May 22, 2012
We have a little, private club here called "The Press Club". It's a quirky, historic building and it happens to be where I met my husband. It has a special place in my heart. My husband and I are fortunate to have friends who are on the board and who are fans of my work so, months ago, they offered me the opportunity to have a solo show in this wonderful place. I am scheduled to hang for two months beginning in July. Needless to say, I've been working furiously. I need at least twenty pieces. I'm nearly there.
An artist friend of mine suggested that I focus on my alcohol ink paintings. She believes they are fresh and interesting and she hasn't seen anything done with the medium in the way that I work with them, so she also believes that the newness of this will go over well. I agree with her that it's new. I've seen the inks used in many different ways but nothing that looks like my work with them. I just don't know if it is fresh or interesting. I also picked up my contract for another solo show of my Dia de los Muertos inspired artwork (I call them the "Bones" series and the "Angels" series) at a pub called O'Neill's for next year. O'Neill's is part of a community art program and they hang a new artist every month. My husband and I eat there regularly and I have never seen crappy work on their walls so I think they are a little discerning. At least I hope so. I hope I made the cut because my work is good and not because they'll take anything at all. Here is where the panic begins to creep in.
I only started making art a year ago. I'm seriously a novice. I'm also the daughter of a very successful artist. My mother has always has the ability to make art out of anything. It's a little intimidating. She also has her own studio/gallery space where I have hung a few pieces in the past. She's my mom. She will always give me a little wall space. That's the only place I have ever hung my work.
This year, I have submitted work to two different places (not my mom's gallery) for exhibition. I just got my rejection notice for the first space and I am waiting to hear from the jury on the other. It took a real act of courage to join Blue Canvas and put my work up here with so many talented artists. It took even more courage to submit work to these juries. Oddly enough, I was a little relieved to get the rejection notice from the Albuquerque Museum. I know that sounds weird but I am a beginning artist who has a few moments of "Wow! Look what I did!" compared to hours and hours of "What the hell am I thinking?! I'm not good enough to call myself an artist!".
So, now I have committed to this solo show in July and I am terrified. What if I am just a big joke? What if people come and say, "Oh, my God! This isn't art. This is crap." What if it is simply too early in my art journey to do a show all by myself?
Does anyone else out there feel completely freaked out when they have the opportunity to show their work? How do you cope with it? At what point do you finally have the confidence to say, "I'm an artist. This is what I do. If you like it, that's great! And, if you don't, that's okay too - but I am still an artist."