This past weekend, I had the pleasure of attending the first “Office Super Fan Festival” in Scranton, PA where I had my first-ever table as a vendor for my artwork. In the past, I’ve had tables at music festivals representing my website, JFH, or I’ve helped out record labels even before that (and in recent years, I helped a local web company at a couple tech conferences).
This was a completely different experience.
If you know me, you know I’m an introvert. I can chat with people enough to not seem totally hidden in my shell, but it doesn’t come naturally to me. (And I have the anxiety to prove it.) In the past, I’ve worked to represent someone else’s brand or a website I’ve started, but never… well, myself. It’s kind of scary.
On the first day, my ole’ college buddy Frank accompanied me to help set up and keep me company. What I wasn’t really expecting, though, was he also stepped up as sort of my “hype man.” He did most of the talking with people, encouraged them to visit my table, and talked me up like I was way more than I am. It was awkward. Kind of embarrassing even, but I appreciated his efforts. He was able to do what I just could not. We did pretty well that day, too (better than I expected). I was selling my art prints as well as some original drawings, and I debuted some 1-inch buttons that featured my The Office themed artwork, and some designs I’d made years ago while making buttons to feature on my own camera bag.
On Saturday, Frank couldn’t go, so my wife Amy came with me. She’s pretty quiet like I am, so we kind of just sat back and she’d help me get some things together for customers while I tried to chat with them a bit. On Sunday, Amy had to work (she’s a nurse), so I took another college buddy, Jim, to help me out. He, too, is another introvert, but it was great to have his help throughout the day. (We even went to the famous Poor Richard’s Pub for dinner afterwards, which was great! I’ve been dreaming of those Funnel Cake Fries ever since!) Sunday was the absolute most quiet of the festival days, so it was a pretty chill way to close out the weekend.
Vending my artwork was a mix of excitement, encouragement, fear and horror. haha! Everyone was wonderful, don’t get me wrong, but it’s just really intimidating to put my work out there for people to be experiencing face-to-face with me in real-time; I haven’t really done that since art class in college… which was quite some time ago now.
I was pretty exhausted for the next couple days after the festival, but I’m looking forward to my next chance to get out there, meet people, and hopefully make new connections and friends… I already miss some of the kind folks I met at Office Super Fan Festival!
Me on the left, and my buddy Frank on the right. October 8, 2021. Photo by Steve Owsinski