Anytime you do something new for the first time there's a lot of "figuring things out" that you do. The logistics of how or when or what all come into the planning. It sounds tedious but there's a lot of discoveries that are made because you're asking these questions. Here are some of the discoveries I made getting ready for this weekend's art show (my first ever).
Discovery #1: Multi Use Business Cards
I had help with this one. I was looking for a way to use my cards more effectively and I'd noticed that some artists were using their cards as their hang tags at shops, fairs, etc. It seemed like a good way to get my info out and I thought if they were cute I could also use them as little "thank you cards" to insert into my etsy packages. When I told my friend Shelley of Single Stone Studios (who did my banners and avatars) how I wanted to use the cards, she came up with this SUPER CUTE notebook paper design for the back. Now I can write the title of my book, should anyone ask, use them as tags, or as thank you notes and they look adorable.
My fabulous friend also did a riff off of the business cards to come up with a banner display (see top photo) for the booth. This is something I decided to do on Tuesday of this week. It was a last minute decision and silly me I thought I could just use my etsy banner. I am so glad I checked with Shelley though because apparently- who knew- the banner would not have blown up well and a new design was necessary. Shelley stayed up until 1 am redesigning the business card into a fabulous banner that I was then able to get printed by Friday. I am SO GRATEFUL because I really think the banner is what drove the traffic from across the street to my booth. I mean it's just SO cute. The author/artist thing is a little hard for me, but I figure I need to get used to it and I want to reuse the banner for future events.
Discovery #2:Canvas Display Panels
I needed to find a way to display my hanging art in a rented booth. It couldn't be bulky because I didn't have a truck to transport, it couldn't be expensive because I was trying to keep my costs down. So I decided to make canvas panels that would hang from the tent's metal infrastructure. The heavy canvas duck would support my sculptures, would fold up fairly flat, and would be a neutral background that I was hoping my black wire work would show up on well. I was able to use safety pins to attach the sculptures which made them easy on and easy off, but also fairly secure once on. They were also extremely moveable and I was really pleased by how quickly everything went up.
Discovery #3: Cute Recycled Shopping Bags
I wanted to provide my customers with a bag to carry their purchases but I didn't have the time or money to order the cute little handled bags from Uline. I've really been trying to reuse what I have so I dug through my grocery bag stash and found a bunch that had only been printed on one side. That left the other side free for embellishing so I used the iron on interfacing I had left from my clouds and stiffened the fabric. Then I traced my bird shape onto the paper side of the interfacing, cut out the shape, and peeled off the paper before gluing the shape to my bags. Super simple and I have tons of the cut out birds left that I think might look cute on my etsy boxes. We'll see how they ship. :)
Discovery #4: Easy Tiered Table Display
To make a multi leveled display that was simple and secure I decided to simply create two stacks of vintage books on either end of my table and then lay a board across them. To make the board more attractive I wrapped it with a thinner weight of canvas duck. That also tied it together with the canvas panels behind. Super easy, super quick, super effective!
Wrap Up: The rest of my display was pulled from my garage. The bookshelf had been sitting in there forever, the table was one my mom had purchased for me from a garage sale in Montana (thanks Mom!), and the stool I used was from my studio. I had another display fixture I got from a rummage sale but it kept breaking and then finally wouldn't fit into the car. Everything else did though and that was fabulous! The entire booth went up in about 45 minutes which was cool. I'm actually really pleased with the solutions I found to all my questions. Problems, I've discovered, can really be a fabulous spur to our creativity!