The Art Crawl
I started Haley by the Sea as a 16-year-old hoping to connect with people and always stay creative. I'm 24 now, and while the last eight years have delivered that connection and creativity, the Art Crawl brought it to the next level. This was my first art fair experience, and it brought decade-old dreams to life.
Colored Colors is the business behind the Art Crawl and its' mission is to create relationships between local creatives and the local community. There is so much to appreciate about the Long Island community and the way I've always shown my appreciation has been through art. That's why this event and initiative aligned with my personal goals and values so perfectly. I applied at the start of 2023 thanks to my friend encouraging me to do so and I spent the following months prepping and painting after my 9-5 and on the weekends.
Since this was my first art fair, I wasn't sure what people were going to like most, so I did a little bit of everything. Painted clam shells, canvas and wood paintings, digital art prints, tie dye shirts, beaded bracelets, and of course, I had custom koozies made too. I had so much fun meeting new people, chatting with them, and discovering what they liked most about my work. Working for so many months on everything had its perks but I was nervous about all of it coming together cohesively. I wanted to get my coastal and tropical vibe out there and bring some color and life to the sidewalk.
The Art Crawl reminded me of a few important things: how much I love a day devoted to listening to music and painting; why I started Haley by the Sea in the first place; I have the potential to do endless things with my art; how loved and supported I am by the people in my life. If we counted 'supporters in attendance' as sales that day, I'd be the richest small business owner on the street. From start to finish my loved ones overwhelmed me with encouragement. So, below is a lengthy list of the many ways they helped me because they all deserve their due shoutout and thank you:
To Mom, for ideating with me, being my best judge when needed, priming wooden signs, spiraling shirts and allowing me to use the washer many times once they were tie-dyed, letting me stash art supplies in many nooks of the house, and listening as I ran a million different ideas by you on the daily
To Bri, for always being a proponent of bulk-koozie orders, helping me set up, and bringing your 6-foot whale painting for my display
To Brendan, for delivering me and all my things with your truck that day
To Dylan, for spending your one day off of work supporting me
To Tim, for buying me a 25-pack of canvases to use without stressing about messing up, sitting with me on many a weekend while I painted, decorating wave cookies for my table, helping me set up and clean up, and for everything else in between
To Uncle Mike, for lending me your table and tent, and for being there before and after airport drop-off
To Aunt Joan and my cousins (Bridget, Lindsay, John, Chris, Michael, Brian, Matt, & Liam), for coming and buying art I would've gladly given you guys for free
To my gal pals for making our group chat a place of encouragement and cheer from the minute I signed up, varnishing paintings, making bracelets, sporting iron-on apparel with my logo, delivering bagels the morning of, helping to set up and clean up, and making your entire families attend
To Ellie, for encouraging me to sign up in the first place, sending me inspo on the weekly, always positively reacting to my update texts, and you & Ty spending the whole day there with me
To Raia & Kev, for making me amazing cookies and taking time off work to be there
To Marina, for sending me dreamy Hawaii pics for painting inspo and wishing me luck from afar
To Colored Colors, for allowing me to be part of such an inspiring day and for organizing it all in the first place
This list could go on forever but for now, I'll leave it at thank you, thank you, thank you.
If you are an artist or thinking about participating in the Art Crawl or something like it, I couldn't recommend it more. And if you have any questions about the process, I'd be happy to connect and chat.