tell me something good

I'm beginning to think that it is RELATIONSHIPS that is the key to just about everything. It is who you know, who knows you and how you treat each other that determines what the ride in your life is going to be like, and yes your relationship with yourself, but for all intent purposes this is about others. Perhaps this is obvious to you already, perhaps I have known this but never truly acknowledged it or was conscious enough to feel it. But I get it now. Or at least I am getting it.

Realizing that I could drive a cab until the cows come home and I would still not have enough money to get back into a full time art lifestyle in the next decade, I am trying to focus on how else I can get leverage. It comes down to people. And it makes sense. It is you guys after all that have been my support group as an artist, rarely if ever a customer (although you blogger people who have bought work have been wonderful). I get great feedback, comments, emails, and the occasional snail mail surprise gifts that all touch me deeply and encourage me to keep on keeping on.

The question then is, can I be doing anything else to make myself open and available for something to happen? I recently drove what I would call a proliferate NY writer, and after a brief spiel about me being an artist I listened to her. She mentioned she had a close friend with a gallery in Chelsea who also had one in upstate NY that was more successful than the city gallery. I squeezed in a moment of asking if it were okay I handed her one of my postcards and she gladly took it and then no more talk of art. I've learned by now that chance encounters are a great way for things to happen, but not to pin any hopes onto them. I also know it could take 100's of chance meetings with people before anyone really bothers. As it is, that I'm aware of no one has bothered looking at my website due to being a passenger in my car. Or perhaps they have but weren't interested. At any rate, there has to be something else I can be doing to connect with people yes? It is word of mouth that is going to get my work in a gallery outside of Vermont, or shown/sold to collectors. This I am sure of.

To some I might seem impatient. Maybe I am. Maybe I have high expectations for what I want, or at least think is possible. All I know is the longer I take this break from art the farther it feels from me. That could all just be a story I am telling myself. Who knows, maybe I wont make art for a few years on any regular basis and maybe when I do again it will supersede anything I could have made had I been faithful with it. I am tired of being tired from working (driving) constantly. Tired of making peanuts. Missing the joy of making and selling art. Grateful I at least work with a great boss, and for the most part have enjoyable passengers. It could be worse. I could have wrapped myself around a pole the other night when I hit black ice and no one was around. My fish tails ended peacefully. I could have killed that deer last night that ran right in front of my van and could have injured my passenger, myself or the van. I did in fact have an accident of sorts the other night during a storm, luckily just a back panel bumper came loose. It was either that or hit the stupid car in front of me who was horizontal trying to back down the mountain road. It is all stress that I would rather not have to deal with. Today I have had most of the day to myself: my back aches, I'm drained, and the thought of working on art appeals to me about as much as vomit. I have the energy of a discarded energizer bunny. Yet my brain wont stop thinking that there has got to be a way to get some leverage in my life. Anyone wanna share how they have gotten leverage through relationships?


JAXTER said...

I can't at this point say I have leverage through relationships... but I have had opportunities, which while they haven't led me to being the wildly successful artist of my dreams have certainly provided me with the energy to keep on keepin' on. It is tough and you are right, it is not what you know, it is who you know and if you are a networker you will go places. You keep doing what feels right and you will end up where you want to be.

sarala said...

I totally agree about the relationships. Ultimately the most useful relationship is nepotism--I got my first job as a high school kid through my dad. What I see in people I work with is that unless they know someone it is very hard to get a job for them.
Keep up the networking! Too bad knowing a Chicago shrink isn't helpful!

Karen Jacobs said...

Quite honestly, I can't see many relationships happening for you in such a small, remote community. You are maximizing your chances with the taxi customers and that's good but it's going to take a big bunch of rides before you can expect anything to happen no matter how great an artist you are. I'm reminded of when I did art festivals and we had some kind of formula for how many people had to walk by before they would stop and look; and how many had to stop and look before they would buy anything. And then how many cheap unframed bin pieces sold before a large painting was purchased! My career as a gallery artist didn't get off the ground until we moved to the New Orleans area and then it took time to build the kind of relationships that got me into a decent gallery. At least that was my experience... not written in stone.

self taught artist said...

at least i'm on the right thought track. that'll get me through another weekend. thx you guys.

Lisa said...

I agree - it's about relationships. I've found this to be true with just about all aspects of my life - not just art.

And this: "and yes your relationship with yourself" I believe to be the key. My relationship with myself directly impacts the types of relationships I have with others and as a result the experiences I have.