andrew burke





I'm At "Have Yourself A Gothic Little Christmas" All Weekend

Posted on: 2023-12-02

A colour-graded image of monstrous Krampus walking the halls of a craft fair

I've been doing my nerdy Nova Scotian photo mashup site starshipsstarthere since 2011, and one of the surprises of it is how much I enjoy selling my art in person.

I spend most of my time alone in front of computer screens, thinking and typing. Getting out into the world and interacting with lots of people is a big change of pace. I'm pretty introverted, and I can find long intense social interactions rather daunting, but the short ones you have at a craft fair or trade show or convention are fine.

My late father craved attention and often got it through humour. I remember him cracking jokes and then looking around eagerly to see who was laughing at them. Thankfully he was a very funny guy and would frequently get the laughter and positive feedback he was hoping for. I've definitely inherited that personality trait, and it is well fed by having the most striking, silly, lovely, jarring and/or just plain funny pictures from over a decade of work on display for people to respond to.

I love watching random strangers' faces when they notice my stuff and then figure it out and finally get the joke: Neutral. Confusion. Consternation. Then a big smile.

Due to the specific nature of starshipsstarthere, there are only a few opportunities in a year for me to set up my booth and meet an audience that would understand what I'm doing. For whatever reason I didn't get into Hal-Con this year, and that left me rather deflated for a few months. In the last while, though, people have been contacting me wondering if there was going to be a new 2024 calendar. I hadn't been sure about that, since I hadn't made much new material in the last year, but I decided to put one together anyhow. This inspired me to finally finish off some ideas I'd been toying with for a while, like a Maud Lewis take on Baby Yoda:

Baby Yoda with flowers, painted in the style of Maud Lewis

And I was able to take advantage of the view from the 12th floor boardroom where Provincially Speaking Toastmasters meets to get a proper angle on the harbour for my take on the "Bebop" splash-landing:

The ship from Cowboy Bebop splashing down in Halifax Harbour

So the calendars finished printing up yesterday, and (after some last-minute finagling) I will be back at a table selling them this weekend, at the "Have Yourself a Gothic Little Christmas" fair. It's a smaller and quirkier event than Hal-Con, but the kind of person who would decide to go to this sort of event is probably the kind of person who is likely to understand the pictures I make.

I made the picture at the top as a promo for the event several years ago, featuring not Santa Claus but his dark cousin Krampus. This year, I gather that Krampus will actually be showing up!

So drop by the Maritime Hall at the Halifax Forum (on the south side, next to the Bingo/Farmer's Market space) this Saturday or Sunday and say hi! The calendars will also be for sale online and at some local galleries and such soon too.

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