This is the time of year which finds me packing, framing, and shipping. My paintings travel from coast to coast, and even overseas! It’s important to make sure they arrive safely.
My flat pieces generally are packed in my signature shiny pink envelopes. I put them in a clear plastic bag, add the shipping information, secure them between stiff cardboard, and insert the whole deal into the envelope. Larger paintings are wrapped similarly but put in boxes.
This is also the time of year to prepare paintings for exhibits. One advantage of painting standard sizes is that I usually have standard sized frames available. If not, I might slip another painting out of a frame to use. This is also the benefit of using neutral frames. In my case, usually black, white or gold with very simple profiles. It’s been a long time since I’ve selected special frames for each painting as it gets very expensive.
Beginning arts professionals often don’t realize that they may spend about half of their time doing the mundane tasks behind the scenes – framing, preparing canvases, paperwork, shipping, delivery – than actually spent in front of the easel. The final exhibit or sale is the icing on the cake. I think this is probably true for any arts professional, not just visual artists. Being a successful artist also means being a good business person. Paying attention to procedures, cutting costs where you can, and making your customer happy it what it really takes to make a living in the arts.