Experimenting is not only fun, but a great way to discover the reason behind certain fears.
I am hosting my very own art sale this weekend. I've never done this on my own before. I've had shows and participated in holiday sales at galleries, restaurants and interior design firms and found that shows are...well...um...difficult for me.
In the past, I have done well while preparing for shows. Creating the work is amazing. Marketing and contacting media, I actually find quite fun. Packing up and hanging is also highly satisfying for me. And then comes the day of the show.
I'm usually a ball of nerves by mid-morning. Anxiety builds throughout the day sending me into fits of tears and panic. Then the show happens, and it all goes fine. The world does not end (although I usually can't move for about three to four days afterwards).
The experience of setting up my house for a private locals' art sale is a new one for me, but the fact is, that last year most of my holiday sales were from people calling me up and simply coming to my home studio to pick paintings out. So I figured, why not take the process in house.
It has been a JOY! Sure, I put on the show day tiara today because no matter what, it is just such a great confidence booster. But I didn't really need it the way I have in the past, and I know why. It's because everything is up to me and my responsibility.
Don't get me wrong, I have had and continue to have amazing experiences doing shows with other people and businesses. However, I am a little bit of a control freak, so there is always a bit of anxiety when it comes to worrying about if others are doing what [I think] they should be doing. I, of course, know that this is my own neuroses and I think I'm pretty graceful about trusting that others are, indeed, capable human beings.
The other part is the only person that I can let down is myself. Have I ever let down any other business owner before? No, I'm pretty on top of my stuff. But I do have (and have always had) a people pleasing habit and so I feel pressure when there is someone else involved in the process who I want to like me and my work. (These people also make me tent to blurt out words at inappropriate times a bit louder than they should be, and sometime act like I've drank too much coffee, but I digress.)
This show is all me. I can't write long because I still have a million things to do. I just wanted to share that if it weren't for trying things in different ways, I wouldn't know that an extra layer of anxiety is created for me by working with other professionals, many of whom I respect and look up to. Will that discovery stop me from working with them in the future? Not likely. They are great opportunities and I learn a lot.
Because I decided to experiment with this show, I now know what is going to make me nervous in those other situations and I truly believe that the more we know about our own fears, the more we understand ourselves. That understanding creates compassion for ourselves and compassion will turn a fearful situation into one that can be handled with confidence.
And I'm off. Here are some pictures of my house turned gallery for my Locals' Holiday Art Sale. Still a little more to do and people begin to arrive in 2 hours! Wish me luck!
Tiara time means it's show day!!!!
Notecard and Whaler Hat display with some little 8" Reclaimed Heart Paintings.
The photo at top is my flock of Reclaimed Heart Paintings inspired by my essay, I Was a Promiscuous Teen: An Open Letter to All the Men from My Past.
I am an artist and writer, living in Talent, Oregon with my husband and daughter. I play in the ocean to stay strong and inspired, and I often visit my hometown of New Orleans, where the rhythm of my heartbeat is renewed. Follow me on Facebook and Instagram. Join me on this crazy beautiful Artventure to receive early access to my December Pop Up Shop, where I'll be offering some paintings from my Reclaimed Hearts series, one of which is seen at top.