Welcome back, my lovelies! As I begin my blogging journey with the SNAG conference in mind, I’m thinking a lot about all the bits and pieces I have to accomplish before my trip. My goal is to squeeze out as much benefit as I can from this trip, and in typical fashion I try and control the uncontrollable by planning til exhaustion. So my conference prep checklist includes these big-ticket items:

- Plan for the trunk show.

The soft fiber in my work presents a challenge. Displays can’t be over half an inch, which means my typical strategy of displaying work under plexiglass sheets to avoid too much fondling won’t work. Alternate ideas include gently worded signs about no touching… this goes against the grain for me so I’m not sure how to tackle this yet. Another option that I usually use for shows is to have a “sacrificial” piece so people can experience the material without handling the higher-priced art pieces. OH, also I suppose I’d better finish all the work I want to bring!

- Plan my pins for the pin swap.

Oh man, am I excited for this. And anxious!! How do people decide who to swap with? What if people don’t want to swap with me? What if I want to swap for certain pins, but someone else wants to swap and I run out?? What if I fall in love with someone’s work and weird them out? Am I worrying too much about this? (Absolutely yes.) I’m planning ahead to be prepared to let go. Of my own work, and of other people’s. Otherwise I’m going to stress myself out of all the fun! Also, the time left for finishing pins is getting short…

- Plan for the portfolio review.

This part’s gonna be interesting. It’s been so long since I’ve had any kind of critique or review. After school, those opportunities are few and far between. I’ve gotten used to the feedback at shows; people either gush, or mostly keep it to themselves. Great for the ego, but maybe not so great for creative growth. So I’m really looking forward to the chance to sit down with someone and hear constructive criticism. Also, I’m planning on using this opportunity to pursue the other goal of this blog: wisdom gathering from those who have gone before. It seems like a prime opportunity to collect a new story of someone else’s experience. I’m looking forward to sharing it here!

In case you can’t tell from this pre-conference brain-dump, I’m a worrier. Since I’ve laid out “honesty” as one of the goals of this blog, I’ll explain that I actually battle clinical anxiety. Planning ahead is just one of the ways I help protect myself, so I’ll be better equipped to enjoy the event when I get there. Something about laying out all my areas of concern helps remind me, “oh wait. I’m actually quite resourceful. And smart! Remember, how I always manage to handle stuff in the moment? I’ll be fine.” It helps to sort through what can be planned, and what is just subject to the winds of chance (hint: ultimately everything’s down to chance.) So, I’ll keep putting one foot in front of the other, and before I know it I’ll be in the air, winging my way to New Orleans! Now, I wonder what shoes I should bring...

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Replies to This Discussion

Don't worry about the pin swap. Everybody exchanges pins with everybody. It's fun and easy.

There are two approaches to the pin swap.

Option 1.Bring a lot of pins and trade with anyone.

Option  2. Bring a limited quantity of top quality pins and trade pins carefully. (10-50 pins.)

I am a little tired and disappointed with Option 1. All too often the quality suffers when the person brings a large quantity. (of course, there are exceptions.)  When people make a lot of pins all too often there is too much metaphoric glue and feathers that do not reflect the quality or voice of the person's work.  In addition, they have so many pins that they don't take the time to get to know a person in exchange. 

Option  2. Bring a limited quantity of top quality pins that reflect your voice.  In this case, do not carry around your entire supply in a highly visible manner. Be a little more discreet, engage in conversation, meet people and look at what people have before trading.

I still have pins from pin swaps that I have kept and worn for years and years. Other pins hit the trash before leaving the hotel....and I feel bad about that. Waste and overabundance that isn't worth cherishing adding to the landfill does not seem right.  


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