“Congratulations! You are now an artist – and not by accident, but because people validated the truth – your photography is good.”
This is what an artist told me today. She was next to my booth at the pop-up store. I had looked her up and found that she was a “real artist”. Her resume for shows is long. Her list of followers is long. Her stuff is amazing.
“Is this your first time selling anything?”
I confirmed it was my first time selling at a shop / fair / bizarre type situation. I explained I have been in four shows before but nothing had ever sold.
“My mentor once told me I was not able to call myself an artist until someone bought a piece to put on their wall. And I thought – what? I make art all of the time. But he pointed out, it isn’t art until it is on the wall. Until that point, it’s just exploration.”
As I wrote yesterday, I was both optimistic and scared to shit about the fact I was putting myself out there. It is one thing to have people who have known you forever say “it’s great”, but to have strangers feel compelled to the buy a piece is another thing.
Today, strangers bought my art.
Today, strangers looked at my art and loved it.
Today, an owner of a gallery looked at my photos, then handed me his card. “Come visit us – we’re booking next year’s shows. I think it would be a good fit.”
Today, I had a teenager fall in love so much with a photo that she negotiated with her dad the money to buy it.
Today, a kid wanted a photo for a gift, changed her mind, but her mom was in love with my photos and bought one anyway.
It was after several people left my table that my neighbor came over and congratulated me.
There were a few interesting situations today.
The first was as the event started. A woman who made wreaths came by to look at my photos. She then decided that my orb photos were just wrong. Why are the upside down in the orb, she asked. I explained how the orb acts as a lens and flips the image. “Well, so why don’t you flip the lens?” I asked her to clarify. “Well, these would be better if the images in the orb were not upside down, so why don’t you turn the lens around so that the image will be right-side up?” I paused because I wasn’t sure I heard it right. “Well, it’s not that easy,” I explained. “Well it should work,” she said before she walked away. G came back and found me with a dumbfounded look on my face. He asked if all was well, and I explained the conversion. He almost fell over laughing, “That’s the quote of the day – why don’t you just turn the lens around so it won’t show the image upside down!!”
Another was when a number of kids came by and loved “the bubble photos”. When I asked which one those were, they would all point to my orb photos. I liked that.
I need to consider all of the art I have out there. Do pieces go together? Do I have the same number of color vs black and white pieces? And are they the same size? A few times, someone was looking for two pieces of a certain size of a certain theme. I got insight as to what I was missing.
I need other small take-away items. I had some, but not enough. I think this is the thing artist struggle with a lot. I know they do actually. I have a few ideas for the future.
So now I reflect on how things went and update my store. One person wrote online that I need to keep doing what I was doing. They knew it was my first show – “now keep showing” was their feedback. A nice compliment.
Oh and after the show started, a winery owner came over, looked at my photos, then handed me his card. “We have shows every month. Give me a call, come out and look at our space, and let’s get you booked.”
Wow is all I have.
Here’s to ball gagging that voice in my head and manifesting things!