Do you have any idea how hard it is for an extremely private person, to write a blog?
Why would they do it? What would their first words be? How do they continue when they think no one is reading. Even more questionable is why would they keep writing if they think someone is reading?
Perception – ever look at someone and think wow they really have it made, or they really have a lot of money or that their life is perfect?
I used to think that running a bed and breakfast would be so fun. Charles and I would often seek out B&B’s to stay at during our travels, and often talk about maybe someday we would like to open one. The whole romantic notion appealed to us, of having some quaint home that was perfectly kept and decorated with the finest of antiques and art with beautiful gardens that provided fresh cut flowers and the freshest produce. Playing house if you will, where everything is just perfect and you get paid for it. It wasn’t until after we became quite good friends with a couple that owned an inn, that the reality of how hard it really is to choose such a life smacked some sense into me and I came to my senses. Why would anyone willing choose to live in their home and have company all the time? You really have to be a people person, and be willing to share so much of yourself with perfect strangers. Then, after all that hard work and putting yourself on the line, opening your own home time and again to people you don’t know, your guests aren’t happy, or they are difficult people to deal with. No, definitely not the path I was going to choose.
13 years ago I left behind the stability of an income and started selling my artwork. Perception. I create something and people like it and they buy it. It is such a simple concept. Oh, what fun.
I’m not doing many shows this year, actually I don’t have any scheduled right now. Why? Number one reason, the economy, and for personal reasons too, that I just won’t go into right now. I used to travel around doing art shows and craft shows, street festivals and wine festivals, church bazaars, you name it and I was there. Perception. If I heard it once I heard it a thousand times – “it must be so much fun to go around selling your art at shows, what a life”. Yeah it is a real blast schlepping around all those heavy containers in the freezing cold or the roasting hot days of summer, setting up my both late at night or very early in the morning, after I have been traveling for hours, getting only a handful – (if I am lucky) hours of sleep in some stinky motel. Just so I can get up the next morning and put on my happy face and greet people, play hostess if you will. Because that is what it is. I have people in my booth (my space, not my home, but still it is my space) looking at what I create and they want a little piece of me. The story of the art, why I made it, where my inspiration came from and so on. (Oh and did I mention that I wasn’t the only one involved here, I must not forget to mention the spouse that wants to be supportive, and is schlepping the heaviest of all the containers when he should be running his own business?) Here I am running a B&B, who’d a thunk after I had come to my senses, and I just knew what was and wasn’t going to work for me, I’m doing what I said I wouldn’t do. Okay, I’m not really running a B&B. It doesn’t end there, it is like moving constantly, the packing and the unpacking and having company all the time, all rolled into one. It isn’t just having company in my “home” it is really and truly putting myself on the line. This is all that I am at my most vulnerable point. Everything that I make, I design, I come up with from my head and my heart these are my original and deep personal thoughts put into a little piece of art, that I am putting out there for the world to see and yes, hopefully buy. Each and every show, no matter how many I have done, there is still all that doubt and fear of rejection that comes bubbling up, this is deep and intensely private because I am selling me. This isn’t something someone else made, this isn’t a business that someone else owns. I made this and this is my business.
I know by now some of you are asking then why, am I doing this if it is so awful?
I can remember Mom telling me many years ago, that the thing that you love about a person is often the very thing when done in extreme is the thing that will drive you nuts about them. She was right, too.
Some people thrive on a good challenge, it makes them better at what they do. I don’t think I would put myself in that category. I do realize that the art and craft industry is changing and the way people buy art is changing. Marketing your art and your business has changed, and this whole social networking thing is a world of its own. Mind boggling and then the art of incorporating a blog into the scheme of things, not to mention Facebook, and Twitter, oh my.
Years ago, when discussing ideas and inspirations for our art designs, my sister Holly told me, ” I didn’t have to invent the wheel, I just had to reinvent it.” Just as I must challenge myself to come up with new ideas and designs with my work, so must I challenge myself in presenting it to the public. I write this blog, I post on Facebook, I tweet on twitter. Is it too much information? Is it not enough information? Will anybody care? I know people read my blog, some are friends and family, most are people I don’t know. Rarely do people post a comment. Why is that? Why does any of this matter? Because I care. I love what I do. I love the reward of seeing someone get it – as in understanding what it is all about. And yes, I must admit I love the challenges that come with this way of life I have chosen. I wouldn’t change anything. Okay that isn’t entirely true, and those plastic tubs full of inventory really do get heavy!
“He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life.” – Muhammad Ali
Oh and by the way the second question in the free art contest is below.