How far do you go on encouragement or interest? Does it depend on who gives it? When you get it? How often? I've noticed that the encouragement/interest thing has changed in these 3+ years I've been making art. When I first started I only knew two people in Vermont. I had just met them. Just landed here. Didn't know what I would be doing in the art scene.
I naturally went towards working on railroad tie plates that were discarded half a block away from my studio apartment. Tried to get the yocal local art association interested in my four pieces and drew a blank look from the lady running it. She let me put up a photograph in the city hall show but no plates. It fit boringly well into the usual oil paintings and photographs.
I got encouragement from the two people I knew though and kept going. It was nice that someone give me a reality check about whether this was interesting or crap. I was paying more attention to my excitement and love of it though and just kept collecting those plates.
There have been plenty of times since then that getting encouragement from people I know has kept the flame going. Plenty of times I was totally self driven and could give a hoot what anyone thought. Since the job thing has curtailed my time and energy towards making art this year I've not put as much new work out there. I only have one piece in the local gallery and three mixed media + four clocks in the other one. I wonder if the romance is dead now at the gallery I've been in for 2+ years. They used to seem so interested in what I was doing and gave me lots of feedback on what people were saying. I have to admit it did me good. Lots of good. Maybe it is my lack of having as much new work to bring in. I'm not going to the openings anymore either because no one bothers introducing me and I feel invisible, always seems like the same crowd, the same star artists with their little hives surrounding them. I've never fit in.
I have gotten feedback already from the newer gallery I am in. Lets hope so right? I mean if I put work in there and never heard anything that would suck. It's been encouraging to know that people see the work and notice it. The owner of the gallery sent us artists a link to a NY Gallery that takes online submissions from emerging artists; I was told that one of the guys on the board of said gallery came in and was interested in my work, that was very cool to hear. Last Friday I uploaded my pictures and info, hoping maybe I can slip into a tiny crack there. At this point I expect to be denied, you have to pay your dues and keep submitting over and over for years don't you? (half said sarcastically). I also expect something to happen soon. SOMETHING. The scraps of encouragement I get keep me fed. I don't have the social net that I think a lot of people have, don't have the family thing, the decades of friends, the community that knows me. I still get most of my encouragement and feedback from the few blog readers that aren't afraid to leave comments. I have some lurkers too, I count them when I'm feeling alone.
Tod remains my biggest supporter. Sometimes I think he has more faith and belief in me that I do. Yeah lately I have been talking strong, speaking with some new found strength, but that doesn't mean I'm rolling around with glee. The last few days I've hit a wall again. I get it that this is normal, it is my process. I flow and I choke. It doesn't help that we have had someone here at the house for over a month and it is starting to feel really small and tight in our space. I'm starting to think I need a new studio space where I can have privacy and space to just BE. I need a new artery, a way for the art to flow out of my studio and into the world on a more regular basis. I need to make more art too for that to happen, but I need to see it going somewhere to get me jazzed. It is a catch 22. I think it is why I've enjoyed working on the clocks so much, they are the only pieces that sell online. WHY DON'T PEOPLE BUY MY MIXED MEDIA ONLINE???? Anyhow. Them and this new furniture stuff I'm working on for tod and me to enjoy is where the oomph is. When I have it. And just as I write about something, everything changes. So there ya have it. This is today, this is now. It will all change tomorrow.