a sign

I don't mind telling you that I played that game called 'gimme a sign' last week and today I got my sign. For those of you unaware of being quasi superstitious, slightly prone to magical thinking, and constantly bordering on desperation, gimmi a sign is when you look up to the godless sky and say to what you think is perhaps your own perfect self floating peacefully up in the cosmos living life without all the mortal crap you the human self endures, you yell GIMMI A SIGN because you feel stuck and ready to throw in the towel.

Gimmi a sign is a last resort. It's childish and used only sparingly. I use it when completely at my wits end. Last week, that new piece (posted 2 posts below) I finished? I was rushing around taking photos of it and banged the shit out of it and broke off the cold weld. All my hard work down the drain. I was glad it happened in my hands and not a buyers, and chances are it would have never broken unless another moron was banging it against blunt objects, but it hit ME that I just have to learn how to heat weld and I have to expand if I want to keep growing as an artist. I can't expand if I'm not making money. Thankfully I was able to get someone to weld it for me at the last minute (I was in a rush hoping the gallery might take it for their summer show) and I didn't want to have to try and cold weld it again with longer drying epoxy, just too hard to hold and set four sides for 12 hours each.

However, the gallery doesn't want that piece for their big annual summer show because the photo is too similar to another piece they have. So they had the piece above (which I just learned sold and is now my sign answered) and one other. I have nothing else to give them so I will only have one piece in there. Happy to have it. Happy to have sold but wishing I had something new to give them. The high of finishing a piece and low of breaking it sent me into this frantic rage about feeling destitute and stuck financially and artistically.

What was I yelling I wanted a sign for? That if I didn't sell some art soon I was done. (I told you, I'm childish). I look at jobs every day and still don't feel I can handle standing or sitting all day somewhere physically or mentally. No one answers my replies to simple garden work and no one replies to my craigslist posts for weed pulling or garden work. No taxi driving. I wasn't lying when I said I haven't made a dime in months. I just needed to sell something and I did. It buys me another month of living. It keeps the energy moving.

I have often heard that it is useful in the long run for an artist to be 'limited' in their tools, materials etc. For as much as it feels like an impediment it can be what makes you stronger because you are forced to work harder, forced to learn ways around things and through things that you otherwise might not ever do. I think I've had plenty of that and I know it has been a good thing but man o man I feel like I've explored my primitive ways about as much as I can. I feel like a kid who cannot wait to grow up and drive or do this or that. Remember that feeling? When you couldn't stand being a kid and being left out of so many things you wanted to do? Thats how I feel right now. I want! I want! I want! I guess thats good, if I didn't want I would probably be a passionless artist. If I didn't want it would mean I had nothing new I wanted to do or experience.

So today I can feel thankful and glad for a gallery sale. Today I will try to shut my brain up about needing to make more, do more, learn more have more more more more. I'll continue staying away from my studio as I don't really feel like working on art. I do but I don't. I want to make what I want to make but my head tells me 'you know the gallery wont show this' and you wont make money on this so why bother. I'll let my bratty child have another day or week ruling me because I'm tired of hearing it whine. I'm going to visit tod's mom and boyfriend in MA with tod for a few days and get away from it all. Maybe I will find some inspiration in a different setting, walk in new places and feel eager to come back and work!


Angela Recada said...

That's terrific news about the sale! Definitely a good sign. It's no wonder you were feeling bad before - and that really sucks that your other piece broke.

I hope you and Tod have a good trip.

Karen said...

I know just how you feel.
Ups and Downs.
here then there.
Congrats on the sale.
May many more follow.

Rob said...

If you want to change out any of the work in our gallery, feel free to come by for it. Probably have better luck in Stowe. The new piece looks great. Happy to have it if you're not putting it anywhere else.

JAXTER said...

Yay for the sign! I am not really certain why asking and looking for signs is childish. We all need a little push, hand up, encouragement, or whatever and if it comes as a sign, so be it. I frequently look for signs. Congrats on the sale, that is excellent!!

San said...

Paula, I think sales are the best signs of all. Congratulations!

And yes, being in new places can inspire. May you come back replenished. Happy Independence Day.

Kim Hambric said...

Congratulations on the sale! Yell for more signs and see what happens.

WolfeWoman said...

Congrats on the sale and the audacity to play gimmi a sign. It is completely childish, and I always play! Who could be in the arts without it??? The childishness and the audacity, both!

self taught artist said...

thanks you guys! its nice to have people be happy for a sale :)