Sunday, May 31, 2009

Saturday at The Lakes...

Yesterday's event, ART & LITERATURE AT THE LAKES in West Covina, was part picnic and part creative endeavor. The focus of the event was the fundraiser for the West Covina library. The Library had several tables set up where they sold books, and Rubio's Mexican Grill donated proceeds from the day's sales to the Library. There was a DJ and several musical acts performing that day, as well as a series of live poetry readings, plus a Lazer Tag was provided for fun and games. We Cartoonistas were there to dazzle people with our Live Art and some of us set up a table with our goods, comics and art prints.

During the set-up that morning, the sky was overcast, but I was glad because outdoor gigs in California can be killer! Luckily the sun never got too bad that day.

We were provided with our own canopy, which made for a cozy little Cartoonista Cabana. Steve Romo and Grasiela hard at work drawing, while I'm prepping my table display to be just right!

Cartoonista co-founder Jim Lujan showed up on his bike early on. He and his wife had an event to attend to later that afternoon so he had to sit this gig out, but he drove over from his home to say 'Hi'. It really was a refreshing blast of sunshine when he showed up. He and myself are usually the ones who have done every single Cartoonista gig, so when one of us doesn't show the other gets down and blue.... :(

Also showing up later that afternoon was Raul Aguirre, the Cartoonista's Ace in The Hole! Raul's wife Hortencia was kind enough to bring us an ice chest full of water and soda pop, and two huge sandwiches of ham and turkey with heavenly cheese and fresh, juicy tomatoes and lettuce! Man, we Cartoonistas know how to eat up a feast!

One of the performers that day was a young man (from my town of Whittier!) called Christopher who recited some poetry. Raul drew him as he performed and later presented the art to the poet. Both poet and artist were happy with the results. These are the type of things that make live appearances so memorable.

The only Live Art piece I made was Terminator. It's funny, at one point after I finished the drawing, the DJ (Donald) and I were talking about the state of the shattered California economy and all the state budget cuts. Located right next to Donald was my drawing of Arnold as Terminator. So weird that the person I drew was also now the Governor of the state with the apocalyptic budget scenario!

Since I didn't draw much, most of my time was spent talking to people about the Cartoonistas and my own comics work. One of my sales was to a lady who hosts a local cable access show, and she asked me to appear on her show for an interview. The old adage proved true once again: One gig sometimes can lead to another opportunity!

There were also some musicians in attendance who had a Conga line available for people to participate in. Among the participants were some folks from a galaxy far, far away!

I attended some of the early meetings with the Chamber of Commerce in organizing this event, along with some of the other organizations involved. And it's interesting how much behind-the-scenes work must get done beforehand. Once you're actually at the event, you realize how awesome it is that something on this scale gets started simply with and idea, then one day becomes reality. I'm glad the focus was on fundraising for the West Covina Library (which actually hosted us Cartoonistas there several months ago).

And once again, I had a really good time just hanging out with my friends in the Cartoonistas. We're all fairly different in terms of personalities and what we want out of our art, but there's a pretty special camaraderie between our group of artists. Sitting out there in the cool weather, surrounded by all that music, all that great food, drawing, talking art. It's no wonder we bust ourselves sometimes lining up these gigs. In the end, we're just having a great time. It's like we get together for an outdoor picnic, but we happen to be drawing and attracting looky loos!


eric M. esquivel said...

Looks like a sweet gig, man.

Is that you in the Vader costume?

Raul said...

Great post Jav! You summed it up Nicely. It's a great reason to get up from your desk and meet people! The picture of my victim, err i mean model CLT looks great! I totally captured his whole essence man! He threw down some sick rhymes! Yer
Terminator friggin' Rawks! People he did this from memory no less!