Believe it or not, one of the biggest puzzles I've had to solve in custom portrait work is the transportation. Pastel portraits are extremely delicate. They cannot be touched - by anything, and they have to remain flat. Otherwise, we run the risk of the actual image becoming damaged in the shipping process.
The steps I take to ensure that your portrait arrives to your door 100% safe, sound, and intact take hours of measuring, cutting and taping. I don't take any chances here!
So, what exactly goes into preparing, packing and shipping a portrait? I've documented all the steps involved in taking the proper precautions to ensure that your portrait arrives to you safe and sound!
Today we will be shipping out this 18 x 18" Boston Terrier portrait of "Bailey Ann Benson"!
The very first step (which I failed to take pictures of...) is to cut a piece of 1/4" thick foam core board to adhere the portrait to so that it remains still and flat during shipping. This foam core board only comes in massive sizes (30 x 40") and must be cut to size for each portrait.
Below you can see the portrait sitting on top of the previously measured foam core board.
The foam core board will always be about 1" wider than the portrait all the way around, so that I can tape the edges of the portrait down (see photo below) and to attach my "spacers" to, which we'll get into later. I cut two pieces of the foam core board, both the same size.
I use small strips of masking tape - strong enough to keep the portrait in place, but easily removed without damaging the portrait. This step ensures that the portrait will not get jostled around inside the package, and also prevents the edges from curling up (like in the first photo).
First I take very accurate measurements of the exact portrait size, and then mark guidelines on the glassine before making any cuts. A razor blade makes for cleaner edges than scissors in this case.
Next, I carefully lay the glassine over the portrait. Once it is lines up just right, I tape down the edges so that there is no movement over the portrait.
To further ensure that the portrait's surface remains completely untouched during the shipping process, I create a space buffer between the portrait and the top foam core board using "spacers".
Below, the portrait is completely "framed" in the spacers. Now, when the top piece of foam clare board is laid on top, it will sit on the spacers instead of the portrait. The gap these spacers create is crucial to the integrity of the portrait.
Below, you can see how the spacers allow the portrait to "float" in the shipper with nothing touching the surface, even when the top foam core board is attached. Pretty cool, right? I call this my "portrait sandwich."
To keep my "portrait sandwich" together, I use a single piece of masking tape per side. Don't worry, I have more packing material than this. ;)
And here are my two sheets (one for each side), cut to the exact length and width of my foam care board. These are attached to the sides of my sandwich with a (semi) opaque packing tape.
Just needs a shipping label now... And voi-la! This portrait is ready to be shipped! As you can see, all my pet portraits are packaged with the same love and care that went into the design and execution of your custom portrait to ensure that they arrive to you as beautiful as they are before they leave my studio!
I eat, sleep, and breathe art. I'm fond of horses and put ketchup on everything. =]