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