Road to Chromacon: Roadmap

So I recently applied to vend at Chromacon, an Independent Arts festival in Auckland. I’ve attended the last two in 2015 and 2017, and met some really cool artists like Bobby Chiu, J.A.W. Cooper and Paul Tobin. It was super inspiring and I resolved that I would come be a part of the other side next time around. Well the time is upon us, and I’ve sent my application through. I have some things I could put up as prints but this is an opportunity to expand my list of finished pieces.

I’ve yet to get confirmation [update: I got in! Yay!], but here’s the plan going forward to make sure I have the best chance of success. Each item should be good for its own article as I complete them, which I’ll link here:

  1. Research
    • Checklist of what to bring (Everything You Need For Artist Alley)
    • Best practices – common sense to avoid pitfalls; etiquette and behaviour tips
    • Process and economics of making various types of items to sell – time requirements and costs
      • Ideas from least to most ambitious:
      • Art prints – various sizes
      • Buttons/pins; Key chains and charms
      • Graphic T-shirts, vinyl cut or screen printed
      • Cards with download codes for digital items
      • Jewellery/wearables
      • 3D printed sculptures
  2. Planning (apply time limit to not get stuck spinning my wheels)
    1. Grade list of possible things I could do in various ways:
      • Estimated time investment, including things I’d have to learn
      • Personal fulfilment
      • Cost to produce
      • Estimated profit
    2. Go with my gut and pick a list of things to make, with a base of steady dependable items and more risky ones as stretch goals. Don’t forget to include packaging, branding, marketing materials and booth design.
    3. Make a timeline to guide my progress.
  3. Grind
    • Put my head down and follow the plan. Trust in the process.
    • Document and share my progress to provide accountability for me and hopefully entertainment and learning for you.
  4. Production
    • Stop making art and start making physical objects. Also counts for things I’d be ordering to allow for production and shipping time.
  5. Packing and Preparation
    • Gathering the items on the above-mentioned list of things to bring, package and merchandise, arrange accommodation.

There’s also the online aspect to build a presence so people know I exist beforehand, and present a past body of work to browse and content stream to hook into after people meet me at the event.

And even if I don’t get in, the research and the articles that come out of it will be worth my time. Here’s to the next few weeks.

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