I recently fell into a wonderful community of people, a sort of sub-set of the Burning Man community, that I am so happy to be a part of. It felt like home as soon as I got there, and the people welcomed me warmly into their arms. I’ve started making and selling masks exclusively for this community, and I even fell into that accidentally.
It was Halloween, and I was dressed up as myself: I wore a sign that read “Will make art for food or beer” (which was how I was compensated for my work on Channel 2020 and work on Celestial Bodies), and I wore the Rebel-Supreme Commander mask I painted for Channel 2020 (pictured). I attended a Day of the Dead celebration, and went on partying through the afterparty the next day. The mask was a hit, it was attention grabbing and freaked people out, but in a good way. At the afterparty, someone came up to me and asked how much I’d sell the mask for? I thought that it would be good to get at least 30 so I said 40. He said he’d pay more so I said okay, 50. The guy sitting next to us said he’d pay even more, so I say “…or best offer?” At which point the first guy runs to get his money and shoves it into my hand.
I’ve since sold several more masks to people in the community, as well as decorating cheaper masks to share with people. I use neon colors, glow paint, glitter, gems, googly eyes, and my creativity to produce eye-catching, fun, elegant, and scary masks, and I am learning how to make them higher-quality and more durable (especially after dancing so hard in them you break the elastic- ribbon or Velcro (as on the lizard masks) is better). I want to keep my business within the Burning Man community to show my appreciation for the way it has ignited my creative fire, and to give my masks and their wearers a certain exclusivity and value. Each mask is completely unique in its personality, and many take on different features in certain lighting conditions ;]
I cannot express how grateful I am to have found this community and the opportunities it has presented me, not just as a creative outlet, but as a place to grow as a person and express my true self. I can only hope everyone finds people they can call “home” too.