As a vendor, how you set up your booth at an event can be as much or more important than what you're actually selling. At West Coast Craft earlier this month, there were some extraordinary booths that must have cost a lot of time and money to set up.
I'll admit, I didn't spend a lot of time or money on my booth setup. I'm just one person, and I was busy with client design work leading up to the event. I used what time I had to focus on making one-of-a-kind jackets and getting my other items ready to sell. Here's a shot of my booth during setup on Friday afternoon.
The idea for the banner came to me a few days before the show. I had taken myself out to a cafe to do some brainstorming for the show. I was thinking about the one-of-a-kind jackets I was making, and wondering if or how they all tied together. I thought about the main motifs I had been using, and started sketching them out.
Once I saw the symbols together, I realized they represented my values as an artist, as a human. Then inspiration came in the form of a mental picture: I saw 10 symbols painted on vintage catalog paper and strung up in the booth like a banner.
My load-in for West Coast Craft was set for Friday afternoon, so that Friday morning I spent about 30 minutes creating what I saw in my head. I tore pages out of a vintage hardbound catalog I had, being careful not to rip the brittle paper. I grabbed some old sign paint and a thick brush, and painted each symbol and word quickly. I set them to dry in the sun and gathered them up right before we left to load in.
I brought an old black T-shirt with me and clipped it up to form two clotheslines to hang the pages on. I'd forgotten to bring anything to hang the pages with, but we fished out some old wire that was in the van, which worked perfectly.
In the past I've fallen into the trap of overthinking things, so lately I've been trying to come from a more intuitive place. The question I'm exploring is, Can something be effortless and fun, and still be of value?
I love the way the banner came together and I got several compliments on it over the weekend. I'll be hanging it in my studio as soon as I find some room.