Reboot.

Yikes!

We’ve fallen significantly short of our goal to regularly update the blog and the shop! So, we decided there’s no better time than the present to reboot both!

2018 has proven to be a fairly hectic year so far. Eric and I have been kept busy with work, new jobs, a business trip, a move across town, adopting a lovely stay cat, and more! Just this last week, Eric left his job at the local art center to start in a woodworking position with a local shop owner. Starting today, he works a regular five-day week 10am-6pm. The last weekend of July and the first two weeks of August, I was working super-overtime coverage at my job downtown while the owner was on vacation, and getting worn down to the bone.

We are beyond ready to fit art and creativity back into our schedules! We’ve been planning new projects, experimenting with new media, and exploring new story-lines and characters without any real time to devote to them. It’s about time we got back on track and started creating again. To quote John Sloan: “Though a living cannot be made from art, art makes life worth living.”

So, let’s (re)start with some basics!

My name is Kecheri. I’m a twenty -five year old writer and artist with a degree in philosophy and psychology. I like to write fantasy pieces, especially with a real-world tie-in, and I’ve recently started developing some plot ideas that edge on science-fiction. With my artwork, I try to work with two-dimensional and three-dimensional media to create colorful, interesting pieces that incorporate aspects of depth, movement, and emotion. I draw geometric, pattern-based, line illustrations as well as paint brightly colored landscapes. My art is stylized with sharp angles, odd perspectives, geometric shapes, and a focus on vivid color. I also run a (currently) separate shop for knit work and handcrafted kid’s toys and costume pieces called TheWingedWhale on Etsy. Eric and I took the kids and knits shop to a community day event this last Saturday, and we have a separate write up on that experience here.

I have a professional background in portrait, press, and studio photography. I have experience and education with both digital and film photography, and I enjoy working in black and white. I hope to have more time and energy soon to get some artistic photography and digital art pieces up on the shop as well, but for the time being, I’m still in the planning stages of those projects. I’m also hoping to branch out into more three dimensional fine art work with wooden pieces, clay, and even bonzai projects.

Eric Groff makes up the other half of our business. He is a twenty-four year old artist and storyteller with a fine arts degree with a focus in illustration and printmaking. He makes detailed, realistic, and stylized pieces through a variety of traditional and digital media. His work has been used in mobile game development, character design, and public exhibition. With a strong interest in using art as a form of storytelling, Eric applies his artistic talent to fleshing out story-lines and building narratives. He debuted into the world of picture book illustration through his work on the children’s book “Gran, Gran, Granny”, written by Rae McDonald, published through Clear Fork Publishing.

Eric is working on developing, writing, and illustrating a space western webcomic called Harlow. He has been working on it for a few years, and whiles he’s still working out a lot of the writing and story progression, he hopes to start sketching and inking the proper comic soon once he has the parts all in place. It’s a space western style comic about “A man trapped on a messed-up desert planet, trying to make things right again.”

He has also been working on a new project titles The Fatalist, a Noir-style comic that follows a character as she navigates a world of prophesies, visions, and spiritual upset. I cannot reveal much about this story yet, pending further information from the author himself. The darker, more ink-like concept illustrations have me excited to see where Eric takes it.

Another project we’ve started recently is one of my story ideas, following the odd happenings in a mid-Atlantic suburb. Through the experiences of five teenagers, a map begins to form detailing an extensive government cover up, in the middle of which they find themselves. With mysterious disappearances around the Summer Solstice, a reluctant sheriff’s department, missing hours, shadowy figures, and a practical crash-course in cryptozoology, these five teens will have plenty to occupy them over the summer. We think this story would best be told as a comic, so Eric has been helping me work on the story as an illustrated piece. As with Harlow and The Fatalist, this story is still in the design, and development stages, but I hope to have something solid to put out soon. Ideally, I would like to work out a timeline to stay on top of updates and new chapters once I can start production.

All in all, we’ve been fairly busy so far this year, but as we get a better grasp on our schedules,  time management, and caffeine intakes we will make more time to work on doing the art and writing that we love! The first step is updating the blog here more regularly, and we’ll go from there.

Thanks for sticking with us, or for discovering us for the first time!  We look forward to bringing you more information and material as we can make it!

Cheers!

– Kecheri

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First Vendor Table

Eric and I took my kids&knits shop, TheWingedWhale to a Girl Scout troop’s community outreach day out at a church in Havover, MD by Arundel Mills Mall on August 18. It was our first opportunity to set up a vendor table at an event. It sounded like a great event with food, crafts, vendors, scout badge work, face painting, balloon animals, a fire truck, dj, the whole nine yards!  I was informed it would be a “SUPER DUPER” event by the organizer, with more than 60 vendors attending, an event program, etc., lots of hype from the organizer.

So, I entered production mode, made bracelets and last minute knits and stuffed animals, got the day off at work (cashing in on a little guilty accommodation after my over-100 hours of work and consequent work-related injury), and gathered set up supplies from my mom and Eric’s parents. I took out money from the bank to make change, shared the flier on Facebook, talked to some friends who apologized for not being able to make it out, and packed up the car. We drove almost an hour out to the location Saturday morning, talking and anticipating.

When we arrived, we pulled in the driveway and were greeted at our car by girls asking for our table fee, which we had already sent via mail. Then we met the organizer, who shook my hand and commented with some amazement that Eric and I were very patient — which seemed a fairly odd comment following a ten second interaction. We were a little skeptical because of the greeting party and the fact the location was significantly smaller than we imagined for over 60 vendors and all the other stuff promised for the event. Other vendors were getting upset because there was not clear instruction on where the aisles between vendors were meant to be, etc. Still! We’ve never set up for a show like this, so we figured it was all probably pretty normal and got our tent up (eventually with some help from three other vendors), stored the car in the off-location lot available, and set up all the goods we brought, and settled in for the event to start.

And so we waited.

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And waited…

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My mom came by to say hi and check out the venue, but we only saw maybe four or five other groups people walking around throughout the entire day who weren’t other vendors or the few girl scouts present. Many of the other vendors packed up early in pretty sour moods because no one was around. It was about 98 degrees out with 99% humidity, which may have deterred people, but ultimately, it was clear the event had just not been advertised to the public. There wasn’t even a cardboard sign by the main road indicating that there was an event, which I’ve seen almost any other time I’ve seen an event going on anywhere, even for small events like this one.

Eric and I waited it out until the official 2:00 end of the event, but only managed to make one sale. By the end of the day, we only brought in a $2 profit, not counting the cost of gas to drive out there, so all in all, fairly disappointing. But! Now we have the experience, so we are better prepared for a proper show. We’ve set up the table and the tent, and found out what works and what doesn’t, what things we should maybe invest in, and that we should really put our energy into one of the larger shows, even though the table fee is higher.

We are thinking about the Great Frederick Fair– which we have missed the entry deadline for this year– the Annual Frederick Festival of the Arts and the Frederick Fiber Festival for next year. We’re also looking south to Montgomery County which has a number of art and craft festivals down near where I used to live, like the Sugarloaf Crafts Festival in Timonium or Gaithersburg, or the Rockville Town Center Art Festival next year.

All in all, not a lost effort and we’ve learned a lot! But next time, we’ll probably stick to the shows we know more what to expect in terms of turn out.

— Kecheri