I'm down to the wire now. There is only one week to go until the St. Paul American Craft Show.
How am I feeling?
I'm proud of myself.
I'm scouring artists' blogs and Instagram to get an idea of what to expect.
I still don't know what to expect!
What's Happening This Week
This week I'm finishing up work on my final design: a coin purse I'll have available in eight different color ways.
I also got a chance to set up my booth!
My husband took our kids to visit their grandparents for spring break, and I took advantage of the empty house to do a trial run in our living room. Yes, I set up my entire 10 foot by 10 foot booth in our living room! It just fits!
I'm excited that I got a chance to set up my booth this week because now I'm not as nervous about the show. I even got to try out the lights, something I was very concerned about. I'm keeping it set up all week so I can add the finishing touches to it slowly.
Having an art show booth set up in my living room has transformed part of my house into a show room. (It also means I have to walk through a maze to get to the front door! What a strange experience!) I'm surprised how happy I am with how it looks. Perhaps you remember when I was so worried about figuring out how to create this booth in the first place? I have learned so much in these past few months!
Back from the Printer
I've received my promotional postcards, business cards, and hang tags from the printer. They printed a bit darker than I would have liked, but all in all, I'm pleased with how they turned out. I think the design I came up with reflects my style rather well.
One disappointment: I did not get the domain name I was anticipating for so long (www.marypow.com) in time to have it printed on these cards. But maybe that's good; it gives me plenty of time to figure out how to switch everything over to the new domain later, without feeling rushed.
Yet To Do
Next, I need to work on pricing, tagging, and packing. Tagging can be fun, and packing isn't so bad, but pricing? That I could do without. It can be very difficult to price one's work. Sometimes it's even an emotional process. Of course there are loads and loads of pricing calculators out there. Calculators that help an artist factor in the materials used, the time involved, the overhead, and the profit margin needed to sustain a business. But yet, these don't consider the "why": as in why does someone feel compelled to buy art or craft?
Pricing. Maybe that's a topic for a future blog post. But for now, I have a stack of half-finished purses calling my name!
The 2016 St. Paul ACC Show is April 8-10. I'm in booth #1113. I hope to see you there!
There is less than a month to go until the American Craft Council Show in St. Paul. Things are coming together! When I stop to think about it, I'm very impressed with how much I've accomplished so far this year.
If you've never been to one of the American Craft Council shows, they are impressive! And big! There are four American Craft Council Shows every year (Baltimore, Atlanta, St. Paul, and San Francisco). The show in St. Paul is actually on the smaller size, and it is the only one in the Midwest. This year marks the 30th annual show in St. Paul, where there will be over 225 top contemporary artists from all over the country. Categories of art you'll find at the show include ceramics, clothing, decorative fiber, furniture, glass, jewelry, leather, metal, mixed media, paper, stone, and wood. I've been accepted under the Fashion Accessories category.
If you follow me on Facebook, you probably know by now that I'm debuting all new work at the ACC show. In the past year I've sold a few small prototypes under my MinneBites label (in fact, you can still find a few of them for sale in my Etsy shop), but the work I'm debuting at the Craft Council Show is all new. This is the first time these designs will be available for purchase!
In my new line of handbags and accessories I've been contemplating my education in architecture. Working as an artist for the past few years, I've realized that my creative style may be different from artists with other education backgrounds. I like straight lines. I like crisp, clean edges. I like structure. I like things to be tidy. So, my repetitive use of parallel lines and crisp edges in this work takes me back to my days at the drafting board.
I also love to work with color. And I like to consider architecture, as well, when I choose colors to use in my art. For instance, I imagine how a surrounding landscape might reflect off the facade of a building at different times of the year, and in different light. Then, I create color ways that bring this idea to mind.
Hello, my name is Mary. And I'm a DIYer.
As a solopreneur and an artist, I guess I'm used to DIY, because I continue to do it all. I'm always short on time and I never get a chance to do all the research I need to do to hire people to help me. Also, perhaps, I like the variety of work that DIYing requires.
Eventually I would love to hire a photographer, and a model, and a day in a photography studio. But, since the ACC show is just a month away, I really needed to get some photos taken quickly so I could send my promotional postcards and business cards to the printer!
So, I became photographer for a day (again), used myself as a model (again), and did all the editing as well (again). You do what you have to do when you're in a pinch. My printed postcards haven't arrived yet, but you can get a sneak peak of them below. (Did I mention that I'm also my own graphic designer?)
Let me know your thoughts! And if you are planning to come to the show, please let me know. Not only do I look forward to meeting you, but I can also offer guests a promotional code to get 50% off a one-day pass!
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I am an artist and designer based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. My specialties are textiles and pastels.