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Organizing Chaos

What brought me here today:

I’ve started creating new pieces to sell at the holiday pop-up sale. Creating artwork in larger numbers (+8 or more) is not something that I’ve done in a long time. One of the hold-over parameters from the Creative Experiment is that I work on one piece until it’s completion. Then I can move forward and create a new piece. This method of artistic creation doesn’t work when I’m in need of greater amounts of finished work to sell.

The majority of the new pieces that I’m creating are using patterns I’ve used previously. This makes the process of creating greater numbers a bit easier for me. The whole process of creation is closer to an assembly line process. I’ve made some slight changes to how I’m using my patterns too. This trims some time of creation, which is nice.

But how am I going to get all this new work accomplised? There will be at least 50 new pieces created for the upcoming sales. Maybe more. How am I going to be ready for the first holiday pop-up sale on the 27th of this month? Creating new artwork to sell is just one portion of the preparation required. Where do I start? The following are the things that help me the most in prepping for an art sale or show.

Dedicated notebook:

I always have a notebook for large projects. They’re simple, saddle-stitched pamphlet style notebooks. Nothing fancy at all. You can see examples of them here. The notebooks are just large enough for me to compile the many lists I employ to help me acheive my goal. Sometimes that goal is a display of my artwork at a venue. Other times it’s navigating the steps in the creation a larger, more complicated paper mache doll’s construction.

Having a notebook may not be for everyone. I was a young adult before the computers and the internet were in everyday use. Writing things down is second nature to me. It doesn’t depend on electricity to be operational. Writing and drawing are the primary ways that I make information stick inside my own mind as well. For those who prefer working with a computer, this notebook keeping can easily be done with a variety of different platforms. Physical or virtual, a space is needed to create and retain the plan(s)!

Lists:

I’ve already created a list of pieces that I will create for the upcoming pop-up sales.  There’s a list with numbers on the wall in front of my desk. I placed it at eye-level so I can’t miss it. I also enjoy checking items off the list as I complete them. Never under-estimate the motivating power of a list that’s being completed!

Some list items are easy to check off. “Buy table” was an easy item to check off as completed. But a related item like, “Table Signage” is a bit more complicated. It requires me to design and create, or design and have printed signage to display on my sale table. The cost involved in printing them may be an additional expense. However, I need to think about how much time it will take to create these signs by hand. It may be benefical to pay for printing, and use my creative time elsewhere.

As I work and prepare, the lists will sometimes change according to the directions I choose. For instance, the print quote I received was much lower than I thought it would be for artist cards. Adding in my table signage to this order looks like it will be a better choice for me in this instance. I’m sure my hands will thank me too!

Organization of work:

The workspace that I have here in Delaware is actually larger than what I had in Finland. I’ve been enjoying this larger space a great deal. There are still some inexpensive shelving units I would like to acquire. (This one and this one.) They’ll fit nicely into the smaller workspace I have.

I’m currently creating very small pieces. This makes the chances of losing any of the tiny parts of them a very real possibilty. Heck! I could lose the finished pieces as well! I use upcycled plastic trays (from ground chicken), washed and sanitized, to hold the pieces of my artwork while it’s in process. The trays are plenty sturdy enough to hold the tiny felt dolls I’m creating. They also stack very nicely.

I know that I could go out and purchase trays of some sort for this purpose. The Dollar Store is a great, low-cost source for them. Two of the biggest reasons why I prefer the recycled food trays are: they’re free, and it further reduces my use of ‘new’ plastic. For me, this is a no-brainer, win-win kind of thing.

Flexibility:

What happens if I decide to switch things around and change parts of my plans and items on my lists? Even though I try hard to plan for every contingency, there is always a need to remain flexible (like Gumby) within my overall plan. If I don’t, then when and if things don’t go according to plan, I have a harder time dealing with the outcome I’d not planned for.

I’m a person who naturally attempts to be prepared for all possible outcomes. Basically, I’m creating one of those “if not, then...” kind of flow charts within my head. This can sometimes be a liability, especially when related to my mental health. But when it comes to planning an sale or show, it comes in hella-handy.

So, now what?

As always, I need to get back to work! I would like to make some money from the holiday pop-up sales so that I can purchase the shelves I mentioned above.  And more art supplies and other items I need to grow my small art business.

Thank you for reading, and I’ll see you again next Tuesday.