A Successful Weekend

I'm learning some things. First off, when lots of exciting career stuff happens, I shy away from talking about it. Why this is, I'm not sure. I'd like to move away from that.

But I'm learning other things too.

[Like, for instance, to remember to bring a camera to art shows. Then, when I debate over writing about the art show, I have any sort of visual image to bring to the blog post instead of a long, boring page of words. Alas.]

It's funny to me how different people measure success, or rather what they think success must mean to me. Not that non-artists should automatically understand the life of an artist. I realize this.

Take sales. I was asked a number of times this weekend if I "made any sales." I've realized, having done this a few times now, that "sales" are a vague concept that's impossible to measure in one night. If someone walks into the gallery and loves my art and takes a card and follows my website for a year and then buys a painting on Etsy, does that mean that I made a sale at that particular show? What if they buy something next week? Their interest alone means so much to me. There was a lot of interest.

[Comments about it being a "small" gallery. Was it? Every gallery at the art walk was that size. Your expectations being absurd are not my problem. Thanks for the support, by the way.]

Also, and this is important, sometimes it's good to just show your artwork to people. I made this. Look at it. Do you like it? Either way, it's done, and I made it, and here it is. Claiming my own ideas, maybe. Or perhaps it's just an act of showing confidence, and being bold with my life. I've said that I don't want to be bashful in my 30s. We are a go.

One of the things I valued most this past Saturday night at the Santiago Art Walk was getting to speak with other artists. Live and in person. Amazing. I made some contacts that night that I'm pretty excited about. I stood, next to my art, with other artists standing next to theirs, and all of us were participating to show the rest of Orange County that even if you might not be looking for it, culture and art exists amongst the beautifully paved streets, beige houses, shopping malls, and mega-churches. We are here. Hi.

That was an important lesson for me. Maybe one of the reasons I hate Orange County so much is because I, myself, don't look for elements of value in it. I am the problem. If I don't work to create any, then it certainly doesn't exist for me. Not only that, but there are others working to create some too.

It was a very successful evening. And that was just Saturday.

On Sunday, I carried my ambition forward and drove up to LA to another awesome gallery space that I'm considering as well. Between all this and the show we're planning on our own, I feel like my goals for the year might suddenly be on track.

How can I measure that?


Carmen said...

Congrats on an awesome weekend!!! Way to go you!

shayla said...

Thanks so much for your encouragement! It's gonna be a great year. :o) ::positive vibes::

Jessica Doyle said...

Sometimes it's not about making sales immediately as art tends not be an impulse buy but something people ponder and thinking about before taking the plunge into purchasing a larger piece.

i find people like to build relationships with artists even the silent kind where they are just a reader but not a commentor and when you least expect it they do indeed buy from you.

Artwork needs to be received before it can even be bought. I think just the act of showing your work and having it received by an audience who was receptive to it in a positive way was a success in and of itself.

love you! xo

shayla said...

Exactly! Yes. Especially when I'm only showing larger pieces.

I've had people see my art in a gallery and then buy something a year later, saying they've been "eyeing" my work since they first saw it. I never knew.

I guess I just find it an awkward question when people ask because I can't very well explain all this, so instead I have to endure their sad, frowning faces, which are unwarranted.

(Plus, I've sold over 100 original paintings in 3 years... I mean, hellooo people. It's cool.)

Thanks for your comment. :o)

love! <3