Breaking Down, Pumping Up

Imagine your car has broken down and you’re on a deadline to get somewhere that’s almost 20 hours away. It’s a hot, dry day and you’re by yourself without any car knowledge. Do you break down and convince yourself you’ll never make it? Or do you pump yourself up because you know it’s just another challenge that will make you stronger?

If you follow me on Twitter or liked me on Facebook, you’ll know I was in this exact scenario. I chose the ‘pumping up’ route and decided to stay optimistic! I was so grateful that it happened a mile from where I was staying, in a city and rather than in the middle of the desert.

It happened on the day that I was to drive 16 hours from Phoenix, Arizona to Texas. I was supposed to arrive there on April 2 to set up for the Deep Ellum Arts Festival that Easter weekend. Set up was from noon until 6 p.m. that day and if a participating vendor doesn’t make it during those hours, the booth spot is up for grabs by last-call artists who might have applied late. As I drove out, I heard a rasping noise and it continued to get worse. I pulled over at a gas station and tried to figure it out, only to conclude that I am not a mechanic and will need to call AAA for help.

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It was a very hot day in Phoenix and after a few hours, Dale (the AAA guy) came to my rescue! He had a crass and sarcastic sense of humor that jived well with the whole scenario. I couldn’t help myself but have some fun! I watched him try to attach special contraptions to his vehicle to tow my little Scamp trailer. Another tow truck guy came and they worked pretty hard and I laughed to myself at the situation I was in.

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People stopped and asked about the trailer. They talked to me, offered to take me home, offered to buy the trailer with cash on the spot… I appreciated their generosity but I was on a mission and I couldn’t be stopped! The gas station attendant kept me company for a few hours as the AAA heroes worked on my car. It was an unexpected kind of day and I wondered if it was even possible to get to Texas in time. At this rate, I would make it just at 6 p.m. But worrying wasn’t going to get me there faster, so I towed my Scamp back to the RV Park then towed my car to the mechanic.

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Later that night I was told it had something to do with the fans. Of course I don’t know any specifics, but it was dying and I know I wouldn’t have made it through the desert without it. So a few hundred dollars and a day later I was back on the road!

Hours and hours later, I pulled up to the Deep Ellum registration. I took a look at my clock and was relieved to find out I made it ten minutes before the cut off time! Whew!

The adventure wasn’t over yet. I still had to set up my booth! The wind was super gusty and I thought my tent was going to fly away before I got the weights hung. But somehow, I made it. Fatigued and in a daze, I made it.

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At Deep Ellum, I had the best artist neighbors. One man, Billy Sunday, made instruments and played them in his booth. The music attracted amazingly talented people to his tent and I had the privilege to watch them perform.

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Another artist made elaborate puzzles with intricate designs out of wood. There was also an artist who made jewelry out of stones he found. The company was great! The weather was fickle. The crowds were wanting. I saw a parade of dogs and animals in costumes, people dressed up for Easter and I saw an old friend from my college years in San Francisco. 12 years passed since we met and it was great seeing a familiar face! Plus I got to eat some amazing Thai food!

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If I would’ve chosen to break down with my car, I might not have been able to meet all of these wonderful artists. I learned so much from them that weekend and I am forever grateful for that experience. Artists are incredible beings. I am truly lucky to be surrounded by them.

Fast forwarding to today, I just wrapped up the weekend at the Atlanta Dogwood Festival and it was another pleasurable experience. With all of the recent events of my car and traveling a long distance in a short period of time, I would like to apologetically announce that I will not be attending the Fiesta Arts Fair next weekend in Texas.  It’ll be a lot easier for me to drive to the Inman Park Festival from Atlanta. This traveling artist needs a break!

Until next time, please enjoy this photo sent in by a fan of his newly purchased “Girl in a Hat” series. If you’ve purchased some of my work, please take a photo and email it to me at aalexandrin@me.com to be featured on my social media accounts! And don’t forget to tweet with me on my road trip at @aalexandrin with the #GoAnastasiaGO hashtag.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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/

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“Ride Em Cowboy” by Alter Images

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“The Right Stuff” by Alter Images

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“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.

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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!

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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!

Here I #GoAnastasiaGO!

As of January 28, 2015, my Kickstarter was able to raise a total of $7,791 (that’s 259% of the goal funded!) Thank you all who have pledged and shared the page. I am beginning my 8-month trip tomorrow and am scared, but excited for what’s to come.

Kickstarter Goal Met

View the behind the scenes video: Meeting the Scamp! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bybfU5rmHBU

I can’t put into words how excited I was to first see the trailer. I was thrilled to see it was exactly like I imagined and more. Thanks to my Kickstarter backers I can now eat, sleep and draw safely on the road. My challenge now is packing and getting used to reversing with the trailer. It’s been quite the adventure already and I haven’t even left the parking lot yet!

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The trip all started with me applying to be in some of the top art festivals across the country. I’m still waiting to hear back from a few other fairs, but for now, my list of cities I’ll be showing my work in is as follows:

  • February 14-16: Artigras, FL
  • March 14-15: Scottsdale, AZ
  • 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
  • June 20-21: Manayunk, PA

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If you’re in these areas, make sure to stop by my tent! I’ll be posting the specific art fair names as the dates approach.

It means a lot for me to be traveling like this. It takes me to new places and new sights. Finding inspiration on the road is so much easier than staying in my studio all day. Being away from Philly takes me on both an emotional and spiritual adventure that makes me think about everything I thought I knew. Ideas I once had turn into completely different concepts that transform my drawings and help me grow as an artist.

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"Zero Gravity" by Anastasia Alexandrin

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So hang tight for my next set of stories to share! If you didn’t get to take advantage of the deals offered through my Kickstarter, please feel free to check out my website below for some prints and original drawings. And don’t forget about my social media of course!

Websiteaalexandrin.com

Facebookwww.facebook.com/AnastasiaAlexandrinArtist

Twitter/Instagram – @aalexandrin

Spontaneity

It’s strange to think how much can change in just a month, but even stranger to think how much stays the same. Since June I’ve embarked on several journeys both inside and outside of my studio. Three weeks ago I returned to Florida on a whim. Although unexpected, it was a renewal of inspiration as I was reminded how liberating spontaneity can be. While we cannot always peer through the veil into the future, we can either excite or horrify ourselves with the thought of what lies behind it. I choose not to fear, but to relish all of the possibilities.

After visiting Florida, Adam surprised me with a trip to Utah. If you ‘Liked’ my page on Facebook, you probably stopped trying to figure out where in the world I am. Seems I can’t stay put in one state for too long. We also traveled through Idaho, missing the opportunity to walk through the Idaho Potato Museum which was sadly closed yet still managed to provide us with some wonderful photo ops.

The Drive to WyomingThe Drive 3The View - WyomingAdam and Me - IdahoMe - Idaho Potato MuseumThe roads and landscapes of Wyoming seemed endless, yet somehow simple – as if they were shaped specifically for Adam and me, resembling love in their intricacies, contradictions, imperfections, and overall beauty. What’s most remarkable, to me, is how peaceful such a profound feeling can be. With the weight and worry of tomorrow gone we only had each other and our life together to enjoy.

Me and Nikita

Thanks to Nikita Clothing (nikitaclothing.com) for making me look this good randomly standing on top of a car!

The Drive 2And as we celebrate life, I’m reminded of my grandmother, whose incredible strength rewarded her with a 90th birthday. She is yet another source of light and inspiration to me as she endures along with her unconditional love and support.

08_16_14 GrandmaIn the time I’ve been home I’ve begun many new pieces. Bold, romantic, and heavily influenced by my thoughts and adventures over the past month.

IMG_1315 Anastasia AlexandrinIMG_13152 Anastasia AlexandrinIMG954410 Anastasia AlexandrinThis coming weekend, I’ll be traveling to Pittsburgh once again for the 17th Annual Shadyside Arts Festival on Walnut. Two of my newest pieces will be displayed. I’m excited for you to see them!

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!

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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.

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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?

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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!

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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.

 

 

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.

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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.

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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)

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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.

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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!

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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