In this episode, Alex of Signs of Our Lives and Cat of Cat Lauren Calligraphy come together to answer your most burning question – “Is being an event artist for me?”
Alex + Cat tell us about the different types of events that could incorporate on site personalization, sharing examples straight from their own experiences. They discuss some of the “soft” skills, professional skills, and artistry needed in order to provide the most value to your clients, while reminding you to stay true to yourself and what brings you the most joy in your business and your life.
Everyone needs to start somewhere. Alex and Cat bring up some hard-hitting questions to ask yourself and reflect on before taking your first steps, so as to not make the same mistakes they did when they began their journeys as event calligraphers.
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Alex Hirsch, Signs of Our Lives
Cat Brown, Cat Lauren Calligraphy
Podcast, Keeping Up with the Calligraphers
(Who knows if we'll actually use this)
And there are more and more artists, specifically calligraphy artists that are getting into the event space. So things are looking. Yeah, which is great, but it's definitely like can be intimidating to start off for sure. So yeah, I agree. I think we want to be the resource that we didn't have.
Alright, hello everyone. This is Alex. And Cat. Yeah, I'm from Signs of Our Lives. And I'm from Cat Lauren Calligraphy. And we are both event calligraphers and we are going to talk about that today. But before we do that, we wanted to thank everyone who has listened thus far.
Y'all have just come through with like the feedback, like so positive, so grateful for you. And like, honestly, we are so thrilled to be getting to do this with you, for you, together. All of those things. And it's just really exciting. And today we're actually, we're doing something new because we kind of found, figured out that
Getting time to be together when one of us is in OC and the other one of us is in San Diego is a little tricky. So we are doing a virtual session today. We're going to see if we want to continue doing that or if we don't like that. But you know, mixing it up, trying new things, learning as we go. So bear with us. Yeah, bear with us.
Everyone's got to start somewhere, right? Exactly. Which is a lot of what today's episode is about, so hopefully we could be a very good role model for y'all. So yeah, so today we are going to talk about being an event artist, how to become one, like our journey in that, the different types of events, some of the skills you might need, like some of the things that might help you identify when you might be ready.
how you can even get to that point. That is pretty much it. I feel like we're using the title event artist, which apparently my voice also is deciding it does not want to partake. So sorry. It's giving Brooke Davis. I love it. I'm sorry every time we record I'm sick. But we're hoping that what we talk about today will be applicable to all kinds of artists.
I think some of our feedback might come more specifically from a calligraphy standpoint, just because that is what we specialize in. But I do feel like a lot of our conversation is applicable for people that are doing other types of live art. So I just wanted to throw that out there. Yeah. Well, I take a break. Go have your tea. And then two, yeah, I totally agree. This is mostly applicable to people that are interested in becoming an event artist.
But if you're someone who's in the event industry or even not in the event industry and you're like, what the hell did you do? Like I'm so curious about your journey and how you even got here, then this is also for you. So yeah, event artistry is a little bit different because basically the artist is bringing themselves and all of their things to do their art live, which is a very unique thing. It's super cool to have at events, super cool to have parties.
So we want to talk specifically about that because that is our niche. Yep. And that's also a lot of feedback that we got from everybody and all of the DMs and the things that we were asking for was those were a lot of the questions were about kind of like how to get started and some of those things. So we wanted to make sure that we were also incorporating all of that good feedback that we got. So thank you everybody for sending in all of your words and your submissions and answers and all of those things. It's
So much fun, we sit there and screenshot them all and send them to each other all day because we're so excited every time something comes in. So please keep doing it. It makes us so happy. Truly. Like, yes, we're like, oh my God, look, someone responded. Oh, look, we have another question. So we love it, keep doing it. Okay, so let's get into what we've been up to since our last recording. We last recorded in September and it is now November.
We want all of October being busy as fuck. So Cat, you go first. Tell us some of the things that you've been doing in the past month, which we're gonna be more consistent about reporting. Month or two. We're gonna be more consistent, we swear. I know. Yeah, tell us. I think two events that come to mind, I had like a family thing last week, so it's kind of scattering my brain, but I know beginning, maybe middle, I'm not sure.
In September, I did an event for Stony Clover Lane, which I love their bags and all of their things are so cute. So I don't really know how to like classify it, but they do like the cosmetic bag. I mean, it's all kinds of like backpacks, like luggage, all of that stuff. And they have like the patches that they sew on. So it's like a customization kind of thing. But they were launching like a new college plaid type print.
for some of their stuff. So the lockets were unrelated, but they had me engraving lockets, which was really cool. They saw me posting some of the jewelry from Hannah and Dylan's wedding. So they were like, oh, that's really cool. Like we haven't seen something like that before. Will you come do lockets? I was like, yeah, I will. So did that. That was a fun one. And then I subcontracted for you. And that was for a
nursing conference and we got to do that together and by we me and Jamie got to do that together which what's her handle I forget off the top of my head. The letter J I was gonna say shout out to Jamie the letter J also in San Diego. Yes so that was super fun that was our first event together but obviously we're like friends so that was nice to work together for the first time it was like a dress-up situation so that was fun.
And it was, oh, yes, she dressed in a costume because she did. I didn't have time for a costume. Yeah. I was superheroes. And I was like, all I have are villain costumes because that's so I am as a person. But fair enough. So I didn't wear anything. And then I showed up and like there were definitely other people in the front. I was like, I can't like. I could have pulled off a villain costume, but I also like the week after.
I found my cat woman like mass thing. I was like, gosh dang it. Like of course. You have a cat. Oh my gosh. Of course I do. We can sidebar on that later. That's amazing. That's all I got. Yeah and then Cat and I, well you and I got to work together. Oh yeah. I forgot. Which was great. We love working together because we have like a very similar energy and like vibe. Very fun when we are working together because it's just like fucking fun.
Play off each other's energy and off each other's vibe and it gets very chaotic in a great way. We are troublemakers. But in the most professional way, of course. Yeah, so that was really fun. We engraved humblers for Activision. Cat and I are... Not a gamer. We're not gamers. We didn't know what Activision was. I was like, oh, that's cool. And she was like, what are we doing? And I was like, I don't...
I know it's like in Santa Monica. We got to have a sleepover. Yeah, we got to have a sleepover. Got to eat cookies before sleep. That was great. And so Activision is like a, gosh, I'm gonna, I'm gonna fuck this up. But a video game company. They make video games. Gaming company, something. They're very big. They're a very big company. I think they're all like the big ones. They do like the Call of Duty. Yeah.
Yeah. And other things. Nailed it. Not a gamer. Not a gamer. But we got to write a lot of gamer tags, which was really fun because we got to hear the backstory behind all of them. And are there any other events that you were excited about? Because OK, yes, there were two things that I yes. OK, one that I was very, very excited about. So I got to work with the ACLU for those of you who don't know.
What the ACLU is the American Civil Liberties Union. Basically they're the people that stand up for our rights, which I've been donating them for years. They are basically amazing and I've been donating them for years because they support a lot of the same causes and values that I support. So the fact that they reached out to me was like... I like...
was so excited. When I saw you post that I literally was floored for you. I was like, this could not be like more perfect, more aligned. I was so happy and excited for you. Yeah. So yeah, it was at the diversionary theater in Hillcrest, which I was like, of course it was. Thank you. We love that. We love that. Hillcrest is in San Diego. Sorry. I like assume everyone knows where I am and all the things. It's like a very like the
Yeah. So how is the gate? I can say it's fine. Yeah. So and they had a drag performance and like all the suggestions for engraving were like abolish ice and just like yay for liberties and all that. So, oh, Black Lives Matter. Just like all these things that I was just like, so I didn't even come up with the list. They came up with it. And I was like, oh, my God, I love you guys like this.
This is it. So that was probably the best event of the year, just because I was just like surrounded by amazing humans. Wait, and then so fun. I have a question about something I want to hear an update about. Oh, okay, go. How was your first wash tattoo event? Oh, yes. OK, look at me already forgetting. Yeah, so like last weekend.
Okay, I think it was like two weeks ago now, which means two lifetimes ago. So yeah, I had a flash out to event. A flash out to event is basically I created like a bunch of designs that people could choose from. It was like earthy nature. The nature vibe. I had people vote like I straight up was like witchy astrological or earthy. And I was like, Oh, it's like
October we're getting into witching season like people are for sure gonna choose like astrology or Uh witchy and they didn't we earthy one. So That's what happened. That's what we did. So we did a lot of like flowers Um, and I tattooed like eight people in one day. It was very cool. I am Floored that I was able to do that
You literally told me like less than six months ago, I feel it was probably more than that. But it feels like it was just yesterday that you were like, I'm going to start tattooing. I'm doing a mentorship. It's fine. And you already hosted like your first flash tattoo events. That's wild. Yeah. I mean, so Julio, my mentor, he wanted me to do it, which like I totally agree with him, because he was like, that will help you get like so fast and also like do different areas of the body and like just kind of like.
build that like muscle memory of doing stuff. And he was like totally right. How will aligns with like everything we're gonna talk about today? Oh, wait, yeah, you're so right. Everyone's gotta start somewhere. That is sweet, that's such a good point. Great little thing there. Phenomenal. Love how you tied that together. Yeah, and then I have another tattoo event next week, which is not public, it is private, but I am like.
freaking floored that I got hired to do like a private tattoo event for a group of poets next week and I get to design- Wait, it's a group of poets? Yeah, it's a group of poets! So I'm gonna do like little like, what's it called, the little like typewriter typeface sort of thing. Oh my gosh, that's gonna be so cool! And like pens. I am gonna do like a special one for the person who hired me. She wants a frog holding like a feather pen.
Oh my gosh, I'm so excited for you. But that's just so cool that again, literally, like just started doing your mentorship. I feel like it was like six ish months ago and you're already like doing exactly what you wanted to do with it. So that's amazing. Yeah, yeah, I'm really excited because I mean, there are so many different types of events and I've been seeing every literally everyone sends me videos and posts of like flash tattoo events happening at like.
weddings and brand events and da da. And I'm like, I know, I'm getting there. You're like, correct. That's what I want to do. Yeah. And so now like, I can finally start kind of doing that offering that. So I'm thrilled. Amazing. I love that. Yeah. So speaking of events, speaking of different types of events, different types of events, well,
So maybe that's where we can start is just like we're talking about event artists. Maybe we can talk through like the different types of events that we have at least come across that absolutely by no means is an all-inclusive list. But at least some of the things that we have come across. But yeah, so I feel like we both got our start doing retail, which I don't think we both will. I say we don't do a lot of, but I literally did that today.
I literally did it last weekend, so it's fine. Amazing. We don't do retail. It's not our bread and butter anymore, but it is where we got our humble starts. Yeah. And then what else, what other kinds of events have you done? So retail is, and retail could be a lot of things. That could be like small business. That could be Nordstrom, Bloomingdale's. And when we say that, we mean like.
Engraving fragrances, bottle painting on fragrances or perfumes. Or body room sprays. It's body spray. Or room sprays. It's not different. I don't know. We don't know what we're laughing about. Go back to our last episode. It's an inside joke for everyone. Oh my God. Yeah, like candles, stuff like that. Basically things that people need to like buy something in order to
get something done. And typically, this I feel like is a question that I get from a lot of people. Typically, people receive the service as a complimentary add-on to whatever they're buying. It's like a gift with purchase. Yeah. To try to encourage them to buy whatever the item is. Yes.
Exactly. It is encouraging people to buy the product as well as just like providing them with an experience that they could look forward to that will bring them in store if they're able to like publicize it and promote it, things like that. So yeah, that's like one type of event. I feel like another one is obviously like corporate gifting. We were just talking about that. So like with Activision, Cat and I did like, we engraved tumblers for
The people that work there, like the employees. Yeah, it was like an employee, yeah, appreciation event. So yeah, a lot of corporate like gifting. Definitely as we're coming up to the end of the year, there's going to be probably a lot of like end of the year parties, a lot of like holiday parties, things like that, that are private events. They're kind of typically some type of like a celebration for the company or employees, some type of.
get together in that way. Yeah, or like one of my favorites is to do like dinners. So like a whiskey dinner, for instance, we're all in great like rocks classes. And it'll be like a small group of people like under 50 or something. Those are my favorite because then I get to like really interact with people. And then also they usually feed you, which is so nice. We always love a food option. We love it.
Oh my gosh, yeah, I recently had caviar at one of like a caviar bump. Oh, one of the like caviar bump is that way? That's called you put it on your wrist and it's like, I know what a bump is. Do you know? I know of I know Cat does know does not like caviar. Well, she won't try it, right? I don't think.
I don't think I'm gonna like fish eggs either. That's fine. It was what I love for you. I love a luxury vibe that sounds like they probably put some like edible gold on the food while you were there too. Like that seems like that's the vibe. Yeah. Yeah, we love when like they go all out for stuff. Yeah. Another thing is typically like brand activations. So like that's what that kind of reminded me of like more like luxury stuff or like just throwing money at events, which
makes the experience so cool and immersive and amazing. I worked with a company called Civic. They had me engrave, yeah, they had me engrave chalices for this dinner that they put together to launch a, oh my gosh, what is it called? Audio content, it's not an audio book, it's audio content for Audible. And that was so freaking cool. So they...
had influencers and celebrities and people that were part of putting the audio content together to promote it at Comic-Con. So that was really cool as well. We're both based in Southern California, so I feel like another thing that's really popular that we got hired a lot for is a lot of PR events, a lot of influencer events, especially
I don't know, like product launches, things like that, just because of proximity to where all of these things are. So I've done a couple events for like, I don't know how to say, is it sheen, sheen? And then I did, it was like a launch but celebrity event for Ashley Benson when she launched her perfume, which was really cool. That was a gorgeous event. So I feel like we do.
Like a lot of those types of events. Have you done any of those recently? Off the top of my head, no. I will say I have been trying to stick to doing events in San Diego because I do drive around a lot as we have all. You really do. Yeah. So not as many like, not as many. There still are, but not as many like influencer PR stuff going around.
going on here, at least with celebrities and stuff. Yeah, there's a couple other events that we've done. I don't really know how to place them or categorize them, but you've done some really cool stuff. You did that event with the Dodgers. Oh, yeah. Would we put that under brand activation, technically? Yeah, I'd say brand activations. I work with a lot of brands within the spirit industry.
And that I feel like has been a really awesome industry to break into, especially because liquor stores, like for the holidays, always going to want some like personalization. Like, you know, it doesn't have to be a product launch. It doesn't have to be like a celebrity involved. But like customization for, you know, Father's Day, Mother's Day, whatever, as well as like the holidays, whatever you celebrate in November and December.
is just awesome to work with spirit brands. And that that's been something that's really cool as well as that those are like more like retail events where they're kind of like slower because people are like buying bottles or buy whatever. And then there's other things like festivals. Oh, those are like the festivals like you do like LA mag and OC mag or yeah, right. LA mag and OC magazine. And yeah, those are like when there's so many people
and they all get something for free, which definitely changes the whole vibe of an event. Oh, yes. Yeah. When someone has just handed an item and they can just get free personalization, that's something where it's like you get a very long line and you have to work very quickly and you have to kind of have that consistency. So that is definitely...
Thankfully, not any type of event that I would recommend anyone starts with. Definitely something to build up to. Yeah, not to say you can't be successful, but it definitely, I feel like, would be a shock to start with something like that. Yeah, I... It would not be my recommendation to start. Yeah, I will say I did one of my first events. It wasn't my very first event, but it was like very close.
I did an event like that in like 2019. I like wasn't even living in LA yet. I was like, just happened to be in, happened to be in Southern California. I was in Palm Springs for a conference called Alt Summit. Someone had posted on Facebook, they needed someone in LA for this event that like happened to be around the same time. And I was like, oh, I'm gonna be there. I'm available. I could do this thing.
And it ended up being like a line out the door and not something I was at all prepared for because like sweating thinking of it. I was not prepared at all. Like I was not able to get like a sample of the material because like they ordered them like, you know, I don't say like late, but like they weren't able to send me a sample. The events industry runs like on a very last minute basis. Yes.
And that's sometimes like one week out is like advanced notice. Yeah, sometimes. Yeah. I would say things book out like one or two weeks in advance, like in general. Like if you don't have your holidays booked right now, please do not feel like shitty about yourself because I don't. I don't have my. Yeah, I have like some things in December, but like it's going to fill up. It will fill up. I promise you. There will be things because here's the thing. People get budgets at last minute.
or like they need to spend like the rest of the money for the year. People typically like I feel like our services are like the finishing touch, right? Like it's not the first thing you're booking, but it is definitely like, oh, if we can do this, like we definitely want to, but they have to get like the food, the drink, the chairs, like all of that first. So we're always like that finishing touch. And unfortunately that's doesn't always give us the most.
Heads up. Yes, exactly. Um, so yeah, I, I definitely would say like work up to those types of events. Definitely start with the slower ones. Um, but yeah, I think those are really kind of all the different types of events. I mean, there's definitely more and I'm not, I'm sure like, we'll talk about them. Like as we continue this podcast, as we can do this, like specific episode, um, just about different things, because I mean, there's all types of events, no matter what part of the country you're in or.
even if you're not in the US, which is where we are. There's stuff happening. There's so many options. There really is. And there's, again, so many options that people are getting really creative with. And it's cool to see it grow. But yeah, what do we feel like you need to get? Like, how do you know you're even ready to start booking some of this stuff? Yeah, so Ken and I wrote down some things of like,
Some of the things that we feel like we wish we knew going into the like events industry. Um, I think when Cat and I both started, it was like, I know I started in like 2018, 2019 doing events. Yeah, I was like 2019 too, because it was for the pandemic. Yeah. Um, before the pandemic, Lovato? Yes.
I have people like question me when I say that sometimes. They're like, the what? I was like the pandemic, Lovato. Like, where have you been? You said that once and I just like can never move on. It's my favorite. Appropriate. If you were on TikTok, you know, you know, guys, you know, anyways. Okay. So we care about some things we wish we knew. We wish we like had these sort of like, Oh, like this would have really helped before I started, uh, sort of things. Um, cause I feel like.
Again, kind of like how we, when we started in the industry, there was some stuff on Pinterest, but not as much as there is now. And yeah, I feel like the industry has definitely evolved very quickly as things do these days. And there are more and more artists, specifically calligraphy artists that are getting into the event space. So things are looking... Yeah, which is great, but it's definitely like, can be intimidating to start off for sure. So I...
Yeah, I agree. I think we want to be the resource that we didn't have when we first started just because it was not, it wasn't a thing. Yeah. A lot of the questions we got were like, how do you know if you're ready? I feel like we got that question probably like five or six times at least from our like very small audience that we have already. And we kind of came up when we were talking like
There's kind of like skills, like the actual like art skills. Again, we're calligraphers, so that's going to be kind of where we're coming from. But if you do a different type of art or you perform in a different type of medium, I'm hoping that this will still resonate with you. But like the actual art skills side and then more of like personal professional skill side, because it really does require both for these on-site events. But.
I think so when we were talking about the skills, it's really tough to say. I think a lot of people will try to kind of say you have to have a certain level of skill or style or whatever else. I don't know that I see it that way 100% of the time. I do think that you should, whatever your skill is that you're bringing on site. So again, ours is calligraphy. I do think that you should be already like comfortable.
with your own style, you're consistent in that style because especially for a lot of it is customization for these events. If you're showing up and you get a name that you've never practiced before or I don't know, sometimes people like today, I had a lot of really interesting customizations that they're not words that I would have randomly. Do you want to share? I don't.
I know we're marketing explicit, but you can if you want. Okay. So Cat sends me a text earlier that's like, we're starting off great. And it was literally just a picture of like this pink bottle. And like she wrote the client requested. This is I heard she wrote pink pussy. Right. Was that what it said? Yeah. So we'll do phenomenal. Yeah. Phenomenal. We love that. Again, I would love to do a story behind that.
A word I never would have practiced, let's be clear. Why not? Just not something I don't think I would have generated on my own to practice. But again, I think being comfortable and consistent with your style and you feel like you're able to maintain that at a high volume, I think that's how you can self-evaluate whether or not your skills are ready.
Um, because there's definitely some clients that may prefer a more traditional style, some that prefer more of a modern style. Again, we're talking from a calligraphy standpoint, but, um, you know, it doesn't mean that you're not hireable. I just think the consistency will help you feel more confident. When you're showing up on site and anytime you're doing a live event, I feel like that confidence is a hundred percent necessary.
I don't feel like it's like a fake it till you make it kind of thing. Like you want to feel comfortable and confident showing up. So that's kind of, I guess, the self-evaluation that I would recommend. Is there anything you're thinking of off the top of your head about that? Yeah, I mean, a couple of things came to mind when you were talking just kind of about like, some people, it depends on your client as well. So like there are some people who...
are like, we just want a calligrapher, we don't care about their style, like, you know, sounds great. And some people were like very particular. Like Cat and I worked for Prada this past Mother's Day. And like they were very particular, like we had to send samples ahead of time. They had gave a feedback, like they told us to like redo some stuff. And like and then they changed it like three times. And then they changed it a bunch of times. So it's fine.
I mean, that's the thing. So it really depends on your client too, right? And like what they're interested in. Like I worked for another client like Joe Malone recently, my client like specifically requested me because they like my painting style. Do I love my painting style? Not so much. I feel like it's kind of flat. I like definitely don't know how to do like shading and different light or whatever. I can't paint at all. So it's fine.
I'm like, I can't paint a portrait, whatever. Like if you want me to do lettering, like that's fine. I could totally letter like a name, like paint a name on a bottle. But the other stuff, kind of tricky for me, but they really wanted that because it matched with their like brand guidelines. And so like they saw my style and it made sense for them. Now, if another client saw my style and they wanted something that was like more portrait-like, they probably wouldn't hire me.
But like, that's okay. Like it wouldn't be a good fit. I would probably be so anxious the whole time being like, I'm sorry. Here's my piece of shit. Like drawing and painting of your dog. Like, I'm so sorry. Um, so yeah, kind of going like that's kind of more about like illustrative stuff, but even still like lettering, like some people do want like someone who could do Spencerian, I have been asked if I can do like more of a Gothic calligraphy. And listen, I can't. So like I said, no, but this is what I can do. I think it's about like educating her.
client like having the client like know what you can and cannot do. Hopefully they look at your portfolio. Oftentimes, they don't. They don't. It's very interesting. I get a lot of emails that are like, Could you send me some samples of your work? And I'm like, Yeah, here's, here's some photos and like, you already paid me but here you go. Also that yeah.
Please feel free to click my, like the five links under my signature, but with my website and my LinkedIn and my Instagram and my Facebook, but like, okay, yes, here's some samples. Crying on the inside. That's fine. Anyways, but yeah, that was kind of just what I came up, like thought of, like some, it depends on your client sometimes, you know? It really does, every time. Yeah. Okay. And then I think kind of going on with like art skills style. We talked about...
I guess like being comfortable and confident to modify if needed. Um, so for example, the way that I do my calligraphy pointed pen is not at all the same way that I do my calligraphy when I'm engraving, just because like the tools are different, like the paper versus the glass or the metal or whatever that I might be engraving is very different. The way it just like interacts with the tools that I'm using. So, um, I'm not.
doing a whole lot of picking up after every shape. There's definitely a lot more of like a cursive-y style where I'm connecting a lot more things just because for me at least, that's where it comes out a little bit more smooth. So that I think is also something to consider. Have you had good practice with whatever tool that you're using? Because maybe you're feeling really comfortable with a brush pen, but this is...
the first time you're engraving. Okay, like how do you feel pretty comfortable, confident with that? I can tell you right now I am incompetent as hell with a paintbrush. I don't know what happens with soon as a paintbrush gets in my hand. My hand does not know what it's doing. So. She's like. No, I think you make a good point because like sometimes like what, and this is what annoyed me the most and still annoys me. Like when you try a new medium, like you're.
what your lettering or art looks like on one thing looks completely different on literally completely different. And it's like sometimes in a great way, sometimes not in a preferred way. Usually for me, not the preferred way. I'm like, how do I get it to look the same? Ah. So I think like kind of working on like, OK, you really like your style on paper. OK, great. Like, how can you transfer that to looking very similar?
One way I like, this is my idea, feel free to shoot it down, whatever, my idea. Um, one way that helped me was really practicing like on like in studio, like commission work. Um, so like when I first started engraving, like, Oh my gosh, it, it took me 20 minutes to write like two words on a bottle, like, and I, I remember like one of like the very like, I don't want to say fame, like the OG like.
has a lot of followers, has been in the industry for a long time, like commented on my thing being like, it shouldn't take that long. And I was like, oh, what? I was like, wait, like on your post or like a DM? No, like they put they comment on the post. So if I do some deep diving, feel free. It's fine. It's I get it. Are we friends with this person? Are I mean, we're like we follow each other. OK, it's fine. Anyways. Here nor there.
Don't do that. That's ready to go. I am not advising. Let me get myself all that. I will be right back. I am upset on your behalf. Don't do that to people. Listen, it was like I was very new. So like I was like initially like, what the fuck? And now I'm like, okay, like I get it. Like it should absolutely not take you 20 minutes. But in a DM maybe. With a construct. Absolutely. Like a constructive like, hey. Older, older person.
Maybe they don't know how DMs work. I don't know. It's fine. God, it's not taking up her answer. I'm displeased. Displeased. Anyways, so one of the ways that helped me was really doing a lot of like in studio work, practicing like giving gifts to friends, family. Like I was like, ah, let me engrave on stuff. Like, do you need me to engrave on it? Do you need me to engrave on it? So like that was literally me for like a pretty long period of time.
as well as kind of like doing like slower events or events with like people that like I kind of knew so that like, yeah, it wasn't much skin in the game sort of thing. And that like really helped me to kind of like hone those skills a little bit more before I started taking on bigger and bigger events.
like very minimal, but like a lower dollar amount. Like I remember in the beginning not feeling super comfortable or confident with some of like the higher end stuff or even like some of the more expensive bottles. Like I was just like, oh man, this bottle made like over a hundred dollars. Like I don't feel a hundred dollar bottle confident yet. I feel like I'm like twenty dollar wine confident. Yeah. Yeah, exactly. And then you gradually work your way up. And then I like accidentally.
accidentally, I just didn't know it was like a $400 bottle when I was doing one of the duty free events until everyone was like, Oh my god, that's like a $400, $500 bottle. I was like, I'm very glad I didn't know that. Okay. It was just a monitor. Thank God. But oh, that's yeah. Yeah. That's always fun. When you're
fluttering on something that's extremely yeah that's like me with tattooing right now i'm like this is fun i can't fuck up no you can't i used to think the stakes were high with like really expensive bottles like that and like really expensive like uh i don't know like don julio like yeah shit like that and now i'm like oh nope that's fine oh this is like your literal skin replaceable yep yeah it's cool perspective cool um so yeah um
Those are some good tips. Let's see, what else do we have here? What about the like, I think we had all the art stuff. We could probably all, you know, we can go back to it if there's something else that we think of, but I feel like we can, we already kind of started talking about it, but like shifting over into like the personal professional skills. Yeah, the soft skills. So that's kind of goes into like kind of like your personality. I think that's kind of one that people don't take into account. Like I have talked with clients.
And this is just like me sharing with you guys. Again, events are not for everyone. Like just because everyone else is doing events or you perceive everyone else to be doing events, not everyone is doing events. Some people are still just doing not just, but like people are doing commissions. People are doing chalkboards. People are working with local businesses, doing their signage and working with weddings and da da. Or some people are only doing certain types of events. Also them. Exactly. Um, so.
I think like something that a client shared with me, when like I was kind of going over like my process and like how I talk to people and things like that, they were like, wow, like you are so different than this other person that I hired. Like I don't know, six months a year ago, that was personalizing stuff for us. And they were very stressed out. Like they were like visibly stressed. They like were not like doing great.
talking to clients as well as customizing the stuff like at the same time, stuff like that. And so she was just like, and she was kind of like taking kind of long stuff, you know? And the client was like, yeah, the client was like, I felt really bad, but like, unfortunately, I'm probably not gonna hire her again. So like very glad we found you. Understandably so, yeah. Yeah, and I feel like that's kind of one of those situations where, A, like your client,
saw that and that's kind of like the energy that you're giving which sucks. Like if you're in that situation like that sucks. I've definitely had situations where even I've gotten overwhelmed by the amount of people at an event. But like if you're like a straight up introvert and you are like not someone who just like turns it on because like I feel like Cat and I like we'd like turn it on like at events we're like different human. Charming as hell. Yeah.
But after this, I can't talk to anybody for the next six hours. I will be getting my talk about cat will be getting her in and out. It's fine. Don't talk to us. So, yeah, like if you know that about yourself and you're like, I don't enjoy going to events, I don't enjoy networking, I don't enjoy it. I don't know. Things like maybe events are for you. That's totally OK. You should know you and you should be doing things that like take you money that like you enjoy doing like.
If you're like not someone who you feel like you are like confident enough to like also like talk to your client and like educate them about like the event, the event flow, what you need, setting boundaries with them about like over time, like if you and like, Hey, I need a sample at a time. Hey, like you gave me the wrong materials. Hey, this is the expectations. Like if you're not there yet in your business and you need more practice again,
My idea is like do more commission work and practice that way. If you do want to get into events, but if you're not a typical human. That's also okay. It's okay. Yeah. Like we're here to tell you no shame. Like nobody's going to be like, Oh, that girl or that guy or that them. Like they're not doing it. I think you don't. Like sometimes I feel like even me, like I.
I love y'all. I have a lot of y'all on mute on my social media because I just like get in my feels when I see everybody like posting all of their stuff and whatever else. But just because everybody else is doing it doesn't mean that you have to do those types of events. It has to be part of your business. Like that's totally okay if you're listening to this and you're like, this all sounds absolutely horrific to me. That's okay. Yeah, I agree.
We all get in our feels, for sure. And then one other thing that I highly recommend, and we could probably, again, do a whole episode about this, we need to like, we have a list of like all things that we want to do future episodes about. So don't worry, we will remember. And if we don't remember, please remind us. But like working with a contract, I think that's like really, really important. And it's like a non-negotiable.
Yeah, for a really long time, though, I didn't work with a contract. Same. And it bit me in the ass every time. Yep. Literally. Yep. Same because it's like people were like, Oh, I don't need to pay you over time or I don't need to pay you on time or I don't need to pay you before the event or whatever. I didn't even pay stuff like it was like I didn't know you needed a power source or like I didn't know you needed a light. Yeah, like it was just.
I don't know, it's like wild. Like there was times even after I had a contract that I forgot to send it for some reason or I sent it and realized like I never got it back and then I went to go enforce it and I was like, well, shit, like 10 out of 10 times that there was not a contract in place, I've been fucked. I would 10 out of 10 times, oh my God, that's a lot. But yeah, I would say, listen, there's like certain clients where like,
Like I just worked with one where I literally went through their contract and I said, Hey, like moving forward, I need this to be revised, this to be revised, this to be revised, and I need clarity on this. Again, it's much easier to do with like people than like big brands or to do with like a small order as opposed to a very large order.
than to do with these big brands and you don't know what you're doing and you're like, ah, you know, and then you get fucked. And we don't want that to happen to you. No, we don't. That sucks, we don't want that to happen to anyone. So, that's kind of a thing there. What's another one? What are some other skills? I think like some other, I don't know, I think in terms of evaluating whether or not you're ready, that probably like.
hit all the marks. I know we wanted to talk a little bit about her. We had a lot of questions about how we manage events, which differs as an event calligrapher or event artist versus doing wedding work or studio work, something like that. So a lot of questions about workflow, the client journeys and things like that.
Yeah, I think we should do like actually an entire episode on workflow. Okay. Um, but I think that is really important, um, to talk about is like having a workflow instead of just like showing up without knowing. Yeah, no, I agree. That's probably good. Um, yeah. Like if you're like, wait, I needed a workflow. Then it's like, yeah, you do. We're here to tell you. It really helps, especially with larger events. We've made the mistakes, so you don't have to. Um.
Okay, so one that I have highlighted as well is like multitasking. Um, I feel like I kind of went into this when I was telling you all about like the client story, how they were like, Oh, this like event artists, like we wouldn't hire them again. Um, I recently did an event where, um, and if the first, if the vendor, the client is listening right now, um, I love you so much. And this is like, just a great story or great example. Um, I, they had like their.
babysitter cancel on them so they had to bring their child to the event. And it was like a pretty small event, like it wasn't like huge or anything, but we were like selling bottles as well as like promoting the brand. And I think it was like under 100 bottles within like a three hour time period, so like it was fine. But I was like, no problem. I used to be a teacher, so totally fine. Like they...
were like so like, oh my god, I'm so sorry. Like, you know, like they were having a hard time because they were trying to sell the bottles. They were trying to sell, like talk to clients, whatever, like, cause they had their clients there as well. So I was like, no problem. I literally like gave them a job as well as like being able to take orders, also sell, as well as engraving. Plus that is like- I was like, that is above and beyond. I'm gonna sell myself.
Yeah, I was gonna say that's really like expert level. I'm gonna call myself an expert here. That's like expert level multitasking. That is like client and business and child management. Yeah, I was literally, I was giving them jobs. I was like, okay, you can brush the dust off, but you have to brush it in this direction. So it wasn't going towards them. I was like, and you can wipe it. And you can like, literally there was two feet of space between like where I was with the models and like the table that they would put it on. So I was like, okay, you can like literally.
Every single time the bottle is done, people like go to their pickup station over here, you know? And it was like, great. And they were like, oh, my God, I'm so sorry. I'm like, no, this is literally so fun because like, I'm totally able to keep calm during the situation, not get annoyed, as well as like manage the situation. And yes, that comes from teaching and managing 25, seven year olds in a classroom. Not everyone's going to have.
that level of management. And that's not something that a client would expect you to do. You just did that out of the kindness of your heart. And they did it. But I feel like it was just a good example of you do have to be able to multitask. So remove the child part of it. And it's like, you do need to be able to manage taking orders, getting your engraving done.
Maybe even doing some sales in the process. Maybe helping people find their items if it's not something they take immediately, if it's something you're doing. Yeah. And I think multitasking, if you're someone, it works great for my ADHD. But for some people, it's more rude. It might frazzle some other people that just want to focus on their art, for example. If you are someone that very hyper-focused, love that for you.
Um, but certain events that could be a very big challenge. Yeah. Sometimes it's not possible to do like high level, amazing, excellent Spencerian work, you know, like it's not a good fit for some events. So yeah, not a good fit. Exactly. Okay. Well, I mean, those are the, all the things that I have on our list. Um, unless I am missing something. Yeah.
Okay, one more thing that I was, that I missed on our list was being inclusive of others. And again, this is, but, you know, holidays are coming up, not assuming that everyone wants Merry Christmas on their products. Like when you're offering something saying like happy holidays or whatever holiday you celebrate things like that, or just like not assuming someone has like a certain, like
type of partner, like saying like, Hey, do you have a partner that you can get this to instead of like, if you see a woman come up, say, Oh, you have a husband you can give this to trying to be more inclusive of that. That was something that I just kind of wanted to like add in that I think is really important because that can also be like a huge part of the client experience. Like if someone is like, if there's a woman who's married to another woman and you just say, Oh, would you like to bottle buy this bottle for your husband? Like that's going to turn them off.
Um, that's not going to get you like a good client experience either. Um, on top of like, it just makes you a kind human because you're acknowledging like everyone has different lived experiences. So that was kind of what I wanted to add in. That's a good ad. Yeah. Thank you. Um, so yeah, I feel like that pretty much like wraps it up in terms of like all the things that, uh,
y'all would need in order to become an event artist. If we miss anything and you still have questions, write them down, DM them to us. Our Instagram is keeping up with the colleagues, C-A-L-L-I-G-S. And yeah, we are so excited to keep bringing you more content. We are not planned enough to let you know what the next episode will be about. We are not.
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