The talented Sneaky Raccoon is celebrating a 5 year anniversary on Friday the 28th with a show at the KidRobot store in Covent Garden.

The show features a custom toy show from character design favorites Tado, Loulou and Tummie, Waste, Lunartik plus many more.

As well as the incredible artist line up for the show- there will be live t-shirt printing, a ‘Spooky raffle’, cupcakes and live drawing.

Not only does the show sound promising, they’re also donating a percentage of money raised to Macmillan Cancer support.

We caught up with Sneaky Raccoon herself - Anna Mullin - on the trials and tribulations of organizing such an elaborate show.

DA. Have you had many organizational nightmares or hiccups organizing your show? 

AM. I'd like to say that there have been some organizational hiccups so far to make this an interesting answer – but at this point it's been fairly easy. I make a lot of lists for various things that I need to do, buy, organize, allow time for or build. I think if there are going to be any hiccups, it will be on the week of the show – just when it's all going swimmingly! In my experience, it's always things like artwork disappearing in the post or being damaged in transit, or finding out there are new obstacles that take more time than you had hoped they would.

Another thing would be health and safety issues – and getting around them creatively and safely of course. Oh, and perhaps soon I will actually have time to make some of my own work for the show! 

DA. Any advice for people organizing their own exhibition?

AM. Planning is key. There is so much to do but it's all in the planning. Make lists and keep to your budget. Start working out what you need to do and by when – keep a show schedule. Stick to your idea for the show and don't get off that track. If you decide on a colour scheme – stick to it. If you have a theme – stick to it and so forth. If you want a certain type of work for the show, spend time researching your artists and decide on those who you believe will bring the most to your event. Managing many artists in one show is a task in itself and it's important to keep them updated and informed about the shows progress. This also applies to advertising your show, talking to the press or getting your show flyers or online advertising in all the right places that will attract the audience you want. If you've allowed yourself enough time then you'll not become over stressed and you'll be able to manage any little hiccups along the way. I know it's obvious – but don't try to be a super hero. If you need some help, ask friends and family who will be able to help you. 

Patience is also important. Sometimes artists on your roster are so busy that they don't always answer or reply to your emails or calls. I keep track of everyone involved using a spreadsheet (yes it's the only time I really use one) but it really helps give me an overview of who has done what or who needs to do something. Enjoy the process and keep it simple – try to do too much and it might just fall down around your feet if you've not planned it right. 


DA. Who's involved with this, and how did you get such a fantastic line up?

AM. I am the sole organiser of this event – it is my anniversary after all! So I'm the person who has to sort everything out and make sure that the event runs as smoothly as possible. This time I have been so fortunate to be given my clients store in a great central position near Covent Garden – so not having to search for an appropriate venue for the show was a great start. They were also very generous in not taking any commission from sales as they felt that money should go to the charity. The guys and girls at the store have been brilliant and so good about me popping by the store and measuring everything, calling them and emailing them about all matter of things for the show. Without their help it would be much harder. 

As for the line-up – I am very lucky to know so many creative people in a network that is ever-growing and all of which I have immediate access to. For my show I want to celebrate the friends who originally gave me a chance and an opportunity to show my work in their events, and in turn I am reflecting their kindness in opening the door and giving that same opportunity to new faces and future friends. I originally sent out an invite with the idea for the show and all the information that the artist would need to decide whether they wanted to partake and also what was being asked of them. The response was amazing and they have all been so generous with their time both in making the artwork on a tight turnaround of six weeks, as well as their efforts in advertising, blogging and constant display of excitement and enthusiasm towards making this show a great success.

We hope to raise a decent sum of money for charity and hope that if visitors and collectors can't attend the opening on Friday evening, they will come down over the weekend or on Halloween Monday. The toys will make an appearance in the online store that has been set up to enable others outside of London and the UK the opportunity to buy artwork.

There used to be a great toy scene here in London about 5 years ago but it's now very quiet which is a shame because the new wave of artists are not able to celebrate this art form as freely as they used to – but I hope that in holding events such as this one we are able to rekindle it's light a little bit at a time.

DA. Why did you choose Macmillan for your charity?

AM. For many reasons really, but mainly because it is such an awful disease to which I've lost many dear friends and family. Recently, I was approached by a registered Macmillan volunteer who explained to me that although giving money to fund research into cancer is both worthwhile and very important in the quest for a cure – it doesn't necessarily provide immediate and much-needed help to those who are currently suffering or need care at home. Giving such a small donation to the charity would enable a Macmillan nurse to devote that care to a patient who really needed their help and support. In the past I have fund raised for many different charities through organizing sponsored events, small musical concerts, bake sales, 24–hour sponsored events and art shows. For me personally, it's something that I love doing because it's fun for everyone who gets involved but most of all it raises awareness about a charities endeavor to provide quality care for conditions that at some point affect us all whether it's our own experience or loved ones.

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