Things I’ve learned so far…
February 10, 2007
Things I’ve learned along the way throughout the course of this crazy project (or rather, things I’ve learned so far—cause there’s still installation + 3 months of show time to go…):
- Manage your own budget! Because you’ll probably be working with people that are too flakey to keep track of anything for you.
- The gallery or museum might not actually have a real system setup for the budget they give you—as in, they refuse to give you a real account to work with. You have to either spend your own money and get reimbursed or drag the poor woman in charge around to the store with you or arrange meetings in her office to place phone and/or online orders.
- Avoid spending your own money and having the museum reimburse you if at all possible because you may find yourself broke very quickly without much sign of relief…
- I love them!
- They love me!
- Seriously though, get your department/other supporters to back you. If it wasn’t for my wonderful department, I’m not sure how all this would’ve worked out. They’ve hooked me up with a great space, a digital projector, a photographer and money to cover printing costs (or at least they will as soon as I write them a proposal asking for it…) not to mention their genius help with designing the ceiling and feedback on my work in general.
- Write proposals! Don’t be afraid to ask—worst case scenario, they’ll say no and point you in the direction of someone who might say yes. At least so far, every time I’ve written a proposal asking the department to support me in some way, and I point out all the benefits they get out of the deal, they’ve said yes.
- Woah is the bureaucracy never ending. Getting through museum red tape is nearly impossible.
- Don’t: Expect the museum/gallery to do anything for you. They might if you ask, but probably not. You’re on your own.
- Don’t: Attempt to print your own postcards/posters, getting through the bureaucracy is not worth it…
- Don’t: Hope that they’ll provide alcohol at your reception. Even though they have alcohol at every other museum opening, and even though all the student galleries have alcohol at openings, the museum refuses to allow alcohol at STUDENT openings. Don’t even try.
- Don’t: Attempt to have a rock band at your opening. Apparently they have “vibration problems” with loud bands…
- Don’t: Have too many pizza and paper parties. They may start to look like social events, at which point they won’t allow it to fall under your budget costs.
- Don’t: Hope they’ll give you your prize money at the beginning… I guess they need to wait and make sure you actually do the project before they’ll pay you…
- Do: Make friends with Deborah. For all her flakiness, she’s really sweet and only wants the best for your project.
- Do: Talk to the other winners/people in your show—they might be really cool! And jointly you can work on a lot of things more efficiently than on your own.
- Do: Self-promote like crazy. Pretend like your project is amazing, and they just might believe you.
- They’re amazing.
- I love them never-endingly.
- They have made a huge difference in making this project happen and in making it fun to work on. What will I do without weekly paper and pizza parties when this project is over?
- I’m crazy.
- I LOVE meticulous pain-staking never-ending work.
- I want to be an artist! I just want to make things, myself, by hand, forever. Screw this mass production, industrial design BS.
- Watch out for pliers. When you’re exhausted and pulling wire through a wood frame, they might just hit you in the face when you aren’t looking… hard… There’s blood to prove it.