Wednesday, August 31, 2011

making a good impression

A couple of months ago I was trying to get my foot in the door for a certain design job. I really wanted to make them a custom, handmade portfolio that was tailored visually to the position I was applying for. I knew the portfolio (which is another post for another time) would take me some time to create, probably a week or two, but I wanted to go ahead and put my name in the drawing, so to speak. This job would have been a position where I would have been making lots of handmade designs, probably using recycled, unusual, and vintage materials. What I decided to do, instead of just sending an email, was to send a letter in a custom carrying case: a little piece of art, if you will. I found an old tin up at the local antique shop and collaged the inside with some vintage fabric and a hand drawn banner with my name on it. I sealed all this into the tin using resin (I used envirotex lite, since I tend to keep it stocked in my studio) and then enclosed my cover letter with my information. I dropped it off in person in a little envelope. This could be a great idea if you have a business card and a cover letter you want to drop off. The custom box was quick to make but leaves a big impression as it is an intimate handmade object. The other great thing is that after you pass it off, even if the letter or card gets tossed, the box can be reused and has a higher chance of sticking around and being seen again. If you decide to seal your name into the resin and even your information, there's a chance you may be remembered for another position at a later date if you don't get the first one. In my opinion, it's always good to have your name on beautiful things if you're an artist. Be seen! You never know what will come your way.

Right after the resin pour. I carpeted the inside of the tin with fabric and cut out paper elements to collage on top. Be careful using paper with the resin. Thin papers will sometimes vanish completely once the resin hits them. This can be a good or bad thing, depending on what you're going for, but it's always smart (and really easy) to do a test first just to be sure. Also, the Evirotex will stick forever to almost anything once it sets, so wear gloves and pour over something it will come off of. It bonds to paper, plastic, wood, and fabric, so I always use aluminum sheeting.

The inside of the tin once I finished. To make it more professional and visually coherent I wish I would have been able to use a typewriter on the belt where I wrote my info. But the point of this object was to deliver it quickly, and sometimes that has to take precedent. Also, you can't see in the pic but my name is written on the red banner in the lid.

Final touches should never be underestimated. I made a ribbon from the fabric I used inside and tied the box shut. Then I slid it into a vintage style (but professional) envelope for delivery.

ps-Sorry for the cell phone pics. I wish they were clearer but that's all I had that day.

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