March In Review
March was all about learning, patience, and preparation. The picture above is symbolic of how the month went (keep reading for more details). I don’t think I got my camera out a single time in the month of March. My focus was on getting the business up and running. After getting the business officially registered and set up early in the month, it was off to the races to get everything else set up and start purchasing the tools and supplies I needed. There was all the business stuff (accounting software, business phone, checking account, etc.) and then there was the art stuff (choosing paper, picking sizes, printing, mounting, matting, etc.).
I was more worried about the business stuff being a pain than the art stuff, but ironically the art stuff has given me way more problems and frustration. How hard could it be to print a photo, mount it, and mat it? The Youtube video I watched made it seem so easy. Come to find out, it’s not so easy. The printing part has been pretty straight forward thanks to taking the printing class back in February. However, there were still a couple learning moments over the last month (figuring out how to create custom paper sizes, using roll paper, and adjusting margins when using roll paper).
The mat cutting has caused me the most frustration. I never imagined cutting a mat would be so difficult. You just set the measurements and cut. But it turns out you need to have the blade at the correct depth and you have to correct for over/under cut. There have been a couple instances now where it has taken me 2-3 hours (and a lot of wasted mat board and frustration) to try and correct for over/under cut. If I hadn’t put a good chunk of change into a big mat board cutter and custom mat board wasn’t so expensive, I may have said forget it with cutting my own mat board already. Hopefully I have all the kinks finally worked out.
And then comes the mounting and matting. Once again, just mount the photo using photo corners, apply the mat board adhesive, and then mount the mat board. It looked so simple. However, making sure everything is lined up just right is time consuming. There were a couple of my print sizes where I didn’t leave enough room for the mat board adhesive, so I had to cut some of the border off those prints (and subsequently change how I had those sizes set up to print). And the image/mat board dimensions on my first panoramic prints didn’t work well. And then, to top it all off, I discovered the pen that I was using to sign my luster prints didn’t work very well on my matte prints.
So, as you can tell, there has been a large (and very frustrating at times) learning curve over the last month I wasn’t expecting. There have been some highs (getting my first open edition prints ready for sale), and there have been some lows (trashing all of my first 8 limited edition prints for various reasons after spending hours trying to get them ready, to name one). But with each low has generally come a learning experience. So hopefully, after a month full of learning experiences, I have a lot of the kinks worked out in regards to creating the art. I’m sure there will be a whole host of new learning experiences and kinks to work out once I actually start selling the art, but that’s a little ways down the road, which leads into the next section.
Looking Forward To April
I was hoping to be a lot farther than I currently am headed into April, but between the unforeseen learning curve and some delays in getting some supplies, progress has been slower than I had hoped. I was initially hoping to have a lot of my initial art work finished by the middle of the month, and then start applying to shows and possibly have a “trial run” with some friends and family. That’s not looking very likely at this point. Hopefully now that I have learned a lot over the past month, I can start making faster progress, but unfortantely I’m guessing it’ll probably be late in the month before I’m ready to start applying to shows. As mentioned before, I would like to have a “trial run” with friends and family to try and work out a few things with my booth and selling before I do an actual show, but I’m not sure when I’ll try that at this point. I’ll likely shoot for the last weekend in April, but we’ll see how things go.
Hopefully in April I’ll actually be able to get out and get some new pictures at some point as well. We have a family camping trip planned for later in the month (assuming the weather cooperates), so that should be a good opportunity to get some new pictures. It will probably be much needed by that point.