Rob Jelinski and some of the pieces he created for the Art House Sketchbook Project 2012 and the event

When Rob Jelinski asked me to be a part of his A Book Called Forever Pre-Release Exhibition back in February I was  ecstatic. No one had ever asked me to be a part of an event like this. The way he described a night of music and art, how could I say no! As the weeks and days passed, I got more and more excited. But then I woke up the morning of the exhibition and doubt set in. Would people like me? Are they going to think my doodles are any good? My nerves  multiplied  as I got ready to leave, and were especially bad during my 20 minute drive to Glen Ridge. I only met Rob through twitter, what was I getting myself into!?

Rob Jelinski thanking the crowd

I walked into Starbucks and Rob recognized me immediately. He instantly made me feel comfortable and welcome. His event coordinators were fantastic and incredibly helpful. I was still a bit nervous though, I never doodled in front of people before. Once I saw my editor Michelle Young and her boyfriend, Augustin, walk in I calmed down. It was so good to see some  familiar  faces. No matter what happened I knew they were there. Then my friend and amazing Untapped photographer Edward Chan showed up to take pictures, another familiar face. I can do this!

No time to visit with my friends, it was 7pm and time to doodle! I brought two cups to work on that I started at home, but ended up only finishing one cup over the course of the night.

My newest creation: “Crazy  Spaghetti” Cup

There were so many people asking questions and talking to me the night was a whirlwind. You can follow  this link  to see my interview!  It was great validation to have my art work embraced the way it was. Doodling in front of others is definitely different than doodling alone. At home I’m usually in sweats, hunched over on my couch  watching television.  Doodling in a skirt at a table in front of strangers is a far cry from what I’m used to.  I had to keep reminding myself to sit up straight and make sure the cup I was working on was visible and not in my lap or obscured by my hand.

Me with my favorite cup, “Dahlia”

I wasn’t the only artist in attendance, Edgar Cruz Sr. was at a table across from me and also drew the whole night while chatting with the large crowd. Unfortunately I was so busy I didn’t get a free moment to say hi to him and see his work until we were packing up. But I did get a few glimpses during the night and his pencil drawings looked incredible from where I was sitting, so I’m sure they were stunning up close.

Edgar Cruz Sr.  

The live music was a huge inspiration during the night. Joel Jelinski on guitar was a fantastic first act, I wasn’t sure how anyone was going to follow him, but they did. M Josephine has such a powerful voice, it was heard and felt through out the store. She definitely commanded the full attention of the room. She sang “Apoco”  solo and was joined by DJ Irs and Joel for “Rise”. Dennis Farrar covered of “Leave on a Light”  and didn’t even need a microphone. Talk about a powerful voice!

From left to right, Joel Jelinski, Rob Jelinski, DJ Irs, Dennis Farrar, M.Josephine,  Efrain Mercado

After I “closed up shop” for the night, repeatedly thanked Edward for taking pictures and said my goodbyes to Rob and my new friends, I rushed home. I couldn’t miss the digital after-party! Over the next hour I tuned into UStream for live musical performances by the talented Blake Stratton  in Nashville, the crafty Vicki Morse in London and the charming Shayla in Montana.

Looking back, it was incredibly silly to be nervous. It turned out to be an incredible night of music, art and  inspiration. I met some great people and made a new friend or two. I don’t think I smiled that much in a long time, everyone was kind and very supportive of my work. I can’t wait to collaborate with Rob Jelinski Studios  again in the future.

**Thank you to:
Rob for this amazing opportunity. Enjoy your original Starbucks Cup.
Edward Chan for taking some truly amazing photos.
Michelle for your continued support for my work. My life changed when you brought me into the Untapped family.

Follow Untapped Cities on  Twitter  and  Facebook! Get in touch with the author  @DowntownDoodler. Check out more from the  Downtown Doodler on Untapped and read her interview with Rob Jelinski.  

Have a great week!