As I near the end of my program at Rutgers I have been thinking about how to move all my belongings. More recently I found out I will be leaving my current home sooner than I had planned, so the theoretical idea has become much more tangible.
Moving my everyday things isn't the hassle right now (it will be); it is moving all my costume design reference books, art supplies, and past projects. I am not a hoarder, but I find it very difficult to give up certain things especially if I put time and creative effort into them. As we speak I have all my sketches in a VERY large rolling tub under my bed and most of my costuming books in a roughly 18 x 18 box. So what is the problem you ask? Well, that is not taking into account all my art supplies currently living happily in my office at school. This is also not taking into account how heavy those two boxes are. Moving requires you to carry your things and I am not looking forward to carrying those boxes!
But what can I do to make moving easier? The better question is what could I have DONE to make moving easier. Most solutions are preemptive ones. Something I have been doing over the past few years is scanning all my art work. Now, this is great if you use conventional sized media as well as flat media. If your design requires glitter, texture, or is on a large piece of media, you may be rethinking scanning. I tend to use a medium sized paper common from most art stores, and that size is too big for even most office and school scanners. I have gone to specialty stores, but if there is any texture to the artwork they will not scan it as it can ruin their equipment! Yikes! Luckily I have pretty passable Photoshop skills and can piece together a multi-scan of an image so my digital library of work is up to date. I'm just very sentimental so I keep most of my original works as well.
But my books! Besides being heavy, it would take too long to scan them. I could have bought a digital copy in the first place, but I have a thing for physically turning pages. I also own a few vintage books that a cherish and wouldn't want to part with. So what is a costume designer to do?! The best thing I have found to do is go to the gym and build those muscles AND to pair down your collection. If you aren't showing the work on your portfolio site, or it doesn't bring you joy, give it away or trash it (some relatives would love your work as framed presents.....). If you don't do many 1930's shows maybe sell those books to a used bookstore or donate them to a library you go to.
Finally, rendering supplies...those things just multiply! Sometimes you use only one color in a set or you move on to a different media. Again, donate those to a local school, art camp, etc. Put a blast out on Facebook to see if any other artists want to try a new brand or media for cheap. Another cool thing to do is challenge yourself to only use what you have...you could come up with an amazing design because all you had were green shades of paint and hot pink colored pencils (you never know!).
So, for all of you packing or unpacking boxes starting a new journey, good luck! I am joining you a little sooner that I had planned. Do any of you want some art supplies? :)