One just can’t help getting one’s hopes up when entering shows. You read the call, you think “Wow! Piece of Cake! That’s exactly the kind of art I do anyway!”
If , on the other hand I said, “Wow! That is one tough call. I WILL REALLY HAVE TO DIG DEEP AND PUSH MY LIMITS…” Now, this would be the scenario where I could create a masterpiece.
I recently entered a call where membership was a requirement… I have done this type before, but not when funds are low. Because now you have, not only the entry fee, but the membership dues as well. (It’s funny, non artists are often shocked that it ‘costs money?!?’ to enter an art show.) Well, this one seemed right up my “art alley”. I had experience, I had won shows like this before. PIECE OF CAKE! I’M A SHOO IN! (Or is it a Shoe in?) So I dove in. Headfirst. Knocked off a Statement lickety-split. Sent a sample of my work and the entry and membership fee without a backward glance, and it was just a week or so before they would notify me of my big check in the mail.
Ah….about that big check… Not only did I not win, I did not even qualify to participate!
Hear that hissing sound? Pffffffffffffffttttt….That’s the sound of all the air coming out of my big head. Oh, Miss Overconfidence, you not feeling so good, hmmm? Kind of sicklee?
YOU DESERVE THE LETDOWN, YOU GOOF!!!!
Yes, I know that now. I realize how nonchalant I was. I couldn’t even take the time to ask anyone how to send the entry in properly, so I sent the wrong sample work. Too proud to let the judges know I needed help. Such a big, fine, famous, sought-after artist like me!
My job, now that I’m done licking my wounds, is to dust off my britches and learn everything I can from the artists who did get in the show. Be a good sport, celebrate their success and do better next time. Every setback is a stepping stone to bigger and better things!!
(Just not too much bigger or better!)
Sigh…ANYhoo, I finally finished the commission I have been working on since the beginning of December. (whew!) The ‘million dollar by the hour’ painting…Now there is another learning experience. I had a mentor who was a top shelf oil painter tell me to start out charging 22 bucks an hour plus materials, as this was the wages for skilled labor at that time; and “don’t feel sorry for asking for what you are worth!!!”
Those wise words did not stick for some reason…every client is my “friend” and every “friend” wants a “deal”…So I run around making what boils down to about 4 dollars an hour and whining about being “cheated”. Nobody likes a whiner, least of all me. I’m always having to settle for cheap paint, cheap canvas, cheep cheep goes the birdee.
I have made up my mind (again) to work on art that frees my mind and my spirit. Not beholden to any one style or genre or “ism”. Art that celebrates my vision, my unique vision. Hooray!