Thursday, April 4, 2013

support local artists. support local everything.

There are a TON of cool local artsy events going on this weekendDenton Community Market is starting back up, the DIME Store is having their grand opening, The King & I premiers at the local theatre, and Spiderweb Salon's collaboration meeting for the next big zine project are just a few notable happenings to attend and appreciate. I thought this would be an appropriate time to reiterate what we've all heard a million times:


Or better stated: support local everything. Do whatever you can to put money back into the pockets of your community, your friends, and your neighbors. One of the things that I love about Denton (eh, well, you know, our Denton- certainly not the Loop or Razor Ranch) is that we have the opportunity to do this.

Yes- I count myself among those who daydream about a future life of recognition and wealth somehow born of being a writer or artist. I struggle a little every day to come to terms with the fact that this is pretty unrealistic. Art, writing especially, is my passion- which means I can never stop striving to create. Whether I am writing, painting, shooting photos, taking on a creative project, or making music with my friends, these are the things that fulfill me and breath life into an otherwise pessimistic existence.

That being said I am honored to know people who have taken their inspirations a step further. While most of them are still very far from that pipe dream existence, they are the amazing, inspiring artists who have taken their craft a step further and are making a name for themselves and a little money to support their craft, in whatever capacity they can. I am proud to support small businesses run by talented, creative people, and most of all, I love to support my friends and peers who are artists and beautiful humans in general.

I don’t care if you don’t have a ton of spending cash, what I’m saying here is you can still find a way to support the artists close to you and encourage your community to keep creating. Here are some ideas:

  • When you’re shopping for gifts for friends or family, try local shops.
  • Check out the galleries around town. There’s UNT on the Square, the universities, but also look for original local artwork in cafes, wine shops, and boutiques.
  • Participate in free community arts events: First Friday, Community Market, Jazz Fest, house shows, etc.
  • Ask your friends if you can buy art from them.
  • Save some of your drinking money and spend it on a CD or T-Shirt at a show.
  • Read local blogs. They can enlighten you on new perspectives, introduce you to people and things around town you may have never heard of, and keep you up-to-date on events and happenings near you.
  • Always, always, always tip your bartenders, servers, and baristas.
  • Commission a painting or song from a friend.
  • Go to a local crafts fair. Try the new Etsy shop, the DIME store.
  • Listen to local music.
  • Read a zine. 
  • Drink locally crafted beer, buy food from local farmers. I know this is not always possible, but every step we make to support those near us is a step in the right direction.
  • Talk to people, find new places to explore and things to do in your neighborhood.
  • Participate in open mics. Be respectful to the performers. Bring something to offer.
  • Create something yourself, and sell it at a reasonable price.
  • Collaborate with other artists.

In the spirit of local fanfare and artist appreciation, I'd like to draw your attention to some incredible people whose work I have been lucky to appreciate in the last month or so, and encourage you to check out their work as well:

I can say nothing but awesome things about Laura and Dave, the dynamic duo who run this great letter press business. I met them when we had booths right next to each other at an Austere Magazine event in Dallas and I bought this awesome little notebook! Soon after, Conor and I hired them to print our business cards for Spiderweb Salon. Triple Threat Press was easy and awesome to work with and the cards turned out beautiful and just in time for the madness that was 35 Denton!


If you keep up with this blog, you'll remember my recent post about Annavittoria the Amazing. Anna gifted me with this awesome piece after I interviewed her for the Denton culture blog We Denton Do It. It now hangs proudly on the wall in my bedroom. Anna has an Etsy store you should totally check out, and she works on commissioned pieces too, if you have any ideas for artwork hit her up!! She did some amazing cover art for the newest Forever & Everest album- SO COOL!

Regine does AMAZING pottery work. During a sale she's been having over the past month I bought this mug donning the face of one of my favorite poets and ordered another one while I was at it. This piece is SO BEAUTIFUL and well made, I absolutely adore it. Everyone should own a Regine original. I don't know if she has an Etsy store yet, but I can let her know if anyone out there is interested in a ceramic work-of-art of their own!

is the FREAKING COOLEST! Look at this dino-print! He does all kinds of incredible illustration artwork and you should go look at all of his stuff right now!! Some of it is heavily video game or comic book hero themed, which I don't always understand the references to, but I always love his style, regardless of subject matter. He has his own Etsy shop and can also work with commissioned ideas. He is also the designer and illustrator for Spiderweb Salon's zines (some of which can still be acquired if you contact one of us)! This print is now hanging proudly in my kitchen, underneath a badass painting by Cole Dalton.

(Matthew, I might still owe you money for this actually, don't let me forget!)
There are still lots of copies of the last Spiderweb zine available!


It would appear I just can't stop buying T-shirts from these guys. I missed their big sale last weekend due to an extra long band practice, but I have recently acquired three really great T-shirts designed and printed by them. All their shirts are super comfortable and one-of-a-kind: they'll let you pick your shirt and colors, and at select events you can watch them screen print your shirt right before your eyes. It's pretty incredible. Check them out!

These guys are as creative as it gets when it comes to beer. I can't tell you how happy I am that their Quakertown Stout is now sold in nearly all my favorite bars, and I can't wait until they have jumped through all the right hoops to open up their own place right here in town. I am very proud of Bobby and Yianni and I LOVE THEIR BEER. I'm getting tispy just thinking about it. They have a map so you can find all the places in the area carrying Quakertown right now. Big kudos to Deep Ellum Brewery, another excellent local craft brewer, for helping make Armadillo's [and everyone's] dreams come true!