Sunday, August 13, 2023

1313 Mockingbird Lane's 5th Anniversary Show with Galactic Empire and Full Metal Z

Terry and Liz are two of the kindest and most down to earth people I've ever met.

The anticipation I had for this show was a mix of nervous energy and a hell of a lot of excitement. See, I had never been to the Granada theater before, nor had I seeing the band Galactic Empire perform live. Top that off with the fact that this was a celebration for the 5th anniversary of the toy store 1313 Mockingbird Lane, and that I was asked along with two of my friends who are also artists to set up at the show. I was just over the moon. But between you the reader and me, I had this wave of insecurity wash over me like Oh my gosh is anyone going to even like the new Star Wars artwork I had made for this event?

But my mind quickly went to the reason why I wanted to do the show. Terry Taylor and his wife Liz, are two of the most wonderful and rad people I've ever met. Every time I've ever been to the store they are welcoming, engaging, and very positive people to interact with. I always find myself admiring the work and love that they put into what is now the third version of this toy store. There's a link below to their website at the end of this blog, but I'm telling you if you're in Lawrence Kansas, do yourself a favor and stop by and check out this store and the wonderful duo that run it. And if you're a pop culture or music lover, bring your wallets because the inventory does not disappoint.

I still had a lot of artwork, and it was all packed up still from the weekend prior, so I wasn't too worried about having items to sell at the show. What I was worried about is that I don't normally do a whole lot of Star Wars artwork. That's mostly because I've been focusing on my own IP's as of late, but I did have a few that I had created beforehand for this show. But like a maniac about two hours before I had to leave for Lawrence, I decided to do artwork that was my version of Darth Talon. I'm glad I did, and I'll come back to that point more towards the end.

I was running a little bit behind by the time I finally got on the road, and I really need to learn my lesson because every single time I feel like I have exactly the right amount of time to make it to a location, there is always construction on the highways.

Having the astromech droids doing security and promotion out front.

Thankfully it wasn't a big issue, but to any of you that have ever tried to find a parking spot on a Friday afternoon in downtown Lawrence, you'll understand what kind of a challenge that can be. As I pulled up to the front of a Granada there was a parking space out front, and with Cameron and Bryan's help, I got all of my stuff inside. I then found a parking spot one street over, found out I had to download the parking app, pay online, and then made a beeline through the alleyway and parking lots in between to get my table set up.

I was never so glad that I had my little personal battery powered Ryobi fan with me. Because that afternoon heat was not playing around.

It's the little details in any establishment that speak to how good of a place it is.

I got inside, hit the restroom real quick, and quickly set up my table in about 20 minutes.

Sound check was going on while I was setting up. I was really lamenting the fact that I had not managed to get to the venue earlier because I really wanted to be able to capture some additional photos and videos for social media, but also to get a better idea of what the Granada looked like pre show. 

Finally the line of people started filtering in, escaping the heat of the setting sun, as the opening band Full Metal Z was preparing to play.

Set up was pretty painless. Tables and chairs were provided and appreciated!

For the most part I stayed at my table because as people filed in after paying for tickets, the vast majority of them took the time to take in all of the artwork we had brought. And it was very heartening to not only see the interest people were showing, but also the sales we started making.

I cannot speak for the others, but I did extremely well. At first there were a few people reluctant to buy, even at the show specific prices I had set, but that was because all of my artwork is 13”x19” so I can understand no one wanting to hold on to that during the show. So I offered to set the artwork over to the side with their name on it, because a few people were worried that I would sell out before the end of the night. I'm glad I listened to them, and not my own internal monologue, because I did in fact end up selling all but one of my Star Wars pieces. I sold out of all of my arc trooper art reproductions of the character “Fives”, and remember that Darth Talon art that I had made just before the show? Sold all of them as well!

Galactic Empire hit the stage with a John Williams sized amount of epic wall of sound effort.

One really unexpected part that was a nice surprise, was the couple that had bought one of my Godzilla art reproductions mentioned in passing that they had hoped I would have some of my comics with me because they had seen me on the Robot Co-op twitch stream! I asked them how they found me on there and they had seen me post about being on Twitch after following the link that had my artwork that 1313 had posted about. Rikk Wolf had shown off Ardor issues #0 and #1 on the stream.

That moment reminded me that no matter what, always take the time to talk about things that you are doing for your art career whenever you are given the opportunity. It makes a difference, in raising your brand awareness, and helping you sell art. That and always carry business cards. Always.

I don't think any of us expected the really awesome crowd interactions we all got from show attendees.

Galactic Empire then took the stage, and holy hell this band is something to hear live. Every single Star Wars theme that they tackled, really with something to hear. But the one standout for me, was when I was standing talking to the other two artists during a lull, and Cameron recognized the first notes of the Jurassic Park theme song.

I've spoken before about being at an event or experiencing a moment out somewhere in public that immediately ignites memories in me from the 1980s or the 1990s. We stood there exchanging memories of Jurassic Park, and I mentioned that the very first time I saw the movie, it was at a drive in theater. The surreal nature of it being about 10:00 at night, when Dr. Alan Grant sees  the brachiosaurus, and hearing a chorus of car speakers sounding out that scene into the night sky, will forever be burned into my memory.

I think they had just played an amazing rendition of the Jurassic Park theme at this moment.

Standing there in the lobby of the Granada, that memory became so clear and immediate in my head, it was overwhelming. Thanks for that moment Galactic Empire.

I can't explain the vibe of what essentially was a 3 artist pop up art event, but it was fucking rad. I genuinely was sad the night ended.

Finally, like all good things, the music ended and the evening was drawing to a close. Attendees came by to pick up artwork and final sales were made. I also handed out the last few of my business cards, asking people to check out this blog post.

A lot of firsts this week. First time streaming on Twitch, and first time being at the Granada.

After we had all packed up our things, we stood around and spoke about random things from shows, to late night food, you know things that artists will talk about at the end of a show. Terry and Liz came over and thanked us for being in there, for my part I was thankful they had invited me, because the whole experience really helped prop me back up after the weekend prior.


1313 Mockingbird Lane

Galactic Empire

Full Metal Z

the Granada

Bryan Timmins

Cameron Keiffer

Thank you so much for reading, I am Mario, the Artisan Rogue, and until next time, remember to support artists and small businesses. And if you liked what you've read, and want to support the blog, there's a donation button just below.

Be kind to your fellow beings and always take the path less traveled. We all may live in times uncertain, but kindness, understanding, and believing in the good that is in most each and every one of us is what can bring about better days!

Mario, the Artisan Rogue
Illustrator, Voice Actor, Writer, Animal Rights Activist
-All photos, editorial content, created by me. One dude. Thank you for reading.-

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