Last week (or was it the week before? Time is beginning to act funny) I embarked on a smorgasbord of research. I needed to know how much it would cost to set up a booth. And not just the bare bones; I believe-and so do many others-that presentation is incredibly important when it comes to the visual arts.
So I found a place that sells those panel-thingies that you can hang original works on (I learned so much, obviously. “panel-thingies” ….). I’m going to shell out $300 or so for two, which is a good start. Then I figure (although I actually don’t know, no one saw fit to mention this part) I need to have a table of some sort. I don’t know how much those cost, but I’ve seen others rocking a display with a fold-up table so I’m not too concerned. I’ll cover it with a snazzy white tablecloth ($20-40). Then I need crates to beautifully display the prints in. I’m going to hit Hobby Lobby for that (any excuse to spend money there;); $30-60 probably. A sign (don’t know price yet, probably up there); price tags (I can make those); a sign clearly displaying payment options (I can also make that).
So now we get to the point of this writing: archival things. I want to eventually appeal to collectors, and when I do something I like doing it right from the get-go. So I have to make sure everything is archival. The prints themselves (I order my prints so they are, not worried), mats, backing boards, clear bags, etc. And I have to have a variety of sizes, so my price estimations went up fairly quickly (even when looking at bulk prices). And then some sites don’t separate the archival things. You have to wade through mat selections, frame selections (it never occurred to me that the frame needed to be “gallery quality”), etc looking for the word “conservation” or “archival”.
It was an utterly exhausting search.
To be fair, I was also overwhelmed with display decisions: whether or not to mat, what kind of backing board, do I want to frame some, what kind of frame, etc. But by the end of my searching I was slinging around the “h” word (hate, in case you’re curious) and wanting to curl up into a fetal position.
Of course I still want to do it. I want my own booth. But I have to wait a bit, because including everything I estimate needing $1000-$1500 (giclee prints add up quickly and I need quite a few). Plus I need to have more work to choose from, so paper, paints, pens, etc. It can be quite expensive, being an artist.
But I can picture it. A dazzling white booth, everything archival, a beautiful sign …. I’ll get there.
So, friends. Art on, don’t stop. All the work you’re doing now: the drawing, the learning, the researching. It’ll eventually pay off. I believe it, and so should you.