Last Few Weeks
I remain in expectation of a full-time dayjob offer. It was supposed to come just this past week but I assume things have gotten hectic for everybody. It could come in next week instead. And then I have to make the decision and take the steps.
Meanwhile, a dayjob project fiasco (not of my making) has extended the current work until the last week of the year so I won’t be getting paid until then, and I also won’t be getting any proper holiday break until the new year.
On a bright note, the art mart turned out well. I broke even on the first day of three — an unusual feat for me. On the second day I sold an original to someone who was so enchanted by the piece she couldn’t bear to go home without it. It was one of my personal favourites and there was a bit of a tug when I let it go.
Today is the last day and it’s been raining since last night so I am not sure how the turnout will be as the weather forecast predicts rain the whole day.
I gained new artist friends and old artist friends dropped by. My heart is warmed and my spirit restored.
An important thing I also learned — because for this art mart I did not really have time to “business-think” it — is that letting my heart take the lead isn’t such a bad thing. By this I mean not letting my marketing/strategist self go overdrive into the typical approaches to selling. That often comes from a perspective of competition, which is not how I want to go with my art at all. My priority is to connect — to the buyers, my fellow artists — and to inspire. And by connection I do not mean a strategically deviously crafted form of presentation and message designed to glamour. I mean authenticity. I mean raw reactions. And to elicit those means to just put my best selves forward without contriving or playacting.
For the first time I sold quite a few originals - one big piece and a number of small ones. All to strangers who have either just stumbled upon me there at the art mart of have been following me on social media. All the pieces sold were my “true” pieces, which are pieces I made by following the story trail of the Wildforest. Because I still have my “rational” pieces mixed up in the lot — those I made with the intention of trying to appeal to more people in order to sell. The thing is, the supposedly “sellable” pieces — made simple and very low-priced — were also made out of fear and doubt that the true pieces won’t sell or be able to make a connection strong enough to sell themselves. Hence I tried to appeal to the simpler instincts of “hey, that’s nice, I want some”, instead of “that really speaks to me and makes me happy, I want to keep it and see it everyday.”
The person who bought the big painting yesterday told me, “I feel that you have given a chunk of your soul into this.” And she is quite right. But the soul replenishes and grows deeper, and I have more of it to make true magical artworks.
Making a profit is good but I don’t think I will compromise my creative vision and authenticity for its sake. There are people who will see and who will support my creative integrity and I just have to be patient. What I need to do instead is to continue with my magical path through the forest, to grow the fairy tale.
I also learned that the small pieces have their part as much as the big pieces. I shouldn‘t feel like I’m not progressing much just because I feel “stuck” making small pieces for lack of time and energy. Every piece will find its home eventually.
The piece I sold is titled “Always Towards Wonder”. It is perhaps also a message, and an affirmation and validation.
The sketchbook journal has to be revived (I confess I haven’t started that new journal notebook yet.) Some of my postcard sales were prints from sketchbooks. Who would have thought?
How are your year-end plans going? Remember to take a lot of breaks, and that the holidays can also be a celebration of rest and recovery as a part of self-care for all.