Pick myself up, dust myself off and keep moving forward…

My gallery exhibit finished last night and I have to be honest and confess I didn’t sell a single piece. It stings! Man does it hurt. Of course my initial reaction is that no one liked my artwork. I’m not good enough, who am I kidding, what business do I have putting my artwork out there? and the rest of the self doubt that flows in as an artist or creative person. Why are we full of such self doubt. Then Luanne posted this post about rejection, which then led me to another video by Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love fame), which led me to her TEDTalk video and a few others. WOW! Powerful stuff.

Isn’t funny how sometimes the universe (Or Karma) gives you exactly what you need at the right moment in time, not necessarily WHAT you WANT, but what you NEED. A quick kick up the butt, stop feeling sorry for yourself, so what if no one likes your art, you do it because you love it, you live for it, no one promised a free or easy ride. This life owes you NOTHING! If you want something, work for it, but there are no promises you will be rich, or famous, or a success.

You have a creative soul and even if no-one gets it (chances are they will) and even if no-one buys you work (this time), you are doing it because it is who you are. You are a better person when you are creating, striving for the thing you want……the alternative is nothing and I don’t want nothing, I want something. Living a fulfilling, artistically creative life is not about fame or fortune (well maybe for some), it is about working hard and enjoying what you do. Sure you may have to have a day job to support what you love, but that is OK, your dayjob doesn’t define you – your art does.I picked up a camera because I wanted to learn how to take pretty pictures, amazing pictures. I travel to see amazing places, but have learned that there are some in my own backyard. I launched myself into Photoshop to learn how to create better, more fulfilling art. I have taken class after class, after class, because I found I really enjoy learning new things or new ways to do old things with my art. Learning is FUN. I have also found teaching is FUN. So many people have freely given me their time and knowledge and it is only fair to give some of that back. So many artists over the years have been depicted as depressed, drunks with social issues and penchant for extreme over reactions or no reaction at all. That is not what most of us are like, not at all. The problem is we all tend to be a trifle emotional about our art; whatever it is. We put our heart and soul into creating whatever it is we do; paint, sculpt, music, write….most accountants or electricians or plumbers don’t live and breathe their work, artists do.

My Motto for this year is Brave-R. I have spent the last two years being BRAVE, learning how to make and take amazing images with my camera, how to make amazing art (well I think it is and everyone online seems to enjoy it too). So now it is time to do something with it, be BRAVER – galleries, online, exhibitions, contests etc. So I didn’t sell anything (this time), maybe the person who wants my art on their walls wasn’t at this gallery in the last two weeks. Maybe they will be at the next exhibit or gallery. Maybe they just weren’t quite ready to buy and I will hear from them later? Just because nothing sold, doesn’t mean it never will, the rejection doesn’t mean they didn’t like my art. In fact not much or ANYTHING sold at this exhibit, wrong timing, wrong gallery? Who knows.This is not a personal rejection of me or my art, so I should not take it that way. The Curator said that there was a LOT of positive feedback of my work, and just because it hasn’t sold yet, doesn’t mean it wont. One rejection should not stop me moving forward.

Time to pick myself up, dust myself off and keep moving forward……because forward is where the possibilities are; the past has already happened and I want more than what was in the past. Grab fear by the hand, take it along for the ride (don’t forget fear can keep us safe), but don’t let it have the drivers seat; you need that for yourself. I still feel a little flat and that’s OK…..I have planned some creative things for this weekend, that will bring me back around.

~ Julz

20 thoughts on “Pick myself up, dust myself off and keep moving forward…

  1. I think because we are capitalists we have bought into the belief that selling something proves its merit.
    It doesn’t. Not at all.
    Look at Trump. He sells a lot.
    Look at Van Gogh, other artists we know are geniuses, who died in poverty and ignominy .
    Your selling has nothing to do with your art.
    Popularity has nothing to do with art.
    Look at your photo.
    That is all you need to know.
    That photo is so gorgeous, I am jealous I didn’t take it.

    Liked by 5 people

  2. I’ve been through exactly what you’ve just gone through and you are spot on when you say it hurts, but that is ok! I have been fortunate to sell several pieces of my art in the galleries, but i also have several pieces that haven’t sold. With those I donate them to charity where they will do some good and knowing i’ve helped them out brings more satisfaction that actually selling a piece over the longer period. The thrill of selling for me is very short lived, where donating a piece and knowing the end result has helped to change people’s lives, lasts forever!
    Keep enjoying your art and keep entering exhibitions, competitions and contests. As you say, just because they didn’t buy today doesn’t mean they won’t come back tomorrow or in the future when it suits them and then they will buy!
    I really enjoy seeing your beautiful work Julie so just keep looking forward and going forward.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. You are very talented! It’s good to see you are feeling OK but underneath I’m sure you’re still feeling a bit off about it all. You have a lot to offer and as long as you are having fun with it then you are a winner!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Understand, I’m not a pro or an expert on these matters, but through observation . . .

    – being well-known helps, and that takes time.
    – the right audience helps, and that’s hit-and-miss. You can help that somewhat by targeting material to the audience if you know the composition ahead of time.

    Those two things often transcend quality of the work. I’ve seen stuff sell that was what I considered below-par as far as photos and artistic renditions go (on two occasions, I had better photos of the same subjects sitting at home on my computer). I’ve seen excellent work passed over for something else and for the life of me I could not figure out why. This is especially true in contests (read the magazines where they choose winning photos – most often you can somewhat agree, but just as often, you would think the judges were blind).

    There is one other thing these days and I’ve written about it before. I’m often told by people I should sell my photos. I then ask if they would like to buy a print, and invariably the answer is “Me? No; I meant someone else should buy it.”

    Right now the Internet is inundated with amazing works that you can order with just a click . . . but also work that is free or released under Creative Commons. Flikr, SmugMug, other repositories, have great photos you can order in almost any medium.

    Those two things I mention at the beginning then become very important to make a go of it.

    Think of it as your buyer having to get work done on their car as opposed to coming to your show, but maybe next time . . .

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I have so many artist friends who have experienced exactly what you have and it does hurt! But you are right to change your mindset. There are so many reasons why visitors to exhibitions don’t buy — lack of cash, lack of comfort with the gallery setting, uncertainty …
    If you made it easy for people to find you afterwards, you may still make a sale or two. I’ve seen that happen quite often, and in fact, I’ve bought “after the fact” when I can talk to the artist and make that connection (it’s NOT me trying to avoid the gallery’s commission btw). I am a “regular” at galleries, but am still not entirely comfortable as a buyer, especially at openings!
    But most importantly, you are an artist. You make art because of that internal imperative. It makes your heart sing. That shows in your work, and eventually people will get it and come onboard. Kia Kaha.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Pingback: With thanks… | Julie Powell – Photographer & Graphic Artist

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