Wednesday, August 29, 2012

SF Zine Fest - Our First Show

This weekend we'll be vending at the 11th Annual San Francisco Zine Fest.  Held in the SF County Fair Building at 9th and Lincoln, the Zine Fest always holds a special place in our hearts.

The Zine Fest was our first foray into any sort of vending situation, and we only got into it because Monkey's manager at his retail job was the chief organizer.  Monkey started helping out organizing the event, and soon Monkey + Seal was born.  We really ended up coming up with the name in a sort of spur-of-the-moment panic as we realized we had to turn in something for registration.  

When we first started, we didn't have shirts, or prints, or ties.  We didn't accept credit cards, or have originals for sale.  Heck, at the time, we didn't really even know how to paint.  We managed to get a stamp made, and literally stamped all our business cards for that show.  

All we had were two mini-comics and two zines. And a few left-over buttons. We still sell some of them, and they've sort of become Monkey + Seal classics: The Story of Seal, and The Bad Date Zine, Vol. 1.  Seal finished her comic the night before, and we ended up going to the 24-hour FedEx Kinko's down in the financial district around 2am in order to print and trim the comics in time.

We didn't have a tablecloth, so we grabbed a big piece of green felt that we originally bought to make stuffed monsters.  Now, our bright green tablecloth (along with the bright, saturated neckties that we sell) is usually how people find us.  

Monkey assisted in a bookbinding workshop with the amazing Aaron Cohick of New Lights Press, his first workshop teaching experience ever.  Now Monkey has taught screenprinting, bookbinding, and is teaching a Marketing for Artists class this year.  He's also gone on to run the workshop program at Big Umbrella Studios.  

We've also met a lot of great people at Zine Fest, and we think you can really feel the communal, supportive atmosphere at the Fest.  I think among artists, there is generally a supportive vibe, but at some of the bigger shows more money can be at stake and sometimes a competitive vibe and big egos can creep in.  

So while its too late to get a table (or half table) at this year's Fest, we highly recommend getting on the mailing list so you can be first to sign-up next year.  There's also no jury (unlike a lot of the bigger shows), so it's good chance to get your art out there in a safe space. 

So we hope you join us at the Zine Fest this year (this is our fifth year vending) to share in a bit of the creative magic.  Come and get some ideas, see how little you need to get going pursing your dream.  And of course, there's always Monkey's Marketing for Artists Workshop Saturday at 1pm to look forward to as well.  It's free!

Hope to see you all there!