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I’ll Skip the Desert, Thank You, I’m Finished Eating This Sand.

Tara Fly's bare feet in the sand

I’ve been absent from this website for the past couple of weeks, but I can assure you that my head wasn’t completely buried in the sand.
I just took a stroll through it with my bare feet….

I’ve been active elsewhere on the web; shopping for fixtures, studying booth designs, and stocking up on Epson Cold Press paper from my favorite online dealer….

Epson paper purchase from Adorama.com

I also placed a large order for new business cards yesterday. I still have a couple hundred (cheap!) business cards from VistaPrint that I’m no longer crazy about ~ is there anything I can DO with them?!

These new business cards are designed to be collectible; each card features one of my cat characters from Pride and Prejudice with an accompanying quote:

Pride and Prejudice Cat Collection Business Cards

I’m getting these cards printed from Moo.com…. Dominic finds the name “Moo” embarrassing, by the way, and suggests they change it to “Meow”. If the cards turn out as well as I hope, more designs will be forthcoming. They would also make cute postcards, don’t you think? :)

The reason for all this preparation and stockpiling is that I’ve been accepted as a vendor for the Carroll County Farmer’s Market in Westminster, Maryland (specific dates to be announced)… AND… I’ll also be selling my artwork at the Urbana Music Festival in Frederick, Maryland on Saturday, June 23rd. My table will be located inside the Urbana Regional Library, and 15% of my sales will be donated to Friends of the Library.

Two years ago, I resolved to get my artwork into an actual art fair… and each season, I stand in my studio holding printed applications. Occasionally I’ve even managed to fill them out. This year, I’ve shaken the sand out of my hair and walked directly to the post office, depositing the stamped applications into the Out of Town slot.

No turning back.


Last week I sent off one such application for an Independent Press booth at MegaCon 2013, held each spring in Orlando, Florida. Many of the successful artists that I follow are regulars attendees at MegaCon ~ as well as other major fantasy conventions like DragonCon in Atlanta, GA, and FaerieCon in Baltimore, MD.

MegaCon is a sci-fi/fantasy/anime geek paradise… where people dress-up as their favorite comic book or fantasy characters, compete in costume contests, and receive autographs from television actors. Last year, Brent Spiner (Lt. Data) was there! *swoon*

Attending a show like this could very well be the kick-start I need to get my anthropomorphic cats in front of thousands of appreciative eyes.

A Flickr Slideshow of MegaCon attendees… I love the DeLorean costume! LOL! ♥

The logistics of participating in a major venue were almost paralyzing….. in addition to the hefty booth fee, I would have to consider travel to Orlando, lodging for the week, display structures to buy/build, and vasts amounts of inventory to accumulate.

Not to mention that once my family was made aware of my plan, they decided a trip to Disneyworld was in the cards.
So…. 5 tickets for Disney, please.

If ever there was a moment when I felt tempted to bury my head in the sand, inventing excuses to explain my un-readiness, my un-worthiness, to take a leap so ginormous…. THIS was the moment. It felt terrifying and impossible… that I knew it had to be attempted.

I need to pressure myself, push myself beyond my warm fuzzy sense of complacency, to do something meaningful and BIG for the sake of my art.
Or I can continue to fool myself into believing I’m a “real” artist, letting my easily manageable trickle of Etsy sales and a couple of small wholesale accounts lull me into a contented sense of accomplishment.

I chose to mail the application to MegaCon…. without putting much faith into an affirmative reply. Truth be told, I almost wanted to be denied… it would be so easy to “wait another year or two” until “I feel ready”. ….When my portfolio is larger. ….When I have extra money to spend on supplies and fixtures. ….When I have a few local craft fairs under my belt, and I feel experienced enough to tackle a big show.

I still had my Farmer’s Market booth to plan and prepare for, right?

Last night, I received an e-mail from MegaCon’s Assistant Director:

“We have received your Independent Press application and have assigned you to Indy Press booth 6…..

Oh. Crap.

I’ve been accepted?!

There is no use burying my head in the sand anymore.

This is it. Sink or swim… Mr. Darcy, the gang, and I are going to Florida next March.
Unless the Apocalypse comes first. ;)

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