One cold, grey afternoon in London, there I was working away on the computer when suddenly “ping”! An email comes in congratulating me on a successful work submission to The Other Art Fair!!
So Much To Do, So Little Time: Start The Exhibition Preparation.
Yay! Time to be naughty with a third coffee (the bubbles can wait until I finish work)! Finally, this was an art fair I had been trying to get into for what seemed like ages. After my happy, coffee-fuelled dance of joy, reality set in: Oh my goodness there is SO much to do!! Immediately, my brain started the intense weeks of preparations and careful planning. Exhibiting at an art fair is a fairly serious business as you have just three, maybe four days where every moment counts. You have to be on top form throughout the exhibition to deliver a first-class performance when you meet all of your existing and potential clients. Plus, continuously repeating a ‘non-salesy’ sales pitch, exposing all of your innermost thoughts in those artworks to the public in general.
Exhibition Preparation Essentials: If In Doubt, Start A List!
Weeks of work, organising and deep thinking about the hanging arrangement order followed. I tend to consider myself a rather paranoid list maker and take great delight in making up more lists and have more things to ‘tick off’ as done! Preparation is key to managing the set-up of the stand. First on the list(s) was to order in the extra photo paper and inks to make sure that on the big print run there was plenty, just in case there were any accidents. Choosing which pieces to exhibit can be a difficult experience; fortunately, I had a clear vision about what to include, so this was another swift tick on the list.
Agree On The Stand Contents Early
After I had decided what to include within my display on the stand, there was the mounting and framing to do. My method of deciding my layout is to draft small prints and mock-up my stand layout on a table or wall space. This took some time but eventually, I was happy with it. Next was to ask other people to come and view the layout and get their opinions. Fortunately, their choices were not dissimilar to my ideas. More happy ticking!
At last, I could get started on the printing! Or so I thought; my print-run immediately started with some problems. Surely a printer head clean and a bit of realigning will sort that out? How wrong I can be! This was the day, of all days, that my printer ceased functioning and nothing would change its mind! Uh-oh…..
A lot of money, and a week later than expected, I restarted with a brand new printer. Big deep breath, fingers crossed! Fortunately, the print run went smoothly, and I finished with time to spare, much to my delight. All packed and ready to go the day before the show started!
Lots of happy ticks and lists finished.
See Part 2 of the exhibition here.