blog: mega update!
2022 aug 26  09:00
Well, it isn't exactly mid-month and I haven't made an update since early june but life has been HECTIC. I have done a ton of new art, traveled back and forth between Montreal and Plattsbugh, took on a "new car", did a buncha markets including Montreal Comiccon (which was back after 2 years!), hurt my OTHER hand and had my printer die. And then we find ourselves at the end of August and pretty much summer. HOW.
I guess I'll start with markets? If you recall, I eased myself into markets this year with a super lowkey Pride market at Dawson College (my old stomping grounds!) and it was really fun and pumped me up to do more! The next one i did was actually Montreal Comiccon which is a HUGE jump from the pride market iI did! It had been postponed for 2 years and my table/art buddy Theo and I were both a little iffy about doing something that big in the midst of an ongoing pandemic. But no refunds so we sucked it up and prepped as much as we could with masks, sanitizer and 99% alcohol in a spray bottle. It also helped that our set-up was pretty much a wall of merch that kept us at a good distance from the crowd!
Overall, we had a lot of fun, met a lot of really cool artists and got to see friends after so long. I picked up a ton of fun art and made a a decent amount of money. The crowd was really nice and def fewer negative encounters than past Comiccons, but I think it's mostly that people were grateful to have the event back so they were on their best behaviour. Needless to say, we signed up again for next year and opted for a corner table so we can have more display space!

da gahbidge fiyah club! set up for Montreal Comicon

Basically, the rest of June was spent restocking things for July (Comiccon and Montreal Makers Market, a relatively new market in the city) and working on sub things for the next couple of months. I came up with a theme of Animate Objects and drew up some lively but sassy everyday objects. I ended up with 6 designs for stickers and postcards so I ended up splitting the set up so that the two higher sub tiers could get their hands on all of them. Also, I knew July was going to be a mess so having all that done ahead of time would save future-me the headache.
Animate Objects designs for July and August
Restocking is always a surprise. Will it go smoothly or will I fight every machine i have? For the most part, everything went ok, I think? I did manage to finish my 2023 calendar in the style of the Notebook Critters and that's kinda where everything went to shit. I had bought some nice HP paper to use since the only printshop I have access to here is Staples. I guess that could have worked in a pinch but I opted to DIY it. My HP printer (the temp one I bought after my my big HP wide-format one died at the end of april after 4 years) decided it did not like the paper after printing all the small calendars and managed to fuck up at least 40% of the sheets while printing the large calendars. I contacted HP tech service and they're basically like "the paper is not compatible with the printer you have". They're both HP. There is nothing on the paper package that says you should only use this paper with THESE SPECIFIC HP printers. They guy said it was online under tech specs of the printer. WHAT?? Anyway. That was infuriating, as usual. As every encounter I've ever had with HP tech support. So I pushed on and kinda just found ways to get the printer to take the paper and print out some decent pages. I finally succeeded in my restock and was ready for in-person markets!
After a successful July of in-person selling, I was excited to have 3 markets in August: another Montreal Makers Market (the person who runs it is really great, and runs a really tight ship it seems, as far as organization for markets in Montreal goes...), an outdoor market here in Plattsburgh run by the Old Soul Design Shop where I currently rent a small shelf to sell things, and another pop-up in Montreal set up by Labyrinth Bookstore. I only had to restock a few notepads for august, and even designed a few new things like 2 list notepads and a whole set of postcards and stickers. They were a hit and I'm pretty happy with that.
Sadly driving back and forth between Montreal and Plattsburgh on top of having to be "on" for in-person markets was too draining and after injuring my right wrist just before the Old Soul market, I opted to skip the 3rd market and stay put for a while.
That and after contacting HP AGAIN after my printer fucked up AGAIN, they told me that the whole thing needs to be replaced. They were going to send me a box to I could ship it back to them and then they would send me a new one. I totally forgot that I bought the Geek Squad 4-year protection plan along with the temp printer so I called them about replacing it directly thru them. I set up an appointment to get it replaced at the closest store in Vermont last Friday. In the end, I decided to just get a full refund in the form of a gift card since I found out this particular printer is notorious for leaking ink and having issues.  So I am now printerless!
But not to worry! I set up a Printers Suck!!! sale which is still going on until Aug 31st (code: DEADPRINTER for 25% off orders $20+) to fund the purchase of my end-goal printer, an Epson Ecotank Pro ET-16600. After my big HP died I fell down a printer research rabbit-hole for a few days compiling info on printers. Inktank printers were a definite as buying cartridges constantly is such a waste of money and plastic. I am also aware that all printer brands are pretty terrible but I've pretty much had it with HP and Epson has the widest range of supertank/ecotank printers right now. I settled on this $1000 printer since it uses pigment ink specifically which I like for my stationery. Plus it's more fade-resistant and durable than dye ink. Plus, I've been trying to look up any improvements on dye-ink technology so I could possibly go for a cheaper printer option and found nothing really about it so... pigment ink it is.
I had also set up donations thru Ko-fi and also got a fun commission to work on and I pretty much met my goal yesterday! I'm just waiting for the remainder of the funds to hit my account so I can place the order. I'm pretty excited to try this thing out and HOPE the print quality is on par/better than my old HPs.
list notepad designs: Notepad Critters & Happy List Friends
Animal Uprising designs
new designs for thank you cards for orders and packing materials
Happy Mail Friends letter sets and Caring Critters notepad for august subs. Happy Mail Friends stickers were also available at august markets
In non-art news, I now have a car. My mom gifted us her old car after she bought a new one. We knew she was eventually going to replace it, and we were willing to buy it off her when the time came, but we were not expecting her to go out and buy a new car this soon. We were definitely not prepared to take on the financial responsibility of a second car after just moving earlier this year, but I guess we have no choice. It is what it is, but I do have to say it makes getting around here on my own a lot easier. And I also have the ability to drive back to Montreal on my own schedule, if I need to. I do miss having a car, but I definitely do not miss driving! 
Anyway, I spent the last few days after the Old Soul market recovering my wrist and playing Cult of the Lamb on the Switch. I'm actually not stressing out about being behind on designs and sub stuff for September. I will eventually get to it when I do. Plus, there isn't a whole lot I can do without a printer anyway! I am excited to finish the designs I had planned for next month and I hope you'll like them!
I guess that's all I have for updates. Summer was definitely a blur. It was nice to be able to get back into market mode and and pretty stoked to do more in the fall and beyond. I'm also happy to be able to get around a lot easier to see friends in Montreal (one of the only things i miss about the city!). I'm also excited to be able to create more fun stuff for you all really soon *finger crossed*
I hope everyone is enjoying the slightly cooler weather as much as I have! I can not wait for fall!!!
Until next time!
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