The Devil is in the Details

precrawlpileThere’s just never enough time. Actually, that’s not true. Everything got done, pretty much when it needed to. I just didn’t get to blogging about it. ‘Cause blogging is still new to the to-do list. The old stuff is a piece of cake. Not that I don’t get stressed out having my schedule so full. I just don’t have to think about what to do so much anymore.A few weeks before a sale or event. I start writing up a loose list of things that need doing. Some things always need doing: finishing pieces, updating the mailing list, sending out postcards, printing upcoming show schedules to hand out, checking over my show supplies, getting change from the bank, and re-packing everything if it’s an “away” show. And some things only need doing periodically: re-printing more business cards, ordering boxes and bags, re-doing signage or large scale images, or figuring out a new case configuration. If one of those needs attention it goes on the list.

At first the list is probably mixed in with the rest of my lists; lists to make sure the bills get paid, grocery lists, lists of emails that I owe people (months old), lists of new ideas, lists of materials I want to buy, lists of books I want to read; the jetsam and flotsam of my everyday life. And then, at some point, the deadline looms and must take priority. The lists get weeded out and the non-deadline items are set aside:

To Do:

  • post office
    • Nedra (mailed address labels to organizer for another show)
    • postcards (for crawl mailed out 2 weeks prior)
  • Polaroid film ( was >$1 per shot, so no artists mug shots this time)
  • Kinko’s
    • card-stock (for printing business cards etc.)
    • colored paper/fall sched (tired of kinkos lines, under-staffing, bought ream of paper to print show schedule at home)
    • image blowup/laminate (hopefully this will happen before next show)
  • Hall Arrow (large painted arrow to make up for our poorly lit hallway)
  • Hall/elevator signs (1/2 sheet color images w/studio number to post around bldg)
  • large name Signs (to try to clearly delineate the work of the four artists showing in our studio)
  • Party America (hot & cold cups, napkins, table drapes, coffee stirrers ; FYI: this is also where I go if I need cocktail umbrellas in bulk!)
  • Bank/change (don’t want anyone to not make a purchase ’cause they don’t have the right bills)
  • studio/rent mail
  • assemble earrings
  • balance checkbook
  • blog
  • order checks
  • re-cover fixtures

Then, when the deadline looms, the calendar comes into play. A week or two, sketched out on a piece of scratch paper with all the essentials slotted in. Thingsprecrawlsched which don’t happen on their assigned day are circled and shifted to another day. Things which are not important in the light of time remaining are scribbled out, or perhaps placed on a list of “things-to-do-next-time.” It’s a kind of loose system, but for the most part, it works. Of course, some things languish on the “next-time” list for ages.

But the ones that won’t let me ditch them altogether do seem to get done eventually. For instance, I did actually make head way on the “re-cover fixtures” item which has been a list feature for years. The display fixtures that much of my jewelry rests on has white upholstery fabric on the top surfaces, since this shows off my colored glass jewelry better than the black velvet that covers the bottom of the case and fixtures. Well, do enough shows, including outdoor ones, and the white gets filthy. I always mean to experiment with ways to clean the fabric, which is a sort of indoor/outdoor woven, but that never makes it far enough up on the list in time for the shows. But I have extra fabric, and replacing it is relatively quick. Well, now I know it is. I didn’t get all the pieces done, but most of them, and I was shocked at how I’d avoided this task which should have been done two or three shows ago, which was relatively quick and painless.

precrawlsetup2Because I finally had the time. Because I didn’t do other things. It’s always a trade off. There are always more things that one wants to do. And some of them are worth squeezing in because they make your work look better, or your customers feel more welcome, or they make your life easier during the show. But some things, like making that next piece that your really psyched about at four in the morning before the show, are just crazy making. There’s always next time.

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