It was two weeks before my solo show “Unveiling the Invisible: Abstracts Sparking Your Imagination,” and my head was spinning with things I needed to get done. Feeling overwhelmed, I finally sat done and wrote out my “to do” list — again. I had written one out a few months earlier, but now it was time to know exactly all of the nitty-gritty things that I needed to get done.
Once the list was completed, I felt both relieved and discouraged. I started questioning whether I could actually check everything off the list within 14 days! After I took a deep breath, I felt more in control and confident. Flying by the seat of pants is not how I like to operate. Here is my studio a few days before I started packing 19 paintings.
What did my “To Do List” for the Art Show look like?
- Sort the mailing list for local people – buy stamps, print out labels, process and mail by 1/4/17.
- Paintings are signed, edges finished, wires & hooks attached, varnished and into the data base.
- Finish 3 small abstracts and price.
- Write artist statement and bio for the show – print it out for display.
- Create event invitation for Facebook page. First I need to design the image in Elements.
- Create a calendar for social media posts.
- Write 2 show invites to my newsletter list. One to be sent out 10 days before the show and a reminder 2 days before the show.
- Gather all of the tools I need to hang the show: hammer, hooks, gummy stuff, permanent pen, tape, pencil, tape measure.
- Pack other miscellaneous items: business cards, postcards, book marks.
- Create and print out 5×7 blank note cards for each of the 13 main paintings. Price with tags and pack into plastic envelopes.
- Design and write an two-sided brochure. Print off 60 of them at office supply store.
- Map out how I was going to arrange the paintings in the venue. I will use PhotoShop Elements to do this.
- Write a blog post showing the progression of one of my abstract paintings. Here is the link.
- Write out price tags and pack six desk calendars.
- Create labels for all of the paintings, some of which have a paragraph explaining my inspiration. Print them off on gray card stock and trim them for hanging on the wall.
- Send out separate email invitation to fellow board members of a local arts organization.
- Write out the inventory list for each painting – title, size, surface, price. This is for the venue and helps to keep everything legal.
- Write a new artist statement with brief bio. Print it off for the venue to hang.
- Confirm art friend who will help me hang the show.
- Finish 9 – which is a lot! – progression sheets that show my painting process. These are to be mounted onto black foam core and will be available for people to read and study. They look something like this but are usually two pages.
- Confirm final details with venue staff.
- Make sure I have the glassine paper for each painting, plastic bags and carriers to pack them all into my van. This photo shows you how I packed the art work
WHEW! And I did it! Tonight is the opening reception and the show was hung two days ago. This list kept me in line and focused the past two weeks. The venue staff also greatly appreciated that I was organized. Unfortunately, too many artists are not.
Above you can see my carriers all lined up and ready for the car. I sew these painting carriers and wrote a blog post explaining how to make them yourself. They have been life savers for me over the years.
A good friend of mine is measuring here as we hang the final paintings. It was very helpful to have a fellow artist assist as well as my husband.
Below is one angle of the show as we were leaving from hanging my work (and time for glass of wine!). It’s a little fuzzy and I will need to update it.