Operation ArtsFest Update (or, How my Brain Likes to Think).

photo-5My merchandise bags and jewelry gift boxes arrived today. I’ve got business cards, postcards, print sleeves, washi tape, and shadow boxes all on the way. I’ve essentially got about 3 weeks to get all my branding/booth design AND inventory ready for my first art festival. As usual for me, this might have been a bit ambitious, but its still doable. After about 5 or 6 days of tackling all the above, my brain has begun to go kaput I think though.

I’ve always known I am a detail oriented person, but I’m learning just how much so in this process. I like thinking about tiny hand-done touches I can add to things to make them feel extra special… I happily spend hour tinkering away on necklaces, trying one bead, taking it off to try another, then switching it around to have the bead on the end of a chain. I might try 20 or 30 different ways to arrange elements on a necklace before coming to the final creation… and I enjoy this. So this thinking big picture stuff is seriously draining for me. I’ve got to constantly remind myself to visualize the whole thing – the booth, the packaging, the merchandise bags, the business cards, the price tags… everything must go together and everything must flow. And all the while my mind longs to linger back into the lovely details… “what can we do with the boxes to make them more special?” “Maybe we can use some cool twine or colored washi tape to attach business cards on the back of the prints!”. Good lord, hush please for two seconds while I attempt to look at this whole picture!

The added challenge to being detail-oriented  is that it takes me insane amounts of time to decide on a thing like a plastic merchandise bag. Clear? Teal? Kraft paper? Frosted? Yellow? I must have spent over 5 hours debating on bags and boxes alone before finally just stopping myself and saying “just BUY SOMETHING dammit!”. lol. Its truly amazing how flawlessly and decisively I can create a client’s branding campaign only for it to be this challenging to do it for myself… I suppose because there is so much more emotional investment in this project. Its like my child. It must all be exactly, preciously right… down to the very last detail.

I’m discovering how complex this whole system of things fitting inside things is, too. Like the fact that your art prints must be in sleeves to keep them nice. And you can’t order the sleeves until you decide on the size for the prints. And you can’t do that until you decide whether or not you’re going to do postcards. And then once you decide all of that, you’ve got to order bags big enough for your largest size items, AND if you have a wide variety of sizes of products, you are likely going to want smaller merch bags too so that you aren’t putting tiny little items into ridiculously enormous bags. *brainfried*

Another factor I did not consider until 250 lovely frosted teal merch bags arrived at my door yesterday… the location of the damn handle. It takes away about 2-3 inches if usable dimensions… I know this now (why don’t they just measure them by the usable area? Cuz that would make sense of course). So now my prints are going to stick up into the handle area, preventing people from being able to carry their stellar teal bags of my lovely stuff. Awesome. Hopefully I can cut down my prints slightly to accommodate. Oh lessons learned!

Good lord… is any of this exhausting to read? Yeah, I hear you, its exhausting to do too. But its worth it. This is the most focused and hard-working I’ve been able to be in almost a year. My mind has been so unable to function since the loss of my fiancé last summer… So even though I am tired (and I still get tired a lot more easily than before), I’m grateful that my mind is even working well enough to actually be organizing all of this. Just 3 or 4 months ago I couldn’t even remember to write a to-do list nor could I remember to even look at it if I did manage to make one. I couldn’t remember things that people had told me just days before. Hell I couldn’t even remember to brush my teeth in the morning. So it is a true blessing just to be able to have some capacity to remember and plan and organize again… and to be doing it for something that is meaningful to me and gives me purpose. Hooray!

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