How I met Alt Art, well, how I helped begin Alt Art and the Journey to 2017. But How I met Alt Art is easier to spit out, so lets go with that. This is my very first, ever Blog post.
It all started with a series of seemingly random events, starting with a Computer Error, a number of lost USBs and a brief period of cursing my damnable luck. I had recently decided to begin promoting myself and my work, though in order to do that in the Age of Information. You need to have everything digitized.
As luck would have it, I'd recently lost everything. And needed to start again, by digitizing my work. With a Day spare and many hours slaving over a Scanning bed and dealing with a computer from 1990's. I wasn't really off to a good start, so I bundled up my folio and headed to the store I scanned at.
As I sat there, waiting for the dinosaur machine and scanner to complete yet another 5 minute scan (Which would be followed by 2 minutes of rendering.). A Gentleman, (Whom, I never got the name of) came into the store, to have a digital print done.
He was a late middle-aged man, glasses, and looked on a mission. But as he strode past the front desk, he spied my folio, spread hap-hazardly across the bench space. He wasn't the first person to raise an eye brow, but the way he paused as he saw it. I felt all at once confused and suddenly very possessive of my work.
He moved on and ordered a print, then came to the desk to pay. Again spying the colourful array of chaos on the desk, but said nothing. I thought nothing of it at the time, vaguely annoyed that the machine had stopped yet again.
No idea how much time had passed, it felt like an eternity. Eventually the Gentleman returned to collect his print, it was a massive shot of Melbourne, over looking one of the parks. As he stood there, he looked at me.
"Did you do all this?" I looked some what stunned at him, I'd thought I'd gone mad. From dealing with the Dinosaur of a machine. I nodded, politely, blinked several times and finally answered in a confused yes.
"This is really good, what did you use to do this, it looks like Chalk and Indian Inks."
Again, still trying to get my brain into gear. I shook my head. I said, that I used a Uni-ball pen for the Inking and the Chalk like texture of the colour, was a result of the paper and the specific brand of pencils I used.
"I see, line work is good, solid, bright and colourful." I nodded, still shocked someone was talking to me, about my work.
"Have you ever heard of a woman named Joh Lyons?" The question seemed reasonable enough, but I felt like a fool. Who was this Joh. She sounds important. Should I know a Joh? I shook my head and responded in the negative.
"She's looking at getting art work done on the walls around Traralgon, working out of the The VRI." I cocked my head to one side, this was an interesting idea and someone thought I'd be good enough to beautify a wall. "What you've done here, is exactly what she is looking for, you should get in touch."
I thanked him for the encouragement and his kind words. But I was confused, oddly overwhelmed, anxious and torn. I wanted to get out there, I wanted to show my work, I wanted to be a professional artist. But... Was I really good enough? Would Joh actually be interested in a no-body like me?
My fears were unjustified. After a quick google search, some Facebook browsing and much Uming and Arring. I finally messaged this Joh Lyons, I recieved a reply and an invitation to come to The VRI for a visit.
Friday was a startling day, terrifying even for someone who was no one. I met Joh, Sarah, Jesse and a host of people all at The VRI. Such friendly people, every single one, pouring over my work. With genuine interest, asking questions and commenting, discussing my work.
Part way through the discussion, Joh had begun talking with Sarah. About using the Foyer area to display Artists work, along with the desire to get more people involved. I sat in stunned belief, here were people wanting to display my work.
There was talk of doing work for a local business, reaching out to other artists and talks of events and bigger and better plans. I had no idea at the time, what I agreed too, I was still very confused and in awe of these positive and upbeat people.
It was a roller coaster of awesome, and in a couple of short weeks, my work was up on the Wall in the Foyer. But it didn't end there!
To be Continued....