Aimee Lyons

for Bushwick Daily

So you set your sights on new studio or apartment space in Bushwick, but the excitement of getting a deal on new space is tempered by the realization that finding a spot was the easy part. The hard part of moving your art and supplies still lies ahead. You feel nervous and uneasy. What are you going to do?

Anyone who works with art on a regular basis knows how fragile artwork can be. Whether you have paintings, sculptures, pottery, or sketches, the fear of moving damage is the same. You can never be too careful.

You can learn more about the process of packing artwork through Simple Moving Labor, but in this article, we’re going to talk about the act of protecting your artwork —both before and after the wrapping process is complete. These tips also apply to your expensive supplies, which can’t easily be replaced.

  Be Your Own Advocate

It’s important that you aren’t afraid to speak up when it comes to the safety of your artwork. You don’t want to take any chances. That means annoying your movers with constant reminders to be careful moving your artwork in a personal vehicle, or hiring special professionals who have experience with valuable pieces. It also means learning about the moving process, researching the materials used in your artwork, and taking responsibility for the outcome. Your artwork is your life. Stand up for it.

Make up for ruffled feathers by tipping your movers well and profusely thanking them for their patience. In addition to a decent tip, I also treated my movers to a few growlers from a local brewery. Talk about a great olive branch!

 Monitor Temperature Changes

Not all pieces can be exposed to high or low temperatures for a long period of time without sustaining damage. This is why researching the material used in your artwork is essential to successful transportation. You should be aware of the temperature your artwork can handle. From there, you are responsible for keeping your pieces at a reasonable temperature. This could mean postponing your moving date until the weather changes, requesting specific blankets or heating/cooling equipment, or (again) hiring professionals with experience. Learn more about how your collection could be affected through Save Your Stuff.

 Ask Friends or Family For Assistance

If you truly want to keep your artwork protected while an entire studio or household is being moved, ask your friends and family for help. They can monitor the rest of your home while you keep track of your artwork and supplies. They can also help you load or unload, should you choose to move your pieces in a personal vehicle. The process of moving is already stressful without the added frustration of going through it alone.

I always offer a pizza and beer party to anyone who helps me move. It’s a great way to get to know the nearest pizza joint and local brews. Plus, you gotta do something nice for those people who gave up their day to help you out, right?!

 Oversee Wrapping and Packing

If you have assistance during the wrapping and packing process, don’t turn away for a moment. You don’t want to hold anyone else responsible for the damage of an important piece. Watch carefully and get involved. You can direct and oversee—or you can complete the work yourself with the help of others. The decision is entirely yours. However, keep in mind the importance of your artwork. If something gets hurt, will it end relationships? If so, you should probably do most of the actual packing and wrapping yourself.

 Use Secluded Space

If you are moving an entire household, keep your artwork in a separate room where you can control the temperature, activity, and occupants. Placing an invaluable piece in your living room, where movers and a handful of other people will constantly walk through, can be dangerous. Your artwork and supplies should be placed in a separate area altogether.

Rather than letting your move control you, take control of your move by following the tips above. You’ll find being an advocate for your artwork and supplies is easier, and more enjoyable, than you anticipated.

Featured image by Nicolas Huk via Flickr.