Some Girls Save for Shoes, I Save for Ad Space

More Surtex prep underway!  It it utterly unbelievable to me just how much there is to do for this show.  This is my second year and somehow its been more overwhelming than last year!  Is it because I simply discovered more things to do?  Or is it because I've made the same things more complicated?  Sometimes I think its just the anxiety of wanting to do everything better, one-up myself if you will.  I just designed my ads for this year which was difficult because I was actually happy with the ad I did last year.  I think I'm still adjusting to this whole licensing world where you need to be new all the time.  In illustration, my portfolio seemed to be relevant for longer, now I feel like I should have a whole new one for this show.  In truth, I am adding to core collections I premiered last year but I'm still left wondering if I've done enough.

I tried to use some of the same elements and feel from my last year's ad but changed up the imagery.  I'm going to need to do this as well with my post cards that I will give away but I haven't tackled that one yet!   When I exhibited last year my budget was very limited and although not a whole lot has changed, I have a bit more of an idea of the true costs of exhibiting, so I planned to increase my advertising budget for this year. 

I learned pretty quickly, however, there is no way to increase your budget slowly.  I will be doubling my spending this year by adding a second publication and will increase it by another 60% as I plan to add a third next year.  Its enough to make your head spin but as I look around I see artists consistently advertising in at least 4-5 publications, and they do it every year.  Does all this advertising pay off?  I can't say I have any hard evidence to that effect but I look to others in the industry, veterans and newbies, and my feeling is that is IS worth it. 

Luckily the rates seem to be pretty consistent so it is something you can plan for.  Some girls save their pennies for shoes, I just happen to save them for ad space!  I am a saver not a spender but this is one area I don't feel guilty about spending on.  I just decided to take a third ad out (which is yet to be designed!) because of a unexpected last minute offer.  Is it a stretch?  Absolutely!  But I figure I will just need to work an extra day or two and cut back on something else to make it work.  I don't believe in spending money that you don't have in hand, especially when entering into a new field.  There is nothing more stressful than putting these things on credit cards and then "HAVING" to make them pay off.  I do feel, with no hesitation, that I am truly pursuing what my intended path has always been, so investing in the things that will help me in that journey is money well spent. 

It's kind of ironic that I roll my eyes at the price of jeans, something I might wear everyday and then drop $500 on something as intangible as ad space;  I suppose it all comes down to priorities.  We choose how we spend our money as well as our time and what is important, is that at the end of the day, neither feels wasted.  I'm thrilled to have a number of non-Surtex projects off my plate this week so I can really concentrate on the things I have left (booth design, mailers, press kits, portfolio, new collections, etc.)  A very full few weeks are ahead but it's going to be great to go back!