One of the most important things about Artomatic is that it strives to build a community among the artists of the region. Washington DC, at first glance, doesn’t seem to have the thriving artist community of some other metropolitan areas, but it’s there. It takes a bit more work, and a bit more getting involved, though. Or so I am learning.
In an effort to foster that artistic community, Artomatic had three artist socials among its many events. I couldn’t make it to the first one, but I just had to make it to the second one – the Zombie Prom.
The logistics were a bit of an adventure. That Saturday was also my day in the Marketplace – the space where artists can sell their stuff directly during Artomatic. So my day went a bit like this:
- Get up earlier than I want for a Saturday
- Show jewelry, table, displays, costume, and make-up bag in Mark’s car.
- Arrive in Crystal City at noon and wait for the freight elevator to be available.
- Rush to get my table set up by 1 – small pieces means longer to set up!
- Stay at table and try and sell things until 6 (went pretty well – that’s an advantage of small things!)
- Pack up as quickly as possible, again cursing lots of tiny inventory that needs to be put away
- Grab some dinner across the street
- Find a quiet bathroom (hello 4th floor!) to get into costume and makeup
- Meet Mark in the 4th floor lounge to finish up his makeup
- Pose for pictures for the random people who found us
- Make it – late, but looking awesome – to the party
The Zombie Prom was … entertaining, but not exactly what I was expecting. When we got there, most people were taking in a show. Best way I can think to describe it is Zombie Burlesque. Entertaining, but definitely unexpected. Oh, and funny. Which is good.
Once the show was over, though, most people just left. So there were a few of us there, in costume or not, chatting with people, enjoying hanging out, and wondering… what next?
Honestly, it felt like someone dropped the ball in organizing. There were definitely people interested. But with no show going on, the crowd got thinner and thinner. The costume contest that was mentioned? Very quietly one-on-one awarded. Other things that were supposed to happen never did. By the time someone came in to start up some party music, I was tired enough to be walking like a zombie and was on my way out.
That’s not to say I didn’t have fun. What I did get to do was meet some other artists. One of my neighbors from the 4th floor came by to visit and chat while he was on his volunteer shift. I met the owner of the TARDIS pillar that I featured earlier. I had a nice conversation about living off art. I definitely hope that I’ll manage to keep in touch with some of these people once Artomatic is over.
Oh, and like I always like, the costuming and make-up was well received. Mark’s in particular – people loved the gouged out eyes look! We need to send his photo over to our favorite local costume shop. They know us on sight now and have started asking for pictures. Does that mean I do silly stuff like this too often? …Nah.