Tuesday, March 06, 2018

How To Get Away With An Art Market

Rather than make a new year resolution that I would probably fail miserably at, I decided to do something far more productive and rejuvenate an art market already present here. After all I've always wanted to run a little artsy bric-a-brac store of my own so why not try out my rusty shopkeeping skills with something a little less permanent, and a tad more substantial than just a pop-up store!

For years on end, I have been a frequent visitor at an annual arts and crafts market here - and yes, I've often wondered often enough why it hasn't become a more regular event rather than only briefly during the run up to Christmas. After all, there seemed to be quite a growing crowd of participants each year. Few could answer me however, though I could easily guess the reason was mainly due to the semi-active participation of a couple of overtaxed expatriate housewives who tended to flit in and out of the town throughout the year.

Hardly the sort to help make the fledgling market a more formally established item on the city's itinerary. 

Which is where we come in. One of the more determined participants, henceforth to be named Tenacious Tiny, corralled some of the more vocal people into a tight band to jointly organize more art markets here. Through Terrific Trish and Trusting Toni whom I've met on and off through the various events in town, I found my way into this group who hoped to bring together the crafters and creators in Miri under one single umbrella. 

Or at least that's what our main objective said!

Though none of them remotely resembled this fellow sadly. 

Despite my initial misgivings, the number of interested vendors in our market idea turned out to be quite significant; with a rare handful heaving a sigh of relief that someone had finally taken charge to make it more permanent. All I could think of was why hadn't they? Guess initiative is harder to find than I thought!

Several evenings of coffee and brainstorming followed between Trish, Tiny, Toni and I as we figured what to keep and what to change about the upcoming events. Thoughts of shifting the market venue to a more convenient location turned out to be far more tricky than we imagined. Not only did Tiny adore the original rustic location in a beach hut bistro, she as a local agoraphobic native didn't fancy driving more than five metres away from her house. Took a little bit of convincing but we managed to divert to another location closer to the town centre. 

Even the dates of the event kept moving around the calendar as we tried to balance the logistics of preparation with the advent of the Chinese New Year. 

Fortunately with Trish ever so adept at computer graphics, we soon had several posters and ads ready to place up around town; which Tiny and I sneakily plastered up at the more prominent junctions in town. Helping with the social media accounts, I found myself embracing the role of a peppy millennial coming up with wildly animated, enthusiastic remarks to accompany our numerous adverts.

Gotta admit there were some days I found myself utterly exhausted from being that vivacious- and wished desperately for a cup of thick black coffee. 

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