I have become increasingly concerned about the type of packaging that I use: getting through bubble wrap by the mile since I started selling my work. In a recent accountability workshop for like minded creatives we talked about this and someone mentioned paper bubble wrap
I decided to trial it at the Contemporary Craft Fair in Bovey Tracey, Devon last week. I bought the Rajapack EX MINI system which comes on a cardboard dispenser and also provides tissue paper to interleave with the packaging. I also bought a big roll of string and some brown recycled paper bags. The cardboard dispenser and was easy to set up. It’s quite a small thing to transport, but as you pull it from the dispenser the ‘bubble wrap’ cleverly expands into a honeycomb structure.
The verdict? The first couple of pieces that I pulled off the roll didn’t quite go according to plan – maybe the piece was too big; maybe trying to use the dispenser while it was on the floor, under a table, hidden by fabric impeded things; maybe it is always difficult until the dispenser is a little less full – but I was delighted to have found an alternative to plastic which works brilliantly to protect smaller pieces and the environment. It looks good too and there is a weird satisfaction in the way it comes off the roll! I think the jury is still out for larger works which I was less confident were adequately protected.
Given that my work is about the fragility of our landscape, it is vital for me to find a satisfactory solution to the wrapping of my work. Not sure I’m all the way there yet but I am certainly feeling much happier. And let’s face it, if we all do something isn’t that better than a few good people doing it perfectly?
This Friday I attended a workshop by the amazing Patricia Van den Akker, director of the Design Trust and creator of the Dream, Plan, Do planner which is designed for creative people to help and support them in their business.
This lady kicks some ass! She is proud of the fact that she asks the questions which hurt; which dig under the skin; which make you question what you do and why. There was a moment during the day when it dawned on me that, as it currently stands, my business is completely unsustainable! I cannot physically make the volume of work which I need to create (and sell!) in order to make ends meet.
Whilst for some people that might sound like the end of the road, for me, sitting in the auditorium listening to this inspiring woman, it simply means ‘Look out, Guys, there are a few changes coming this way very shortly!’ In actual fact, it is a relief. I have all but burnt myself out over the past couple of months trying to support the demand for my work and I knew something had to give. Patricia has given me the ideas, the determination and the drive to make those changes.
One of the more entertaining exercises that she asked us to do related to considering how our own personality and artistic behaviour informed our business: She asked us to imagine ourselves as a form of transport. What would we be?
I tried this out on some of the family yesterday and whilst my husband sees himself as a sailing boat because of the desire to pit himself against the elements and be challenged, my daughter visualised herself as a double decker bus, seeing above the crowds, travelling in style and at speed but able to stop regularly to pick up and set down ideas.
I would be a ferry: I love water travel and go out of the way to be on or near the water whatever the weather. Ferries often cross spectacular reaches of water between beautiful waterside landscapes. Ferries help people on their journeys, they often make it easier for someone to arrive at their destination by providing a shortcut. People love a ferry ride – it gives them a little buzz of excitement. Indeed the King Harry Ferry in Cornwall is so popular that it has its own Webcam on which people can, and do, watch the chain ferry live as it plies backwards and forwards across the Truro River saving people a long round trip from the Roseland Peninsular to west of Truro. Of course, being an artist, I also don’t expect to be paid until I get them to the other side!