In October, I participated in Fort Worth's ArtsGoggle for the very first time. Holy smokes! Everyone told me how lively, intense, and awesome it is to be a vendor there. But none of those words could properly prepare me for the day. It was wild, in all the right ways. Here are some of my big take aways from ArtsGoggle 2018.
1. This is truly a celebration of artists. I am so impressed by Near Southside, the group that puts on ArtsGoggle each year. You can tell that every decision and detail has been made with the artists in mind. From the live mural creation on the buildings, the bands, the interactive art, the volunteers, to how they market this event, it is obvious that they are passionate about what they do and the community that they are working to create within Fort Worth.
2. The crowds are crazy. I have never seen an event with that much attendance. Someone threw out the number of 50,000+ attendees and I believe it. Which leads me to my next point.
3. There are no quiet moments. Going in, I expected a steady flow of people with a few moments of slow here and there where I could regroup, adjust inventory, and even possibly eat. Nope. It did not happen. Even after the event officially ended at 10pm, I still had people in my booth wanting to purchase items.
4. Bring a buddy. This year I did this event with my dad and thank goodness for that. While I was obviously excited to spend time with him, I was extra thankful that he could man the booth so I could slip away to go to the bathroom or to get food.
5. Bring more inventory than you think you need. I sold out of my embroidered Farmers Market Bouquets in 2 hours. What?!
6. Everyone is so nice. From the crowd to the other vendors to the volunteer staff, everyone carries this amazing, friendly vibe. People are just happy to be there and it is a contagious mood. Such a great sense of community!
7. There is so much talent there. Whether you are into watercolor, knitting, scrap metal, rock art, boho, gemstones, wood carving, homemade jam, air plants, typography... The list goes on and on. There was truly something there for everyone. I wish that I would of had more time to see more of the booths because I was blown away by the creativity that I did get to see.
8. I can not put into words how much it meant to have some of my social media followers come up and introduce themselves to me. When communicating through social media, sometimes it feels like you are shouting into a void, never knowing who (if anyone) is at the other end. So to meet some of them in person was fuel to my fire. I got so much inspiration and great feedback about what they like (and don't like) and what they hope to see in the future. I feel supported as an artist and as a human in general. Is there anything more powerful than that? So huge thank you to those of you that came out. You did wonders for my artistic soul.
9. I wish I would have taken more pictures. As I mentioned, this event was whirlwind from the minute we got up (5 am) to the minute our heads hit the pillow (1:30 am). So I did not take any photos of my booth, the crowds, or any of the other vendor booths! I could kick myself. This is an area that I am going to ask a friend to help out with next year.
10. I can't wait to do it next year!