Saturday, February 15, 2014

Lessons learned and preparation

By John:

Did you go to RCA secret last year?
Did you get what you wanted?
Did you like what you got?
Do you STILL like what you got?

2014 isn't my first year at the RCA secret! and boy I've made some fantastic mistakes buying cards that I really didn't like, but I so convinced myself I was buying something from a "famous artist" that I got carried away. Quite an expensive mistake that I've (mostly) learned from.

This years RCA secret approaches, and I'm getting excited. But apart from being an idiot again and buying things that I am never going to like, there's nothing I can really do until the exhibition opens and we see the 2014 cards, is there?

The answer is yes yes yes. loads of practical stuff from making sure I'm free on the day (getting out of any birthday parties/weddings etc), to making sure I know where my warm gloves are, and that flask I use once a year.

But with regards to preparing for the exhibition itself, there are a number of things you can do, this is my routine...

Firstly I take a look at what I got last year, and ask myself if I still like them as much as I did the day I got them. And if not why not? It's good to be clear with myself as to what I like and what I "liked the look of but got bored" with. "The love is no longer there" you may sometime hear me say.

Next I look at my list of cards that I didn't get, the ones crossed off while waiting for my turn. At the moment it's great because I can still type their numbers into the RCA Secret website and see who the artist was (until they take down the 2013 cards from the site in a few weeks). I sometimes google them to do a bit of research on them, to see if that may help me identify their cards in 2014 (if they submit them, although there a lot of serial contributors). Also, some cards that initially appear dull or uninteresting can be suddenly more attractive when you understand something about the artist that create them.

Finally I look at the framed cards on my walls and wonder "what would be good alongside the stuff I already have on the walls". I find it really helps to give me focus to know that I'm looking for something for my living room/bedroom/hallway/office desk/etc. For example this year I will look to get a monochrome card that will go with a pair I got from previous years and put in. The hallway.

So when the exhibition opens, it's not like I am suddenly an expert or anything, but I will go in with a sense of knowing what I like, what I want, and what will make a card "tick the right boxes" so I know how high or low to put it on my list (ordering your list as an art in itself). And getting a card that I like and know what I will do with is success for me.

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