Tuesday, September 08, 2009
So this post is going to sound a bit anal but trust me there are traps for the unwary if you turn up at the college unprepared with a list that does not pass muster.
The first time I went to the RCA secret sale was in 2000. I suppose I had a list of about 30 cards - numbers scribbled down everywhere. Needless to say by the time I got to the front of the queue nearly everything on my list had gone. I did get 2 cards I liked (and still like) but if I am honest that was more by luck than judgement.
Since then I have been refining the way in which I make my list and I think I have it down to a fine art now (no pun intended).
So here are some tips for making a list
1) No list can be too long. Trust me unless you win the raffle many of the cards you really like will have gone. So make a long list of cards. I am regularly about 70th in the queue and my list contains over 100 cards.
2) Make sure that the list is well organised. It doesn't matter how you organise it just ensure that the list really works for you. The stress when you get to the front of the queue is difficult to explain. You don't expect it to be stressful until you are standing there and by then it is too late to start organising your list. So make sure your list follows a system that you know is going to work when you are under stress and suffering from the combination of lack of sleep, frostbite and caffeine overload.
3) Give as good a description of the cards on your list as possibly can. When you get to the front of the queue the description you scribbled down next to the card of "red abstract" or "man in hat" just ain't gonna cut it. You will be struggling to remember what the hell that card is. Try to make your descriptions really explain what the card is about. Look on it as art criticism! And hey if you are technologically minded why not get the photos from the rca site and print them out. That stops the confusion.
4) Do you make your list in numerical order or in the order of the cards you want? I go for the latter but that does make it very difficult to cross off the cards as you are waiting in the room with the screens downstairs. Maybe you can do both! I'm not sure, I have never tried.
5) Remember when you get to the front of the queue be systematic. If you are not sure whether a card you want is sold then ask. We get very British about not wanting to hold people up behind us but this is your chance to get the art you want so use it.
Posted by pezlow at 9:32 PM