As I mentioned in the last blog, this month marks my 10 year anniversary as a full-time artist! I graduated from Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts with a B.F.A. in May 2011! Woohoo! So this month I’m celebrating that. I’m still going strong and loving every minute of being an artist, teacher, and entrepreneur after ten years.
So thank you so much to everyone who has supported me and my work all these years! You’ve made it possible for me to thrive as an artist. You’re so awesome!
Being a self employed artist can come with many of it’s ups and downs, but in this blog I want to focus on the ups! Because I’ve had a lot of those over the years.
So here’s my TOP 3 most memorable experiences so far as an artist:
(Dang it was so hard to choose! There’s been so many.)
1. My artist residency in Bulgaria.
Yes, I went to Bulgaria! It was an unexpected series of events that led to this. When asked if I wanted to go I blurted out YES! Without even thinking and then I asked, “Where the hell is Bulgaria?”
That was the start of a fun and crazy journey that I’ll never forget. It was my first trip ever to Europe and I was 32 years old. I took my darling Monte (my boyfriend) with me and we had quite the adventure there. We drank rakia and ate chocolate wafers with the locals in the grass on a 100 degree summer day. Monte almost got pierced in the butt by a cow horn. I got him a gaida freshly made mind you. So basically I had a goat killed that day without knowing it. Surprised I got that back in the country. We got lost many times driving and had to duck tape our side-view mirror. Finding the duck tape in a country with a Slavic language was a feat in and of itself. I didn’t shave for weeks and we slept on army cots. Plus we learned a lot about a post-communist country.
All in all, this experience is still definitely one of the most memorable! Notice I didn’t say it was the most favorite, happiest, or best experience.That’s not always what makes something memorable.
2. My first trip to Paris
My first trip to Paris followed the Bulgaria residency. Talk about contrast! I immediately shaved my legs, pits, put on a bra and started dressing nicer instantly. I had a hard time reconciling the contrast between the two places because there was a certain natural and relaxed vibe to Bulgaria that I enjoyed.But Paris definitely won out! Why? Because Paris showed me why art was important. It showed me what we can do as human beings. It showed me what true beauty was. And that it comes from trying. It comes from doing your best, pushing yourself to be your best. I felt instantly the magical power that is being human.
As humans we have thought, talent, skills, vision, passion that when combined lead us all to an elevated uplifted experience on this earth. Paris changed my life and deepened my commitment to my art. It’s still my very favorite place on earth.
3. The student holiday art sale
Why is it the firsts always stand out to us as the most memorable? Well anyways this was the first time that I showed my artwork and that collectors bought it. It was a non-juried student-run art sale. The students had to hang their own art and work the opening of the show. It was my third year of art school and my confidence was still waning. But I decided I was going all in on this show. I framed up every painting I had that was reasonable. Put a price on them for the first time and hung them at the school gallery. I had little biography cards made up to give to collectors with my contact information on it too. I was shocked that other students didn’t do the same.
The opening came and as I told you I was all in. So I signed up to work the whole opening night. I greeted every guest who walked through the door with emphatic joyful energy. Often I’d see their demeanor change immediately after I spoke to them. Enthusiasm and joy are contagious you know. It goes a long way when you’re able to lift someone up into an enthusiastic mood. That night my enthusiasm was unbridled and I sold so many of my paintings.
As soon as one would sell I’d pop another one I had up in its place before someone else could get my spot.
That night was such a joy filled with celebration. More importantly it gave me confidence, hope, and faith that I could make it as a full time artist doing what I loved. Because I wasn’t even that good yet!
Boy it’s fun looking back on these memories and there’s so much more, but I didn’t want to overload you.
Now let’s hear it from YOU! What’s your most memorable moment when it comes to making or buying art? Share with me in the comments below please and thank you.
P.S. My birthday is May 31st and this is my 10 year art anniversary! So to celebrate I’ll be having a killer sale with huge discounts. So if you haven’t already – Join my collector’s circle to win a FREE print of one of my paintings! I will be announcing the winner in next week’s newsletter. Click here to join: http://eepurl.com/dpg-_9.