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[icon] That was hard work - Patti
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Subject:That was hard work
Time:01:52 am
I just flattened, signed, mounted, matted, and signed 21 prints. All I need to do is bag them and pack them, and they'll be ready for the Seattle Erotic Arts Festival store. I'm not done yet-- there are 11 more prints to do, two of which also have to be framed. And then the whole mess needs to be shipped to Seattle within the next few days.

I dislike this work immensely, since it's sort of fussy manual labor, and I'm generally pretty bad at that sort of thing. Tonight was no exception. Someday an art historian who is cataloging my work will look at tonight's mounting job and declare this my early amateurish phase. I did manage to get through all of it without a single significant mistake, though. OK, no major mistakes that I'm aware of. Everything I did was functional, though perhaps a little bit sloppy, but it be just fine.

The whole thing took me about three hours, though I was getting much faster by the end of the evening. Yesterday I was feeling completely overwhelmed by all of the minutiae of preparation, packing, and shipping but right now I'm feeling like I might actually pull it off.
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adb_jaeger
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Time:2009-04-15 11:49 am (UTC)
I have no idea about this, but wouldn't it be easier to farm out everything but the signing?

I can see two reasons why it wouldn't be possible

(a) cuts too much into your profit

(b) buyers expect the artist have sweat equity.

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whipartist
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Time:2009-04-15 04:31 pm (UTC)
Mostly A. See my response to Andy.
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stevecohen
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Time:2009-04-15 12:55 pm (UTC)
I just flattened, signed, mounted, matted, and signed 21 prints.

So you sign them twice? Once on the mat and once on the photo?

Sorry to hear about your travails.
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gunga_galunga
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Time:2009-04-15 02:54 pm (UTC)
Do you dry mount the prints to foam core? I used to work at a picture framing shop and did a lot of that.
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whipartist
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Time:2009-04-15 04:23 pm (UTC)
Nope. They're museum hinged.
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gunga_galunga
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Time:2009-04-15 05:11 pm (UTC)
Yeah, that would be painful. Did you have to cut mats too? That takes forever and I'd screw up about 1 in 3.
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luckylefty
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Time:2009-04-15 03:09 pm (UTC)
I'm curious as to why you spend your time doing things you dislike immensely. Is it the profit motive, or the personal satisfaction of seeing your work in the hands of people who like it?

I ask because I've found that I end up just not doing activities, even if they would bring personal satisfaction, that have a big part that I dislike. I work 40 hours a week, and life is too short not to spend as much as possible of the rest of my time doing things I enjoy. I enjoy thinking and talking about poker, but not the act of writing things up, so I ended up not being a co-author of The Mathematics of Poker. I'm doing less square dance calling, because while I enjoy the calling, I don't enjoy the preparation time. And I'm probably turning down the opportunity to get an article published in one of my favorite publications, The Mathematical Intelligencer, because the time and effort of actually writing things up isn't fun.

If I was in your situation, and my goal was getting my work to people, rather than making money, I would just put everything on the web with a creative commons licence, and anyone who wanted framed and mounted copies could print, frame, and mount them.

I'm not saying your approach is wrong; it's probably way more common than mine. I just find it interesting to explore different perspectives and approaches to life.
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whipartist
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Time:2009-04-15 04:31 pm (UTC)
I assume that with everything I do, there's going to be some part of it that I'm not too fond of. If it's a relatively small percentage of the time, and there isn't a good way to avoid it, I'll just suck it up. In this case, it was also a learning experience-- I've done fewer than ten of these in the past.

Some of it got outsourced. Rather than cutting mats myself, which I know without even trying that I would hate doing and be very bad at, I ordered them pre-cut to my specifications. It probably cost me about $1-2 per mat to do that, but I'm sure every single one would have taken me at least five minutes to cut. The results would not be as professional, and they would be very visible.

Doing the show is valuable in terms of exposure. Once things are in the show, putting additional pieces in the store is pretty much a no-brainer.

Plus, I'm trying to establish this as a profitable business. The cost of having them done probably would have wiped out any potential profit margin.
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[icon] That was hard work - Patti
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