On July 8th & 9th and after a two-year tradeshow hiatus, ArtLife was back in the scene at AGENDA in Long Beach, CA. Now in business for 5 years and numerous shows under my belt, I had promised myself if I ever did one of these shows again that I would create a scene of my own. So I did. If I was going to sit and/or stand around all day for two days indoors of a convention center, then I was going to do it in the best and most ArtLife way possible; a Camp-themed art installation, of course.
I had just completed the artwork for the Van Project about a month before and figured this would be the perfect time to showcase the finished product along with the brand new styles for 2016. My heart was set on following through with this crazy idea while my mind was already conceptualizing the rest of my “booth” space. The assigned 10×20 concrete-floored space would become my gallery and this was my exhibit. After planning & designing, tracking down & collecting all the materials, countless phone calls & emails, sleepless days/nights, physical labor, and even a Video Game-like drive through the maze of the show…Booth D7 was transformed into “Campground D7.” I was prepared for the wild and had everything I would need to survive including order forms and business cards.
Last year’s backpacking travels all around Spain, Cambodia, and Bali, as well as road trips up and down the California coast helped inspire this collection. These new styles feature a lot of various fabrics including hand-painted, recycled, blended, printed, colorblocked, and each one is softer than the next. Still staying true to comfort and versatility, the line consists of everyday casual clothing such as tees, tanks, crop tops, pullovers, buttondowns, shorts, and hats & visors. I went with another bright colorful palette compatible with previous collections and mixed in some neutrals for contrast. Instead of just your average solid, I used texturized fabrics for the neutral colors like black and grey to create more of a unique & interesting look.
The hardest project turned out to be the 10ft long by 6ft high rack built out of real tree branches that I used to display the clothing. If I was going to create an “outdoor” environment then I needed to make it look as real as possible in every aspect. There aren’t too many things more satisfying than building something from scratch with your own hands, so I was up for the challenge. Unknowingly, this rack became very symbolic of my struggle building a brand by myself. At the end of the day and after all the hard work…it still stood even with what seemed like way too much weight.
The “Arterior” of the van is open for interpretation depending on who’s looking in. To me, it’s my own personal mobile cave of inspiration and adventure.
After all is said and done, I especially enjoyed all the rad people I met and appreciate the ones that stopped by to take the time to hear about the brand. I’m not sure when or if I’ll be back on a tradeshow floor again or where this journey leads next, but I can say with certainty that I’ll never quit vannin’ along spreading ArtLife all over the world.
Now it’s time to visit the real outdoors! Follow @artlifeisgood on Instagram to see where that’ll be next and stay tuned for these new styles available exclusively in the Shop.
Special Thanks to: Ink FX, 270X, El Kapitan, Society6, The Synthetic Grass Store, Brittney @ AGENDA, and the trees that sacrificed their limbs for the sake of art.