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

Fearless Friday – The Social Experiment

Groovy-Where to start? So, I have been doing portraits for a little while now, mostly children and am getting quite comfortable in that role. But I wanted to expand, get some more adults, families etc. I really wanted to get some casual models (not professional – way too expensive), I thought I wanted real people for real photos.  Now if you are anything like me, family and friends are over the whole photo thing. You need fresh faces and willing participants…….where do you find them?

facebookWell I got brave and put a post on my local Facebook Buy, Swap and Sell Page, ‘ARE YOU CRAZY’ I hear you asking while reading this, possibly, my Facebook literally lit up with people, all in my local area, willing to give it a go. I had to push away so many people. I even found a few actual models for my projects, and we took it from there.

I then contacted a few of these volunteers and we set up a garden shoot in the local area. A few emails and messages back and forth and bam! all sorted. It was easier than I thought. I figure if we are doing it in public, there is no harm. If you run a studio there is no real difference, you have no guarantee who will walk through your door. I honestly believe that most people a good, some are a little crazy, but they are still good people at heart. Sure there bad people out there trying to do harm, but I doubt they will reply to a random garden shoot during the day, in public? People will do anything for freebies, so that’s what we offered them. 1 hour of their time in a local area and they would received digital copies of photos as a thank you. With the possibility of more follow up work. It is great practice, working with people you do not know, in a situation that takes you out of your comfort zone. And it puts you in contact with a wider community and it is a great marketing tool. I am currently looking to set up a glamor shot at an historic Mansion, with makeup and hair etc. with a few other photographers, it’s a win win, everyone gets something out of it, kind of like a barter system!

MM2.12-Anyway so I ventured off to the local Gardens, honestly not knowing if they were actually going to turn up or not. But I figured I would play around with some ND Filters and macro if they didn’t, so no real hassle. My first model turn up and we had a wonderful 45 mins session. We seem to hit it off really well and some of the photos were fantastic. She had her own clothes, hair and make up pre organized. I will definitely be asking for her to model for me again.

My next ‘family’ was a no show……..figures, but I was content with my first model and then wandered the park. There were lots of families out enjoying the sunshine and one little girl took a shine to me I guess and kept waving, I kept waving back and then an idea struck me…………I approached her family and offered a free copy of the images if they agreed to let me take their family portrait, right there by the lake and use them on my website………..they said yes. So I snapped a few shots and gave them my business card……..easy as that!

So that was my Social experiment AND NO axe murderers, bonus :-).So seriously If you are looking for free models in your local area and just want real, normal people and not Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt – try Facebook it will amaze you! in fact days after the advert was ‘CLOSED’ I am still getting messages and calls regarding having photos taken and most are now turning into sales.

– Julz