Lately, I have been meeting with some lovely retailers in Brisbane to discuss work from my Collected Patterns and Recollected Patterns series sitting back within the domestic context of their homewares stores.
I’ve felt for sometime the importance of my framed prints and embroideries being shown and styled with other beautifully crafted pieces to tell the sorts of stories found in the vignettes of modern day homes. Context can really help collectors visualise how the work might translate into their own spaces and seeing the artworks pitched against other objects, tables, lamps, trinkets and keepsakes recreates the intimacy of the home environment. (More on this in another post…)
To transport the work to my meetings, I needed to ensure they were protected. Wrapping the framed works in bubble wrap and sticky tape would be a standard approach and certainly one that I use when shipping work for exhibition and to collectors. However, in the context of a presentation, I felt the cumbersome and frankly, unattractive bubble wrap would kill the drama of the big reveal of the beautiful prints. I wanted the work to be protected and easy to unpack, so I could focus on presenting.
What I developed was an ‘artwork tote’ made of industrial felt, cut simply, sewn well and branded with my label. Functional, simple and strong. And the most wonderful thing happened… When I met with each of the retailers, they were captivated at first sight and eager to see what was hidden inside the ‘totes’. Even though within their own businesses, packaging is a very important part of the customer experience, here I sensed that my use of packaging was unexpected, but totally appreciated. We were able to focus on the presentation and keep it brief and to the point, because I packaged my work in a way that both complemented it and added to its professional execution and overall appeal.
It’s so important to consider the details with everything we do. This is inherent in how I work, perhaps because I love what I do so much and want to make all aspects of it the best they can possibly be. It’s not just the design, or how it’s made or how the work is framed. It’s not just the fact that my work is always supplied with information about the edition, care and handling. And, it’s not just that when I present my work I package it with great consideration and supply white gloves to view the work, even though it’s framed. It’s the combination of all these things that show I care and I believe that people love to connect with you when you care that much. I know I do with others…