Thursday, May 27, 2010


...Ahhh....yes. I haven't updated for a while. I still haven't gotten a proper job yet, but I'm working on various things, my graphic novel and an art car for Burning Man. Busking is halted indefinitely. I still may return to it, but it's up in the air.
Meanwhile, I'll leave the blog up, and if I don't return to it, it'll serve as a reminder of a strange time in my life.^_^
(PS, I still update my main blog regularly. Check it out.)

Friday, February 26, 2010


I was rousted for the first time today...well, actually, 'roust' may be too strong a word. Some guys drove up on this little green golf cart thing with a 'City of Santa Monica' logo on it and asked
"Are you one of our permit holders?"
as if they were performing for me a valuable and generous service.
I said "Uh, no..."
They said that they were supposed to ask me to leave, but they would let me stay for the day and advised me to get a permit. They were fairly helpful, in fact--I was under the impression that permits were $25 for one week, but actually it was $25 for the whole year, with $10 yearly renewal. So I said "Oh, uhhhh....thank you..." and they drove off.
I should get one, I suppose. Some part of me still resents it, but I'm not in the same place I was when I started this blog in November. I thought of busking as a last resort, an occupation for failures who have fallen off the grid, and I thought it was unfair that even a last resort was subject to red tape. Now I realize it's just another job, albeit one you don't have to do on rainy days. As long as I keep my mental health and don't have a monkey on my back, jobs are jobs.
So, maybe 'Adventures in Desperation' isn't a very accurate title, but it has a better ring to it than 'Adventures in Mild Unease.'
Oh, and I only made five bucks today...Make that three bucks. I bought a coffee before I set up on the strip. But I sketched this guy-

Thursday, January 28, 2010


Because an entry without a drawing is like a honey bee without another honey bee...

Had quite a good day today. My boyfriend lent me a folding chair. It's lightweight and has a handle, just the thing for quick entrances (and getaways.) Did okay moneywise, too. I only sold 3 drawings but two of those came with a nice gratuity. This old guy wanted me to draw him relaxing with a beer outside the Bitburger. This idyll was to be titled 'Retirement.' The concept is rather foreign to me, but he seemed pretty thrilled with his drawing. He kept calling it his '$5 Masterpiece' and showing it to everyone who went near him. Then some other Bitburger patrons wanted a similar drawing of their party.
I was happy to oblige them...I just hope that I don't find myself stuck in the 'Drawing people drinking outside the Bitburger' niche.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Dubious Legality

It was warm and nice out today, which meant it was hard to find a spot to set up on the strip. Finding a legitimate space was out of the question, so I had to take an illegitimate space (out in front of some bike posts.) A German(?) lady hawking jewelry told me not to sit too close to her and I felt sort of bad.
There is apparently a lottery run by the city to determine who gets a spot on the weekends. You have to pay $25 or something just to be entered. I think some of the other people feel that I am a flake exploiting the system...but I didn't make a cent today. Can one really be exploiting the system if one doesn't make a profit? I don't know if it's worth $25 to avoid discomfiting a German lady.
Anyway, I was rather on-edge and was gratified when a guy set up in another (non)spot next to me...selling DVDs with no boxes. (I mean, shit, I wouldn't do THAT...boxes are important! One scratch or smudge and your viewing experience is ruined...) Sometimes he would take a break and leave his dog in charge.
A police car drives by once a day. I told myself I'd leave if the police told me to. Usually the car just drives on by but this afternoon it lingered in front of my spot. 'Crap,' I thought, 'they've come to roust me about my lack of a permit.' As it turns out, they had stopped to arrest this guy-

I know the drawing leaves something to be desired but it was based on actual events. The draftsmanship was altered to protect the innocent.

Monday, January 4, 2010


Sorry for the inconsistent posting, and Happy New Years! My last day at Venice was before Christmas, but hopefully 2010 will be characterized by a) more posts or b) no posts at all, because I've gotten a job and I have other things to do.
Speaking of characterizations, somebody has probably already pointed out that Venice is characterized by caricatures. Living ones. Case in point, here is an exchange I overheard between two enviably skinny girls. They were looking at the goods of the guy next to me.
GIRL A- "Cool, compasses for sale!"
GIRL B- "I've, like, never figured out how to use a compass..."
GIRL A- "Whaddya mean?"
GIRL B- "Well, the needle is, like, always moving."
Then there was this old lady on roller skates who seemed to be an abstraction of *something*...
Just what, I'm not sure.
And then we've got the Platonic Ideal of a Chihuahua, a wonderfully grotesque little animal. The noble Ancestral Wolf must be spinning in his grave like a furry horizontal tornado.

Sunday, December 6, 2009


Sorry for not posting sooner--I was visiting my folks on the east coast.
I almost didn't go to Venice yesterday because it looked like it might rain, but as the guy selling homemade recycled plastic cup Christmas light disco ball thingies next to me so aptly said, 'If you think it's going to rain, it won't.'
Business was pretty slow, though. I wanted to look like I was doing *something*, and came up with this-

It occurred to me that it resembled a paranoid schizophrenic's drawing, like what Louis Wain would draw if he was into dolphins instead of cats. I had a disturbing thought, that maybe one didn't draw this way because one was insane, but one became insane because one drew this way. I searched my mental backlogs for paranoid notions, theories connecting Hebrews to space aliens and whatnot. I was relieved to find no sinister Freemasons or omniscient bankers.
There was a guy dressed up as a tree on stilts walking back and forth, and some people next to me trying to form a human pyramid. I'd sketch them, but if I sketched every freak that wandered into my field of sight, I'd soon run out of paper. I fear I've grown kind of blase about performance artists. On the other hand, there was a redtailed hawk flying back and forth over the strip, practically strafing it. It was being harassed by some ravens. I wondered if anyone else was aware of this drama playing out in the airspace over our heads.
Only sold one drawing yesterday, but it was a picture of Totoro for a couple with a little girl. They had no reason to know I was a Miyazaki fan, so I was pretty thrilled.

Sunday, November 22, 2009


I look up from my table and there is a fellow in Yassir Arafat headgear smashing a guitar on the pavement. Little guitar splinters fly everywhere. Another guy starts berating him. Is he the owner of the guitar? Seems a valid conclusion but I can't say for sure. The second guy told the guitar smasher they should go into an alley and sort it out. I didn't see how it ended and will probably never know.

But most of the interactions I've observed have been friendly and civil. People have been telling me I've been selling myself short and that my 'Laid Off by Disney' sign is too pathetic. I politely disagree. I don't want pity, but the sign gets attention. Maybe a time will come when I don't feel the need for it any more, and that will be a lovely day. As for my pricing...I've tried NOT selling myself short in the past. For that, I got absolutely nothing. Anyway, it's hard to put a value on art. In a world that includes scumbags like Thomas Kinkade, I like to think I am giving discerning buyers more for their money.