Before I start rambling about my final piece, I’d like to tell you a scary tale….
It was an oddly sunny Saturday morning, considering British weather. But the sunshine was no cause for celebration. I didn’t know it yet, but this was going to be a very stressful day. I was happily posting the weekend newspapers through letterboxes, when my mind drifted to the looming moderation date for all of this years art coursework and exam work. Up until that day, everything had fallen into place quite nicely; I managed to get my sketchbook completed. Kind of. I got all of my exam piece finished. All of my test pieces, doodles, research and planing. My animation. Everything was running smooth. More than, in fact. I had proved to myself that I could get the work done, and that I hadn’t wasted my time studying art. In the 4 weeks prior, I had learned more about art, and myself than I ever expected. There was a tremendous amount of comfort and reassurance in realisation.
I was blissfully ignorant of the fact that one piece of the puzzle was missing.
Hang on. Photobook. That’s it.All I need to do is have a final check through, and send it off to print. It’ll arrive in a couple of days. Problem solved. Arriving home, I booted up the computer, patiently waiting for everything to load up as a gentle whirring and humming came from the computer, under the desk, as normal. I decided to double check Blurb’s shipping and printing FAQ’s and information. The whirring and humming was not so gentle now. Everything around me started to spiral.
“Note: Please allow approximately 6 business days to print your book prior to shipping.”
It was the 18th of June. Moderation was taking place on the 27th. Considering shipping times of 1-3 business days at a minimum, it was now an impossible situation. I scurried round help forums and contacted customer support (who cleverly avoid letting you phone them – a contact number is nowhere to be found). I felt sick. Even with the express delivery, there was just no way that my book would make it in time. I sent an email to customer support, asking if there was any chance at all of knowing whether it was possible to receive my book on time. Unsurprisingly, I was told that printing is done by a third party, and that there is no way for individual orders to be bumped up the queue, even if it is just one book. One thing that was surprising was the incredibly friendly and human response that I got from my query. In a last-ditch effort, I went ahead and ordered my book, and this was before receiving any answers from customer support. There was a hope that it might arrive by the morning of the 27th, but it was still a long shot.
I’d blown it. The best part of a year’s work would not count for anything, after all. Because I’d convinced myself the moderation date was a long way away, that I still had room for maneuver. My procrastination tendencies had got the better of me, with what looked like devastating effects to follow. The best part was, no-one was at home to help me. I was just staring at the screen, screaming on the inside.
By the evening, I had a back-and-forth email conversation with a member of customer support, and my parents had calmed me down, just about. I was told that if I emailed back the following Thursday, I could get a status report on my book. Good news.
Thursday arrived, and I started up the whirring and humming again, ready to send an email. For a brief moment I was reminded that I was not out of the mud yet. A phone call, from school. Panic had spread to my teachers. They desperately needed my personal statement (which was contained in the photobook). On top of that, I needed to get 3 of my photos printed to use as a final display of my coursework. Great.
Luckily the prints wouldn’t be a problem. They’d just arrive at school on the Monday morning. Cutting it fine.
Phone call over, I went back to send an email back to customer support, and to my surprise, an automated email was already waiting for me in my inbox. A smirk made its way across my face. I clicked. The smirk changed to a smile. My book had not only been printed, but it was in the final stage of shipping, from the nearest UPS depot. It would be with me by the end of the day. I couldn’t believe it, or contain it. I rang my teacher straight back to let them know.
It took less than 4 working days to receive my book. I could take it into school before the weekend.
Moderation day came, books, prints, paintings all present.
This tale ends with a ” happily ever after”, and lessons learned.
A massive thank-you goes out to everyone that kept me sane, Blurb for awesome service from the start of making my book to it arriving on my doorstep – and the amazing quality of the finished product. Exceeded my expectations. Thank-you also to Fabio Art for the amazing print job, and dealing with my order with such late notice. I didn’t go for an acrylic print, but they look incredible if you ever want / need something printing! Definitely check them out. Thank-you to all of my teachers for an overwhelming amount of patience and understanding. And finally, thankyou to my family and my parents for helping me through all of this year – as well as with the book.
Next up, FINAL PIECE.
EDIT: You can check out my book, here.
Stay cool, stay tuned.
P.S. I’ve also been writing for OMM. Check out my latest post here. Let me know what you think!