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Latest revision as of 22:48, 2 December 2019

Networking
Dramatis Personae

Flicker, Sarah

2019-11-26


"Speaking of great teachers, how is your class going?"

Location

Chimaera Arts


Though the sun had been shining brightly most of the day, leaving the air bearably chilly instead of outright cold, sunset (still far too early for some) has brought a distinct drop in temperature. It's warm at Chimaera, however, both in temperature and atmosphere. Outside, a ring of people group around the firepit where the fire burns bright, merrily swapping stories while toasting (or burning) marshmallows. Inside is its own flurry of activity; a group of punks have commandeered the kitchen to make a giant pot of what smells like a pretty fabulous pot of hot and sour soup, one of the side rooms has been turned into a bike repair clinic, a few dancers have cordoned off an area to practice aerial silks.

In a partially opened partition, Sarah has claimed an easel and small canvas, painting materials on either side of her while a battered old laptop sits on a stool tightly shoved into one corner. Forgoing her usual colors, she's dressed in a paint stained white t-shirt that falls nearly to her knees, the plain jeans underneath about the same level of 'too big' and nearly covering her purple combat boots. Her hair, as vibrantly pink as usual, now has a few errant streaks of navy thanks to drying paint. The laptop shows her reference image, a night sky full of stars and northern lights, snowy peaks and dark treetops at the bottom of the frame. The canvas is on it's way to looking similar; already covered in a mix of blacks and dark blues, a rainbow of colors create the aurora borealis across the top three-quarters, far more colorful than naturally possible. Sarah is finishing up, collecting brushes and water jars to be washed, humming a cheerful and slightly offkey rendition of 'We Built This City.'

Flicker is only just arriving, appearing in the courtyard and making his way properly into the warehouse. As is his usual he's dressed fairly blandly -- dark blue polo shirt, khakis, a grey canvas jacket that he's stripping off almost as soon as he gets inside. His arm is the most visually interesting part of him, painted up with a ripple of black-speckled beige feathers -- the underside has just a small flash of red feathering tucked among it. For all his usual speed he makes fairly slow progress through the warehouse, his path interrupted several times to exchange pleasantries, gossip, hugs, with some of the others sprinkled around the floor.

His very non-linear path is, kind of, meandering closer to the section of the warehouse set aside as a wood shop -- though considerably early yet for his class, he seems in no particular hurry. Passing by the partition where Sarah has been working, he stops -- doubles back. "Oh!" His eyes have gotten just a little wider as he looks over the in-progress painting. "You know, I've seen a lot of your drawings but I don't think I've seen much that you paint. That's really gorgeous."

Sarah looks up when Flicker doubles back, greeting him with a smile that quickly turns into beaming. "Thank you. I think the colors do most of the work," she says. "And good teaching here. But I'm glad you like it." Her own eyes widen, smile momentarily morphing into an 'o' of surprise while she takes in his arm, before it returns full force. "I like your new upgrade! It really fits you."

"There are some great teachers," Flicker agrees. "I tried my hand at painting once but it didn't really take. Jax's color theory class was pretty helpful, though." His brows draw together slightly, and for a brief moment the tilt of his head is itself somewhat birdlike. "Sorry?" There's a mild confusion in his voice until he looks down at his arm, cheeks tinting lightly pink. "Oh! It's -- it's not an upgrade. I mean, it's not new. I just get them redecorated now and then. The arm still does -- um." His nose wrinkles up. "Standard -- arm things. Mostly."

Shrugging, Sarah seems unperturbed. "Cosmetic upgrade, then," she chirps, correcting herself. "Whoever painted it did a good job. The feathers look great." 'Great' is accompanied by two paint-stained thumbs up. "Speaking of great teachers, how is your class going?" she asks, looking around her space for something. Her eyebrows raise in a visible 'aha' when she spots it, grabbing a rag from a small shelf to wipe at her hands. "I thought about picking it up, but--time."

"Tag does it. He does a lot of things besides arms, if you ever need redecorating." Flicker curls his arms against his chest, hugging his folded jacket to himself. His eyes skip across to the woodshop, and the smile he offers in return is small and crooked. "I feel that. I'd do a million more things around here if we just had a few extra hours each day. I do have a couple of beginner's workshops planned next month, um, if -- I mean that might be a better place to start. And they're just, like, an afternoon instead of an -- ongoing class commitment." He looks back to the painting, his weight shifting from one foot to the other. "Is that for someone, or just for yourself?"

"I'll have to remember that. I'm still figuring out how to decorate a place the first time, I'm sure I'll have to redecorate at some point." Once she has as much paint wiped off of her hands as she can manage, Sarah pulls a paintbrush from a water jar and starts to do the same to it. "A beginner's workshop could be fun," she muses. "I'll have to look them up online. Thanks for the heads up." At Flicker's question, she turns to look at the painting, uncertainty furrowing her brow. "I'm not sure yet. I really like it, but I can't draw people every week like I used to, with the weather turning. I might see if I can sell it, but I don't know."

"Oh -- I have no idea how to decorate actual places." Flicker laughs, quick and quiet. "We're only just kind of. Trying to transition out of the broke-college-student look our apartment's had. Jax tries to give me decorating tips." His brows pull inward again, another brief confusion crossing his face. "The weather? Why can't you..." His teeth catch at his lower lip, a sudden understanding halting his words. "Oh, you mean that it's -- cold now." This sounds just a touch uncertain. "You could try the subway? Or -- I know Jax takes a lot of commissions online, but I don't really know how hard it is to find those. Turn that into -- real income." He extracts one hand from his jacket, rubs at the back of his neck. "Maybe that's a class we need to offer. Business basics for artists."

"Oh, you meant--" Keeping hold of the rag and brush with one hand, Sarah raises her other hand to her face, her facepalm doing nothing to hide her grin. "If /I/ need redecorating." Dragging her hand down, she peeks at Flicker over her fingers, green eyes merry before her hand drops. "I'll keep /that/ in mind too. Other than hoarding colors, I've got no clue." Going back to cleaning brushes, her expression morphs into thoughtfulness. "The subway could work, yeah. It's at least out of the snow. I've thought about setting up a shop online too, but I don't know how to..." One hand circles in the air, slowly dripping paint water from the tip of a brush, as she searches for the word. "Network, or whatever. If you /do/ offer that class, I'd be one of the first people to sign up."

Flicker's smile brightens in time with the quick bob of his head. "Yeah! He does -- like, Jax's hair? Dusk's wings, sometimes. I'm sure he's good at -- uh." His mechanical hand waves towards Sarah. "... standard sorts of human chassis, too." He wraps his arm back around his chest, rocking slightly up onto his toes as he thinks. "I don't know who'd be good at teaching it. Daiki, maybe. B. Someone with actual -- marketing sense. Bet it would help lots of people here though. There's so many amazing artists but figuring out how to let other people know about them seems like a struggle. I definitely had help figuring things out when I started taking commissions."

"Oh, I love the way Dusk decorates his wings, I didn't know Tag painted them!" Running a hand through her hair, Sarah winces some when a clump of paint catches and pulls. "Jax's hair is really great too. I've had pink hair for ages, maybe a change would be nice." She finishes wiping as much paint and water as she can out of the brush in her hand, placing it upside down in an empty clean jar to be washed, and grabs another out of the water jar to continue the process. "So many amazing artists here," she eagerly agrees with Flicker. "And yeah. I can't speak for anyone else, but it's one thing if I have a sign with some of my work that people can see when they walk by. Then if they stop to look, I can offer a smile and some conversation and maybe make a sale. I can make a virtual sign and put my drawings online just as easily, but it's the... connecting with people part that eludes me."

"What would you color it?" Flicker looks at Sarah's paint-flecked hair curiously. "The pink suits you." He leans up against one side of the partitioned entryway, eyes drifting back to the starry canvas. "You can definitely connect with people online, too. It just -- takes a different skillset. Guess it takes time to build it, too. But it's probably really different --" He gestures towards the canvas. "I don't know. The ways you need to figure out marketing when you're selling art versus -- um." His frown is brief, his cheeks coloring again. "Not that what I do isn't art, I guess, it's just. People probably have a different mindset if they need a bed than if they want a painting. Kind of out of my wheelhouse what's the best approach for that. By the time someone's looking at my stuff they've usually at least already made up their mind they're going to buy something." His tongue pokes into the side of his cheek, and he half-turns, looking out across the warehouse to the aerial dancers. "Maybe I'll bring it up next meeting. I bet there's a lot of things that aren't -- actually art classes that would still be really useful to people here but what I might need vs. a dancer or a painter or a musician --" One of his shoulders lifts in a quick shrug.

"Thanks," Sarah says, smiling and shrugging one shoulder. "And I don't know, turquoise, maybe? Or a pretty lavender. Something bright." Her gaze follows Flicker's to the canvas momentarily, smile fading back into the same contemplating look by the time she looks back at him. "The things you make are absolutely art, but that makes sense. I can't see someone looking at custom handmade furniture unless they were set on buying some. /This/ kind of art, though..." She waves the brush toward the unfinished painting, a wryer grin at the corners of her mouth. "There's not exactly a lack of artists in New York City, is there?" Plinking the brush down next to the other one in the empty jar, she turns around to close her laptop (now showing a notification about a low battery) and take it's place on the stool, holding it in her lap. "Anyway, I think bringing it up at the next meeting is a solid idea. I'll do my best to be there if you need anyone to second it or something."

"At least if you do go to Tag for a coloring job, you can try out the different colors right then and there and decide what you like." Flicker's smile answers Sarah's, quick and crooked. "New York does kind of attract a type. But the good part about that --" He waves his hand around the warehouse, "easy to find community right there to help navigate how to make it. A lot of us doesn't have to just mean competition." He sounds just a little wry here, too, but it's faded by the time he straightens from where he's leaning. "Thanks. I'll make a note. I better go prep for class." Another smile, brighter, and then he's flitting off towards his classroom.