Gatorland and Pins
Recently I went to Gatorland Orlando!
It was very fun, and what makes it so note worthy is how I got behind the scenes.
In case you hadn’t noticed, I make pins. I design them myself and send them off to be manufactured. I send them to stores to be sold, and I spend a lot of time connecting with other makers to spread my pins around. Making enamel pins is super fun, but moving the product takes a lot of work!
All pins start as illustrations I make, but I’ve been sticking with familiar faces in pop culture. I just recently ventured out to making my original designs over basing it off a celebrity.
So before I went to Florida for all my reasons my first original design showed up. They are my albino gatordile pins. So I snapped some product shots an hour before I hopped on the plane, grabbed a handful, and I was on my way!
When I made it to Gatorland I was not shy about pulling out all the stops. Feeding gators, handling them, watching them for hours. But it was the alligator wrestlers that really caught my attention [of course]. I learned some things I didn’t know before about alligators and as I waited for my picture with the gator I handed the gator wrestler and his spotter the new Albino-dile pin! They were so excited! Which was very exciting to me. They asked me to stick around as they wanted to show me something as it turns out they let me meet some of their largest gators UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL! I got to go into some of these amazing animal’s enclosures. The biggest gators I ever met!
It was super cool for me. I love alligators and crocodiles so much. I think they’re super smart, and interesting. They stand the test of millions of years. They’re super cool looking and their body language and existence just fascinate me. So it was super cool for me to meet my muse up close and personal on this scale. I also got to meet an albino-dile!
All of this is to preface the fact I think it all started with a really simple gesture of just give a pin away. It’s so simple. Yet a ton of work went into that. I had to draw it. Like it. Pick it. Vector it. Choose the color. Send it out to be made. Earn the money to pay for the production. And in the end it all added up to giving me this exclusive behind the scene experience that meant THE WORLD to me.
All because I stick to making what I like and I choose to share that with others. That’s what makes art so fun. Being an artist isn’t always super lucrative when it comes to money. But it’s very rich in cool experiences like that and connecting to others who are just as passionate about the same things you may be.