Monday, March 22, 2010

More Paintings Less Talk

"Eighty percent of success is just showing up." - Woody Allen

"Forest Series" Study
6x6 Dyptich

Thanks to my bloggie friend Dawn at Queen B Studio, after "poking" me politely asking... "Uh, Jen where are you? What's going on with your goals n stuff?"... I realized I had been gone longer from my blog than I wanted to.

What have I been up to? WelllllP. Not painting anything monumental that's for sure. You see, this year I kind of have been working in reverse... not sure that it actually is a good thing though, so kids don't try this at home! But it seems to be getting me to a good place as I will explain in a moment.

So if you have followed my last couple posts, you know I wrote out this lofty list of things that I wanted to accomplish this year. Well I have been "workin" that list to death for the past 2 months or so and PERSISTENCE is paying off.

Number 14 on my list: Enter 25 juried art fairs/shows this year... check! Done and done.
I've also crossed off a few other things too, like becoming a member of the Northwest Art Alliance, Exploring gallery representation, rewriting my bio, and I am now booked for 4 out of five that art fairs I have heard back from the juries on, so that is really exciting! That's a whole 4 more than I did last year so that's great! The more opportunity I have to be in front of the public eye, the more chance I will have to get my work in their hands! Which is the most rewarding part for me.

Being proactive, assertive, and persistent has really opened a lot of doors for me in a short time. It is quite the opposite of my old "self"... afraid, not confident, in the back ground. So I am kinda proud of myself.

All this emphasis on selling myself recently came into focus for me, after reading an article in Art Calendar Magazine (April issue)... Go out an get it just for this article. It's interesting. Page 8, "The Gift of Persistence" by Matthew Daub. GO! Get it! READ IT for crying out loud!

Before I explain the article, let me explain an interaction I had with an artist friend of mine the other day... we'll call him... BOB. (get ready for a rant in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1...)

Yeah, so Bob is a fantastic artist. He has a full time job. He has an apartment full of fresh paintings. Just. Sitting. There. Waiting to be discovered. He wants to show his work, he would love to do art full time someday, and he has a bit of the "wohs me" complex.

One day I gave him a lead for a small gallery/boutique looking for submissions. Long story short, I caught up with him one day and asked if anything became of it and here was his response, "Yeah, thanks for the lead, I emailed her and yeah, guess what? (smirk with an I told you so face) She never responded!"

My jaw dropped to the floor. THAT's IT! That's all you got? You send one email and don't get a response so, THAT's, IT...? What if she never got it? What if she was too busy? What if she liked your work, but wasn't ready to discuss opportunity?! You will never know if you are not persistent! And even if you never get through, you go knock on another door instead! And then another!

Which brings me to my point. I am a firm believer that successful artists have unstoppable drive. How badly to you want this? Really! HOW bad do you want to be successful at what you do? You shouldn't just sit idly by with a house full of wonderful art and wait for someone to discover you... go out and get 'em!

And on the other hand, he has something wonderful working for him... he persistently paints. "He shows up." So one day it WILL all pay off. It just works that way. It just may be later than sooner... and ultimately, I just wish to share my perspective with you all, so that you don't let opportunity go by. Don't wait for things to be perfect. Sometimes you have to just jump in.

To quote the article, "This sort of persistence is the artist's best friend. In the long run, it will never fail. Something good always comes of it. In the art world, where the prize often goes to the last person standing, persistence trumps talent every time."

If you have a moment, jump over to Deborah T. Colter's blog. After I read her recent post called, "Let go and Trust", I was inspired... and I realized that I really need to paint. BAD. So I am vowing that my next few blog posts will mostly be PAINTINGS, and less talk.

Rant is over. Hope you don't hate me.

Side note: The little painting above is the prelim to a gigantic 6 foot diptych I will be tackling for my next piece. Nubmer 8 on the list: Explore a series with "twigs and branches" imagery.

Please follow me on Facebook - just become a FAN already will yah?


Jesse said...

Excellent point about persistence, and following up. I seem to be in the same mold as Bob, paint a lot, but would rather stick an icepick in my ear than approach a gallery.

Lisa McShane said...

Fantastic post Jennifer.

I was in the Lucia Douglas gallery last week and saw one of your paintings - a tree w/ fall colors. Lovely and especially nice to see it in person.

Anonymous said...

Haha! I think Bob and I are from the same tree when it comes to not putting ourselves out there.

Eureka! Bob IS my uncle! Meh-heh-heh! I am so funny ;) Ok ok ok...I'll work harder Jen, I know its my own fault if I don't succeed. :) *mental note to get cracking*

Your posts are wonderfully inspirational! Keep sharing :))


becky said...

Your blog is so INSPIRING!!! I'm glad I found it... we all need a good dose of inspiration. Congrats on achieving those goals on your list & watching those doors open! I think we can all relate to "Bob..." it sounds like your "old self" could relate to him, too.
I have to give him huge Kudos though~ for having the energy to still create & have an apartment full of Art while working a full time job!! That in itself is an amazing feat! I will be checking into that Art Calendar Magazine~ thanks for the tip! I'm gonna run over to Etsy now & check out more of your work.

p.s.~ thanks also for the compliment on my photos & visiting my blog :)

Jennifer Phillips said...

Hey guys thanks for your comments... JESSE your work is wonderful!!! Don't keep it to yourself. Looks like you've done lots of juried shows and thats awesome! If u are interested we should keep in touch since we live in the same area... i constantly run into opportunity and would love to share with you if you want to enter/do more local shows! Email me or follow me on facebook! Lets keep in touch some how...

Lisa! Nice to meet you and so neat you saw my work at LDG! we have been sort of "courting" each other for a little while now... I hope to have a show next year there... YOUR work is wonderful! I am a new follower and fan! We definitely share the love of similar subject matter!

Dawn you weren't kidding when you said "mental note to get crackin"... based on your newest blog post, nice use of the crackle paste my dear! Liked your little charms you emailed me too! Aren't they fun? I will be painting hundred's of them for all my shows this summer!

Becky- good point that my Bob friend is still accomplishing so much painting with a full time job. That IS extremely hard to balance. Making time for your creativity is one of the toughest challenges for some people, including myself! Thanks for visiting my store today! I look forward to sending you your new necklace!

I will be back soon everyone. I am severely under the weather as I type this one handedly from my bed... take care and happy creating!