“If you try to view yourself through the lenses that others offer you, all you will see are distortions;
your own light and beauty will become blurred, awkward, and ugly.
Your sense of inner beauty has to remain a very private thing.”
― John O'Donohue, Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom
Welp, first art festival show has come and gone. I think i felt every emotion one could feel in a 36 hour period.
Leading up to this milestone I was obsessed, completely overwhelmed with not only planning my booth layout, but creating the art to put in it. Not to mention the many nights of restless sleep as I went over and over in my head the why's, what's, when's, and how's of if i'm good enough, strong enough, bold enough, secure enough...
The day of the show i was up at 4am with adrenaline coarsing through my veins. Alarm had been set for 5:30am but I guess my body and mind didn't care. I got up and putzed around and double, triple, quadruple checked that i had everything plus some and then got out of the house heading for the big day.
Once i got there and found my booth space (a dimly marked number of chalk on cement) the adrenaline really kicked in and i think i had my car unloaded within 5 minutes and tent up another 3 minutes later. I realized around 4am i never actually had set up my tent with the panels and art - just everything individually - so i was most anxious about everything coming together... if the walls didn't fit i was effed basically. I had done hours and hours of research on tent set ups to choose mine and had bought the sizes everyone said to use, but without having put it all together i couldnt be 100% sure.
Two solid hours of tying grid walls on and unpacking canvas pieces and hardware i was ready to go...
Three times i got overwhelmed with emotion during this set up: The first after i got the grid wall up and realized everything was going to work and it looked pretty cool, just as i had envisioned really, and i was so elated i thought my heart was going to leap out of my body.
The 2nd when i unpacked my first piece, took it out of the bubble wrap and placed it on the staging table i realized this is really happening - holy shit - this is REALLY happening. What i've been thinking about and saying i'm going to do for years now has finally happened and I MADE IT HAPPEN. I had tears welling up in my eyes and hair on my arms standing on end.
The 3rd, predictably, when everything was on the walls and the table was set up with MY business cards and pamphlets and i could step back and just look. This was all me - and i did it on my own (obviously had alot of support from friends and family) but i gathered what i needed, i loaded my car, i set things up, i made art pieces and took photographs... hell, i'll admit i felt pride and accomplishment.
My friend, Jen, was who really pushed me into finally doing this. She was selling her own amazing upcycled crafts and together we went through this experience - the ups and downs and really pushed each other to keep going. Couldn't have done it without her and i hope she knows how much i appreciate her and her friendship!
The festival was slated to start at 10am. I sat in my little chair waiting, wondering, watching. And then the let down hit me. And i felt exhausted and completely drained. And worse completely insecure. Confidence completely rattled, doubts swirling around my head. Looking at my booth seeing all the flaws, looking at my "art" and wondering who the hell would even like this slapped together paint and buttony scrapbooky stuff... but, i tried to keep my chin up and kept repeating rational thoughts to myself like how it was my first show and really i was just there to learn...
Although, the festival seemed slow the two days went pretty quickly as i made friends with other artists and occasionally was able to talk about my art to interested patrons.
All in all i couldn't have hoped for a better experience, really. I not only broke even with the festival fee but made an additional $75. I got one show under my belt and am ready to do my next one in two weeks. I made some new contacts and friends and from the feedback regarding my booth and work i plan on working on that over the winter and hopefully be able to get into some of the festivals next spring i've coveted from afar.
in the meantime still got everything on my Etsy site (wink wink)
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