to speak to someone. It just happened.
I also met a lot of artists who were really great. Hello, Sandrine Martin! (If you’re reading this.) Her art is really really amazing, and she as well as Eugene Riousse drew something in the books I bought. (I love the French.) I gave Eugene a drawing, and he kept asking if it was an original. I think he couldn’t understand why I would just give him a drawing, but he was nice. I also like the fact that a drawing I gave will be in someone’s French apartment whether in a folder or a trashcan.
Also, I made the mistake of not getting an artist to sign a screenprint I bought, and now I can’t remember who it is. I think it’s Talya Modlin. I’m going to tag her name on here to see if she’s vain and looks for herself. (I hope so. She was one of three artists at a table, and I can’t remember who was who.) TALYA, if your print is the teal guy bleeding, contact me.
Okay, I rambled WAY too much. BEST TIMMMMMME EVER.
SONG: Scratch Acid - “Mess” click here for song.