What. A. Day.
I've been meaning to post this for a few weeks to recap after the crazy day that was Maker Expo. Last year it was more of a demonstration about the miniature hobby in general, with a small spot to paint at. This year, I put on a workshop specifically to introduce people to painting. The 16 spots filled up almost right away and the moment someone left their chair it was filled. It continued on this way during the entire 8 hour day and people were still trying to sit down as we began tear down at the end of the day. Last year we went through 70 miniatures so this year we had 456. At the end of the day, there was only about 20 left and a few of them were painted by people who didn't take them afterward.
I couldn't have done this without the help of my wife who was there every step of the way. She built 100 elves, a target she was quite proud of. (Especially with all the fiddly little parts.) As well as many more figures. We orchestrated it together, she knows the hobby inside and out and was probably talking to just as many people as I did, running her voice raw, helping people and working with the volunteers.
|Photo by Daisy Arseneault|
I think the quote of the day was from a young kid to his parents: "I want this to be MY hobby now!"
The volunteers helping out were great. Maker Expo supplied a few shifts of a couple at a time including Wendy and Daisy, Andrew and Andrew who volunteered through Facebook and Marc who brought his own miniatures which was a nice example to some of the people showing up. (I'd really like to get a gaming table going if I had more room.) Not to mention the Organizers that made the event happen.
|Photo by Andrew Carter|
The biggest takeaway was that there were a lot of girls interested in the hobby, perhaps more than boys. There were a bunch of requests for female miniatures... something I didn't have since I was buying them in bulk to make the sponsorship funding go the furthest. Wendy got creative and answered this by telling them the Kings of War elves were women. (Elves in armour... works.) I think next year I'll spend a little more to buy a batch of female miniatures to keep off to the side for when people ask.
I'm going to do a write-up in the near future to help others who want to put on their own painting workshop. There were a bunch of parents asking about some information because they were now thinking of doing a similar event as a birthday party.
|Photo by Andrew Carter|
The other great thing about this year was to see such a variety of people. Teens and adults were joining in the kids at the table. Like last year they were great about making room for the younger audiences and passing along supplies.
Young and old alike, a bunch of people really got in to taking their time and just enjoying to paint. Even creating a narrative for their figure :)
I do want to take a final opportunity to thank the local shops once more, who helped stretch the funding further: