Oh, Alberto, we have so much in common! And not just the hair~
I cannot believe THIS quote came up today in my random pile.
Over on the SAQA list there is another 'disagreement' going on about what started as confidence. Someone asked how you get it in enough abundance to enter bigger shows. My answer was simply to work away and get validation from friends and peers and enter smaller shows. The strokes from local people seeing your work will boost you on to try more, work harder, find a 'medium' show to enter and hopefully get accepted. Maybe get a third prize or $25 or something, most certainly get more strokes. After much time investing yourself in these lesser shows ('lesser' meaning smaller more local things, not unworthy, and certainly a way to dip your toes into exhibiting) you'll be ready for the next-to-top tier. So you do that, perhaps travel to the opening to meet other artists. And there you get more validation and your confidence grows, perhaps enough to Visions or Art Quilt Elements or Quilt National. Then you will be rejected from a show that you though you had in your pocket and despair will overtake you and your confidence gets chipped. The thing is that this means nothing: perhaps your work wasn't ready for a bigger juried show, perhaps it is but the color/subject/execution was off a bit or the jury went with all abstract pieces, or whatever. Keep at it. Take a step back and enter that rejected piece in one of the shows you've had success in. Get a critique on your work, make more- lots more. Work your way through any self doubts, stretch- try something new, take a class, go to a workshop in something besides quilts, learn to draw, get yourself fired up to enter more things in more shows.
The 'thing' is that there are good shows for all different kinds of work. Do some research as to what works in different types of shows and then submit the things you feel best fit the types of work they accept. Stop entering two or three day shows, go for the long haul where the audience is varied and eclectic, not just more quilt artists- you've outgrown that. Let your confidence guide you, you'll have it by now when all the time you thought you were working on your art!
But back to the SAQA 'discussion'. Somehow this all turned around to marketing and selling yourself and gallery representation which is a far cry from the original question and led to a somewhat elitist dissing of those of us who choose to do work for work's sake rather than making a living. Frankly I don't give a fig about someone who makes a living off their art, I'm all for it, but I have chosen not to worry about it. When I was working full time the last thing I wanted to do when I came home at night was to work on art, I was tired and unable to concentrate enough to get much done of any worth. When something sold I was thrilled, but it did it on it's own, usually out of a show. I put the work out there, somebody else can do with it as they please. If I worked full time at my art, if I sold every piece, I wouldn't have enough to pay the mortgage and my work would frankly suck because I would have to work towards the last thing that sold- in short find a formula and do it over and over. And over. I choose to instead spend my energy on exploring as many avenues as I can with my art, watching it change and develop. (AND pile up so my kids can worry about it and probably send it to the spca for dog beds!) I*DON'T*CARE. (call me now if you want something or can't bare to see it all go to Goodwill someday...)
For a decade or so I was caught up in traveling and teaching. My work suffered from the time it took to prepare, pack, travel, eat questionable food, teach, live in a motel room and eat Pringles, teach again, lecture, and reverse process ending with reabsorbing all the materials back into the studio and catching up on family activity, mail, and other obligations when I returned home. I'd get a good check but when I figured out my time and expenses, that check would be pretty small to compensate the five or more days away. I still loved the teaching part! I loved seeing someone 'get it' or make a breakthrough, or realize their nasty mother was no longer there to criticize. Those were the good moments to savor, the ones I miss.
I truly believe that everyone has their own path. When they need direction there are many resources open to acquire advice. But advice is something that needs a lot of salt- your destiny may not be somebody else's so you can tell them what YOU do, but you can't then judge when they don't see things the same way or only want half your advice.
TY is constantly trying to get me to do more marketing, to promote my work, to arrange a talk to a group here in Florida, to have an annual open studio. I simply am not interested. It's more important to me to just find time to get to the studio and have undisturbed hours to fiddle, on stuff like this.
sunprints, ink jet prints, polka dots, serial killers and victims.
interwoven quilt remnants on a quilt top backing, raw edge and big stitches.
Hmmm. Perhaps I would have more time if I would stop chasing squirrels- all of these things are available over on Etsy- do a search and you'll find whatever you want
squirrel-wise. Some of these things are just so cool and I want them now, other, like the squirrel wedding cake toppers,...ummm, well, they may have a place somewhere, not in any wedding I have anything to do with. A sampling of squirrel stuff:
A tee-shirt for the ADHD victim, probably most of us!
A tiny jewelry roll or sewing kit with squirrel fabric
A pile of squirrel beads for your jewelry enjoyment
For this I have ignored the stuffed squirrel vignettes but I do know I grabbed an occasional taxidermy image. I apologize now for this indiscretion.