In Maine the weather's raw, the snow is bright and glorious and my focus is to jump head first into (no not Sebago Lake with the other Polar Bears...) my art! There's something cozy about winter after the holidays. The house is warm with the smell of wood wafting each time the stoves are loaded. You could cozy up by the fire with your favorite drink or... spend relentless hours in front of your easel.
I usually choose the latter.
It's also a time to look at life and your current direction to see if you're staying on track. Goals have been made over time and if you're like the pack, the end of a year has us thinking about them more than usual. With it also comes the feeling of time. A whole new year ahead of us, much like a blank canvas, to be filled with something new. Endless possibilities. What will you fill your new calendar with?
Are you looking for gallery representation? Perhaps you'll peruse new opportunities for artist? A competition? Will you be taking a workshop or two? Maybe your contemplating teaching, sharing your skills? Will your focus be on marketing yourself? There's a certain excitement in knowing you have a choice to plan and choose whichever direction you want. Sure it will take a lot of motivation and hard work, but you have a whole year ahead of you! Piece of cake.
As for myself, yes I have approached a few new galleries for further representation. To be honest, it's still scary. The first time you put yourself out there to be judged can be terrifying but for those of us who've been out there awhile, it still holds a level of anxiety.
The anxiety goes both ways. You feel like you're holding your breath waiting for their response. You're trying to brace yourself for the rejection. Are you standing firmly enough or will it knock you right over? Those nagging questions circle in your head. I like to think I'm sturdy enough to have it bounce right off of me. Shake it off like it wasn't a big deal. But we all know that those rejections can be crippling.
Then there's the other side of the pending anxiety. What if they do accept me??? It will be very affirming and a wonderful boost. Complete joy! You can just imagine your creative energy escalating. Escalating until you get to that point when you doubt yourself and wonder if you can continue to create a level of quality that satisfies your new gallery? Ouch. The things we do to ourselves.
Art has to be one of the most difficult ventures. I know we can't help ourselves and the desire to create can consume us. But the reality of it is we are drawing from within. Exposing ourselves in our most naked form and the fear of being judged and then rejected is terrifying. I don't care how long you've been doing it. It's as terrifying each and every time. The better you get, the higher the bar you're reaching for. Will you grab and slip and come crashing to the floor? Or will you reach to a comforting hand that pulls you upward towards your dreams?
I've been looking at your blogs and I love your goals. It's so inspiring to read. My favorite is those of you professing to paint 30 painting in 30 days. It's a huge commitment. I think of it differently than the daily painters. I imagine normal size canvases with full fledge paintings. I don't think I could keep up that momentum. I'm pretty prolific but that would do me in. I applaud you for your gumption and drive.
Whatever your goals are, I wish you the tenacity to push on no matter how terrifying it might be and be successful in achieving them.
What are you dreaming for this year? What bar are you reaching for?