The First of Many

On the early morning of Monday, February 9, 2015, I said my goodbyes, got into my truck and drove my camper out of the parking lot for what would be an 8-month road trip.

02_09Beginning1

02_09Beginning

I was filled with excitement. I couldn’t believe it was actually happening. I don’t know if it will ever sink in that we were able to make this camper possible. Looking around me and having it settle in, I drove through the streets of Philly to begin my adventure.

I made one pit-stop along the way in North Carolina. It was a Walmart parking lot and a perfect place to get some rest. To think that if this was only two months ago, I would have had to spend hundreds of dollars for a hotel room or have had to bare the cold and sleep in my car. I can’t thank you all enough again.

The first night was a learning experience. I had to figure out how to get comfortable, how to turn things on, how to work my heat/AC… thankfully I was able to manage it all. I sat still and stared at the ceiling, thinking about how far I’ve come. I’m so grateful for everyone’s help. I would be lost without it. I could feel myself cracking a smile as I got myself comfortable for my first night’s rest.

After a total of 22 hours, I made it to Florida. The sun was beaming and I was so happy to make it when I did. (I heard Philly wasn’t as fortunate with its crazy winter coldness!) I first decided to go to the city of Okeechobee. Such a fun name to pronounce!

When you’re in a certain environment for a long time, you feel so inspired by different sights even if you’ve seen them before. The nature out here was beautiful. I found a bike path and decided to take a ride down it. The view was amazing. The wind moved through the grass and I breathed it all in. Like the blades of green, I travel where the world leads me. As an artist, I flow with the ideas that come to me from inspiration wherever I may find it. The lines of my work fall as my wrist lightly pulls away from my canvas.

02_12OkeechobeeBikeRide

I saw amazing creatures in Okeechobee. First were the pelicans hanging near the friendly local fishermen.  I gathered near and spoke to the men. They told me how the pelicans have had to change their ways of eating. They used to be able to swim freely and fish for themselves. Now with changes in the environment with pollution and water levels, plus the growing population of alligators, pelicans had to adapt. They try to swim near the edges of the water as much as they can without predators attacking, but it remains a challenge for them.

02_12OkeechobeePelicans1

02_12OkeechobeeGator

02_12OkeechobeePelicans2

Fascinating what techniques animals use to adapt to our ever-changing environment. I watched the pelicans for a long time and thought, “Am I becoming a bird lady?” If I am, it’s all for good reason.

I continued my sight-seeing for a little longer and then decided it was time to set up at the campsite.

02_12OkeechobeeCow

02_12OkeechobeePelicans3

02_12OkeechobeeCampsite

Yes, I had the smallest camper there. I was next to huge RV trucks and people who were professionals at reversing into tiny spaces. I felt so inexperienced (because truth be told, I am!), but everyone was really welcoming as they always tend to be down here in Florida.

The next day, it was time to get down to business! I had to prepare my prints and drawings, cut more matte, organize my tent, everything! My first fair was in less than two days and I had a lot of work that needed to be done. When the day came, I was somehow able to have everything set in time.

The 2015 ArtiGras Fine Arts Festival was held on February 14 in Jupiter, FL. In 2014, it was voted the Best Art Fair by Art Fair Calendar, so I had high hopes for how this would be and lots of interest in checking out some of the other artists at the event.

One artist at the ArtiGras Fine Arts Festival was a dear friend of mine, Jason Brueck. From his Alter Images, Jason creates prints, posters and t-shirts of his incredible modern art. It was so nice to see a familiar face. Here are a few samples of his work. Please make sure to visit his website to check out more of his pieces here: http://alterimages.net/

http://alterimages.net/

“Ride Em Cowboy” by Alter Images

http://alterimages.net/

“The Right Stuff” by Alter Images

http://alterimages.net/

“Catbird Seat” by Alter Images

The festival was a big success. I think with the combination of Valentine’s Day weekend, Presidents’ Day weekend and the reputable name it turned out to be a great start to my trip.

02_14ArtiGrasBooth

Now that the first fair is over, I have driven to Tampa, FL to visit a few old friends. (Everyone is really anxious to see my Scamp trailer!) My next event is the Scottsdale Arts Festival in Scottsdale, AZ and I can’t wait to share more of my adventures with you. Wish me luck!

02_17TampaPitStop

To share the experience more, make sure to follow me on Twitter (@aalexandrin) and cheer me on with the hashtag #GoAnastasiaGO!

  • February 14-16: Artigras, FL ~ Done!
  • March 14-15: Scottsdale, AZ ~ Next up!
  • March 27-29: Tempe, AZ
  • April 3-5: Deep Ellum, TX
  • April 9-12: Dogwood, GA
  • April 18-19: Fiesta, TX
  • April 25-26: Inmann/Atlanta, GA
  • May 2-3: Bethesda, MD/DC
  • June 6-7: (Rittenhouse Square) Philadelphia, PA
  • June 20-21: Manayunk, PA
  • July 24-26: Seattle, WA ~ New!
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Hello Again Philly!

So Adam came to pick me up and we headed on the road back to Philly! I was so excited to see the city again and relax for a few days. “Relax” just sounds like a foreign word to me at this point in life. I’m always on the go and constantly preparing for art fairs and applying for shows. The artist life isn’t an easy one to live, but it’s one that’s worth it in the end. I know it!

Road Trip

Don’t quite remember where the picture above was taken… I know it was somewhere in Florida still! The tree just called out to me. I guess trees have a way of standing out to me on road trips. Remember that dancing tree from before?

As I left Philly to head down to Florida back in the end of January, early February, it was snowing and hectic and a wintery mess! I’m going to miss the warm weather of Florida and the sunny days of wearing shorts, but I’m glad to be back in the city where a city girl like me belongs!

When I got back, I didn’t have as much time as I would have liked to relax unfortunately. I was a participant of the A-RTS Rockville Festival (http://a-rts.org/) in Rockville, MD. Adam came with me and helped me throughout the day. I always enjoy having someone else with me in my booth at shows. It’s great to have someone explore a new area with me and share the experiences of meeting different supporters (and non-supporters) of my work.

Rockville

After Rockville last weekend, I was FINALLY able to step back into the studio! Can you tell which piece I’m doing a second version of?

IMG950443

Summer2 in Progress

Summer2 in Progress

If you guessed “Summer,” you’re right! To see the original “Summer” click here. So this piece will be “Summer 2” and I’m really excited about the recreation. It’s less time consuming for me to draw original pieces of images I’ve done before, though of course if I had time to do a BRAND NEW piece I would love the opportunity to do so. Getting the resources and materials to do new projects is something many people don’t think about. It’s the artist’s job to finance their work through selling other pieces and it’s a constant cycle of working on a piece, getting your name out there, meeting people and trying to have them love the piece as much as you do.

So “Summer 2” is complete and as always, my followers get the first peek! For those of you just checking in, don’t forget to follow my blog! All you have to do is type in your email and my posts will get sent straight to you. I post a few times monthly, so it won’t be anything that will fill up your inbox too much hehe!

IMG953878

Well, now I’m off and about to start my day at Penn’s Landing! I’m at the Art Star Craft Bazaar from 11-6 today and tomorrow (5/11), so make sure to come check out my work. This is the first Philly fair I’m participating in since I’ve been away. It’s going to be a great day. Hello again Philly! Let’s see what you’ve got for me!

For more details of the Art Star Craft Bazaar, please visit www.artstarcraftbazaar.com.

 

 

Create Yourself

Hello bloggers and followers! I hope you all had a splendid weekend!

Let’s see… where did we leave off? Oh yes! Dogs in strollers! And Las Olas 🙂

Two weekends ago, I participated in the 26th Annual Las Olas Art Fair (Part II).  I’m learning that there are huge differences in each fair. Is it in the city? Is it in a middle-class neighborhood? Is it a Saturday afternoon or a Sunday morning? All of these things play a factor in the crowd and their interest in not only my art work, but all of the other vendors at fairs too.

Booth Las Olas

Las Olas was in Fort Lauderdale, FL and it was a Howard Alan event. Howard Alan is known for hosting and organizing some of the top art fairs in the country. I was honored to have been a part of this! Below is a picture from the Howard Alan Events Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/HowardAlanEvents).

Howard Alan Feature

Every day spent outside in Florida is beautiful. The weather is great and the people here are overall very friendly. It’s great here, but I really miss being in Philly. It’s getting harder and harder to stay positive when I’m exhausted and in a new state. As an artist, you have to do your best to have high energy levels and to stay positive. Once you lose your positivity, you become trapped in a dark hole that’s almost inescapable. To the artists of the world out there, keep your head up. If you love your art and you’ve made it your life, know that your passion has already carried you this far.

Arms Spread

I’ve met some amazing people out here. A few, of which, who have reached out to me on my website (aalexandrin.com). I can’t stress enough how great it is to hear feedback from my supporters.

Fan Las Olas

Two BIG things happened to me during the weekend of Las Olas. One, I found out that my boyfriend Adam was flying down for the next weekend! If you’ve ever been in a long-distance relationship or if you spend lots and lots of hours apart from one another because of your job, you probably know how excited I was to hear this!

And two, a wonderful woman bought my “Wind-Up Dolls” original drawing! The prints of my work are great because my work spreads everywhere. But when someone is interested in an original, it makes me feel ECSTATIC! My originals are what started it all. They’ve inspired me to create new drawings and these pieces take a long time to complete. It has been awhile since I have had the time to do a new original drawing, but once my “Wind-Up Dolls” piece was sold, the inspiration to draw and create more came out of no where! I hope it sticks with me through my time in Florida.

Wind-Up Dolls

So the next weekend after Las Olas was the 26th Annual Art Fest by the Sea in Jupiter, FL. It was another Howard Alan event and a lovely day outside. It was also International Women’s Day. What other way to celebrate than to promote my work of empowering women?

Adam was here that weekend. Maybe that’s why I look like a crazy happy lunatic in this picture!

Booth Jump Jupiter

You’ve got to learn to not care about what others think. Be yourself. Take the criticism. Disagree. Put a smile on knowing you’re you, and that’s a beautiful thing.

Booth - Jupiter

Every new encounter is an opportunity to create yourself. With these fairs, I show my work and get to see people’s raw reactions to it. I hope you all have the courage to put yourself out there and show the world what you got. If you don’t do it, who will? There are over 7 billion people in the world, but there is no other you. Be you and show them all what you’re working with. Create yourself!

I’m just getting back from the 50th Anniversary Rotary Key Biscayne Art Festival in Miami, FL. I’ll send a recap when I can! Next up is the Hyde Park Village Art Fair. Oh and one last note, I recently got the news of my acceptance into the 25th Annual Manayunk Arts Festival in June. So excited!

 

  • 2/8-9 Boca Raton Museum of Art 28th Outdoor Juried Art Festival
  • 2/15-16 Downtown Dunedin Craft Festival
  • 3/1-2 Las Olas Art Fair Part II
  • 3/8-9 Jupiter Art Fest by the Sea
  • 3/15-16 Key Biscayne Art Festival
  • 3/22-23 Hyde Park Village Art Fair
  • 3/29-30 Altamonte Spring Art & Music Festival
  • 4/5-6 St. Pete Beach Corey Area Craft Festival
  • 4/12-13 Cedar Key Arts Festival

February in Florida

Since my last post, I have participated in the Boca Raton Museum of Art 28th Outdoor Juried Art Festival and the Downtown Dunedin Craft Festival. What different experiences than what I’m used to in Philly!

I left around 4 a.m. the night before Boca Raton began to set up and camp out for the festival the next day. I probably should have expected it, but there were so many bugs! With the humid weather they were everywhere and I wasn’t prepared at all. All of the participants were worried about the chance of rain predicted, and we prayed to the art gods for it to not as we set up our tents.

Boca Raton Tent
Boca Raton Tent 2

It’s difficult to narrow down my audience. It seems that my art appeals to people in the 18-50 year-old range, which makes it challenging with traveling because I’m not sure if the younger crowd that likes my work resides in one area versus another. In Florida, I’m aware of the demographics. People come here when they want to retire and enjoy the beautiful weather (hey, who can blame them?)

Beautiful Florida Weather

Boca Raton wasn’t what I expected unfortunately, and it made me worried about the art fairs to come. As an artist, it’s all trial and error. There’s never a set practice that will be stable to do. There’s always different competition, different atmospheres and different customers. This isn’t an easy career, but even with hard challenges, I’m always sure that this is what I’m meant to be.

During the week, I’m still cutting matte unfortunately. The house is empty a lot of the times, but it makes it a lot easier for me to work on the 93082403820 things I have to do. The next weekend was Dunedin, and I had hope that this would be a better turn out than Boca Raton. To my joy, it was.

Dunedin Tent

It was a bit windy and I struggled holding a few things down, but with some help from other vendors and friendly advice, I managed to “hold down the fort!”

Dunedin Tent 2

I met amazing people during the Downtown Dunedin Craft Festival. It feels so great when people tell me that my work inspires them. The ultimate goal of my work is to do just that: to inspire people. I want it to speak to them in a way they’ve never been spoken to before. I want people to follow their passions just as I do, because we only have one life to live and time is precious.

Along with some of the fantastic people I’ve met, I ran into something that I thought was the most peculiar thing…

Dog in Stroller FL

Maybe it’s a Florida thing to put your dog in a stroller? They were treated as if they were people. Better than animal cruelty I guess!

Dog in Stroller 2 FL

I wonder if people do this in other parts of the world. Or maybe it happens in Philly and I just haven’t encountered it at all. I’m thinking about starting some kind of photo collection of dogs in strollers. Just something to keep me amused and to document my time here!

Next is the Las Olas Art Fair (Part II). February has flown by so quickly. (Don’t forget to follow my adventures via Twitter @aalexandrin and use the hashtag ‘#ArtinFL’ to send me any advice or best wishes!) I’m kind of glad it has because I miss my cat, Mr. Grey so much! Maybe I should get a stroller to put him in.

Mr. Grey

And of course I miss my love, who sent me these beautiful flowers on Valentine’s Day.

Adam VDay Flowers

Before I end this post, I want to bring up all of the controversy in Ukraine. As a native-born Ukrainian, seeing a woman speak out like this says so much. I wish the best to everyone there and hope it all settles peacefully. Please click the photo or the link below to watch this woman get her brave words out in the middle of a riot.

I-Am-Ukrainian-Protest-Video

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hvds2AIiWLA

I’M IN FLORIDA!

Well folks, I’M IN FLORIDA! It’s crazy to think that I’ll be here for the next three months. THREE MONTHS!! Can you believe it?! Hopefully I won’t miss Philly too much!

I think I’ll have an easy time with not being in Pennsylvania with the wintry mess I left. We have been getting insane amounts of snow as you might have heard from weather reports. The East Coast got it bad this year, and I left right when it was about to get even worse.

Philly probably accumulate around 8 inches this past January/February. I was worried about my road trip, but determined to make it there in one piece after all of the prep work I’ve been doing.

Matte scraps

The Company aalexandrin.com

I thought it was funny how everyone was worried about the Super Bowl and there I was, running around to beat the snow. So after tons and tons of bubble-wrap (so tempting to pop!), and lots of heavy lifting, I said goodbye to my studio and started my down south.

Goodbye Philly
Leaving Philly

The roads were dangerous and drivers drove very defensively. If you’re reading this, I hope you never have to drive through something so dangerous. Stay safe everyone. (Meanwhile, I still kept on driving hehe)

Road trip FL
Pit stop VA
Audio books have become my best friend during this trip. Don’t you just love technology?

First Palm Tree Sighting

My first palm tree sighting! I knew I was close at this point! But to my dismay, I checked my GPS when I saw the trees and found out I had five more hours ahead of me, oy!

Made itAll of that time driving was so worth it though. I made it to my home away from home for the next few months to come, a home that is rented out to selected artists. Also in the picture is my other home away from home: my car (or my boyfriend Adam’s car I should say, hehe!) That’s right everyone, I’ll be camping out on the weekends so that I am close to the festivals. Didn’t get to see which art fairs I’ll be participating in? Check out the list below:

  • 2/8-9 Boca Raton Museum of Art 28th Outdoor Juried Art Festival
  • 2/15-16 Downtown Dunedin Craft Festival
  • 3/1-2 Las Olas Art Fair Part II
  • 3/8-9 Jupiter Art Fest by the Sea
  • 3/15-16 Key Biscayne Art Festival
  • 3/22-23 Hyde Park Village Art Fair
  • 3/29-30 Altamonte Spring Art & Music Festival
  • 4/5-6 St. Pete Beach Corey Area Craft Festival
  • 4/12-13 Cedar Key Arts Festival

Looking at the list is unreal. I’m so thankful to have been accepted into them. I’m still waiting to hear back from a couple more, but I’m excited for what is set for now.

Earlier today, I arrived in Boca Raton to set up for the Boca Raton Museum of Art 28th Outdoor Juried Art Festival. For more information on the festival, please click: http://www.bocamuseum.org/index.php?src=gendocs&ref=Outdoor+Juried+Art+Festival&category=Annual+Events.  Below are pictures featured from the website of what the event should look like.

Boca Website Photo
Boca Website Photo 2

Sadly, the sky will not be that blue because the weather forecast is calling for rain. Just my luck! Hopefully all goes well still. This will be the start of my art festival career. I really wish I would have discovered this sooner. It’s a great way for artists to be able to survive doing what they love to do. This goes to show that if you work hard and do your research, following your passion will pay off in the end!

When I first arrived, I had A LOT of unpacking to do. After that, I wondered what I was going to do until the festivals on the weekends. Then I realized, oh wait! I’ll be plenty busy (you guessed it) cutting up matte board. It’s such a daunting process, but it won’t get done with me complaining!

Unloading
Still unloading
Cutting Matte

My goal during my time in Florida is to really expand my brand and share my artwork. Gaining new fans and meeting new people is how my art work grows. You keep me motivated and I thank you everyday for having interest in my work.

So get ready world, because I’m in Florida!

To keep up with my adventures, follow me on Twitter @aalexandrin. Use the hashtag ‘#ArtinFL’ to send me your best wishes or to give me helpful Florida advice or to-do’s! I didn’t think about the humid weather bringing in bugs, and the advice would’ve been greatly appreciated. So feel free to give me any other head ups! https://twitter.com/AAlexandrin

Matte About You

Quick realization before I begin: Philadelphia is “always sunny” and Florida is the “Sunshine State.” Can anybody make any puns out of this?

I have been absolutely M.I.A. on my social media with all of this prep work for Florida. In exactly one week I’ll be driving on down to take on all of the art fairs I’ve been accepted into:

  • 2/8-9 Boca Raton Museum of Art 28th Outdoor Juried Art Festival
  • 2/15-16 Downtown Dunedin Craft Festival
  • 3/1-2 Las Olas Art Fair Part II
  • 3/8-9 Jupiter Art Fest by the Sea
  • 3/15-16 Key Biscayne Art Festival
  • 3/22-23 Hyde Park Village Art Fair
  • 3/29-30 Altamonte Spring Art & Music Festival
  • 4/5-6 St. Pete Beach Corey Area Craft Festival
  • 4/12-13 Cedar Key Arts Festival

Florida is a whole new realm of art for me. Because all of my art is black and white, it’s difficult for me to work with colors. Black and white represents my work best. It’s simple and puts more of the focus on the technique and the image.

Prints aalexandrin.com

Ohitika aalexandrin.com

Wind-Up Dolls aalexandrin.com

With Florida just around the corner, I have been busy cutting up matte for my prints. When you think of Florida, you think of bright, tropical colors. For this reason, I have been playing with different colored matte and I’m finding it more challenging than it should be! So many decisions!

Picking Matte for Black Bird

Though color isn’t my favorite thing ever, it’s amazing to see how framing my work in the colored matte transforms it completely. The mood of it changes. The feelings it reflects change.

The Company aalexandrin.com

Cutting the matte is taking up a lot of my time. It’s a matter of measuring each individual board and then measuring it and then cutting down the scraps and repeating this process about three times for each board. There’s got to be an easier way! (I just haven’t learned it yet!)

Pile of matte

Matte scraps

While I am away in Florida, I will do my best to update you of my journey! I wish I would’ve discovered the world of art fairs sooner, but better late than never! So get ready or not Florida, ’cause here I come!

Fair Game

I hope everyone had a good holiday and a happy new year! 2013 went by quickly didn’t it?

Happy New Year!

I tried coming up with a resolution for 2014, but after thinking about it I came up with a whole list! Where to begin?

  • To flourish and to prosper
  • To make greater accomplishments in my career
  • To meet more of my art fans in person
  • To spread more of my artwork
  • To laugh more
  • To continue to forgive
  • To spend more time with those I love
  • To spend less time worrying
  • To build a new body of work that speaks to more people
  • To spread aesthetics and empowerment

What are some of your resolutions? Comment to this post. I would love to hear them!

Don’t you find that we quickly forget about our resolutions as the weeks pass? It’s challenging to stick to our goals when we can’t even remember what they are! I am aiming to achieve my “to spread more of my artwork” resolution. To do that, I have entered a number of fairs during the upcoming few months!

If you have ‘Liked’ my Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/AnastasiaAlexandrinArtist) then you have probably been wondering where I will be from late January until early April. As followers of my blog, I’m letting you in on it FIRST!

Where in the US?

My clues have been that it’s a state in the United States, it’s known to have the highest lightning strikes per capita, there is a law that makes it illegal to wear a strapless gown in public if you are a man, and the Northern Mockingbird is its state bird. Have you looked it up and figured it out? I think we need a drum-roll here! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t925JwYXhVA

If you guessed Florida, then YOU ARE A WINNER!! (Sorry, I don’t have a prize for you but I can give you a, “Congrats!”)

Florida

Just over Christmas, I was in Maine. My boyfriend and I were taking a trip just to get away. He’s really into snowboarding, and from the pictures it seems I’m really into looking like I can snowboard!

Dancing tree

(I saw this tree on the drive there and fell in love! It looks like it’s dancing. Isn’t it remarkable?)

Snowboarding

Standing

Falling

Now I am back in Philadelphia and doing crazy prep work for all of the fairs! I’m still waiting to hear back from a few of them, but I am excited about the ones I have been accepted into so far. If you will be in Florida, make sure to stop by! A list of the fairs I’m participating can be found below. More updates and details to come!

  • 2/15-16 Downtown Dunedin Craft Festival
  • 2/22-23 North Florida Fine Art Festival
  • 3/15-16 Key Biscayne Art Festival
  • 3/22-23 Hyde Park Village Art Fair
  • 3/29-30 Altamonte Spring Art & Music Festival
  • 4/5-6 St. Pete Beach Corey Area Craft Festival
  • 4/12-13 Cedar Key Arts Festival

Can’t make it to any of these fairs but are interested in purchasing a print/original? Please feel free to message me over my Facebook page or email me (email address can be found in the ‘Contact’ tab).

Ordering a print

As an artist, sometimes festivals and fairs can make you seem unprofessional or as if you only do art for a hobby. I say, if it gets my work out there and I get to meet my fans face to face, it’s “fair” game!