I just now went back to look at when my first blog post was written. It was April 1, 2008! I didn’t realize it was so long ago because that first year I barely made any posts. I didn’t know where this blog was going or what I was doing as an artist. In some ways I still feel exactly like that. But other times I can really see how far I have come.
This makes me think way back to when I first started this whole art thing- 7 or 8 years ago? I was freshly divorced, living by myself and my pets, working as a teacher/counselor and had no idea where to begin. So I spent mad amounts of cash, bought a tent and mesh-panel sides and I signed up for a few art shows. We have to start somewhere, right?
To say the first show was a total disaster is just not true enough. My panels arrived late, so while all the other artists got set up the night before the show, I was still setting up LONG after people were all around shopping. It was at least ten thousand degrees outside and I began literally and figuratively melting down. I needed an engineering degree (which I clearly did not have) to figure out how to set up the sides and hang my paintings- it took hours and hours of pouring through the directions with swears and frustration. Hardly anyone showed up since it was way too hot for upstate New Yorkers who can barely breathe if it goes above 80. And NO one came into my tent (at least it seemed that way as I watched hoards of people cluster in mobs around the guy in front of me who made PVC pipe birds.) I sold one small painting to a girl who sort of knew me, so it doesn’t even count. And.nothing.else. Oh, and I got SICK SICK SICK. Embarrassingly sick, let’s say, on the first of the 3 days. (Thank you to my life-saving friend, the new girl, who was with me through it ALL.)
THEN, as the artists were starting to pack up at the end of the weekend, A TORRENTIAL DOWNPOUR occurred (and I am not exaggerating, although I do like to exaggerate, this is not one). I couldn’t figure out how to take down my tent quickly (of course, since I didn’t have an engineering degree). The rain and winds soaked all of my prints, ruined the framing on my paintings, and drenched my portfolio, of which I spent extraordinary amounts of money and time on that (did I mention?) no one even looked at. And not to mention the soaking, ruining, drenching of my self-esteem and overall emotional health.
The best thing I ever did after I took my defeated, exhausted, soggy, moppy-ass home was give myself 3 days to totally wallow in self-pity. I called in sick to my “real” job which was really wasn’t a stretch. For 3 days I was horizontal on the couch, watching sad movies and eating as much chocolate as I wanted and had the biggest and most depressed Pity-Party Possible. And I didn’t even judge myself for that.
After 3 days, I took a shower, laughed about it just a little bit, and started over.
Maybe I have come a long way.