The highs and lows of being an artist

Seen but not Heard

The past few weeks have been a complete whirlwind of activity and I am only now able to sit down and process it all. About 3 weeks ago, The Taylor Gallery contacted me to see if I would be interested and able to include some work in a show about self love and body image. This particular gallery, in the River Arts District here in Asheville, was one of the very first art spaces I went to not long after I moved here. Considering that fact, and the theme, I was ecstatic to be included in this show. The only issue was that I needed to print and frame two large photographs in about 2 weeks. Not only was timing a challenge, but so was cost - it was going to be expensive.

I hustled and worked a lot, I sold a few things that I no longer needed and a scraped together the money to make it happen. I worked with Rocky at Dot Editions, a local fine art printer, to create prints that I was proud of. I then purchased quality frames and plexiglass and spent several hours painstakingly framing each piece. It was both exhausting and exhilarating.

Then, last Monday, I dropped off both of my pieces at the gallery. And promptly fell into a giant slump. I also had to pay rent that day and was pretty much completely out of money. I don’t say this for pity, these are the facts. I was in a rough spot for most of last week.

I kept having to remind myself that, aside from having no money, everything in my life was great. Still, it can be difficult to think about anything else when I’m not sure if I’m going to be able to keep the electricity on. But I kept an open mind and jumped on any opportunity to make a little money and put my spare change in the coinstar and made it work. Also, this is my life now, it won’t be like this forever. I am building the foundation for my future art empire.

And then Saturday arrived. I got to the gallery right before the opening was set to begin at 4 pm. Almost immediately, the gallery was packed and it stayed busy for the entire time. There were still a decent amount of people there when I left at 7. In the interim, almost every single person who I know in this town showed up to say hi and congratulations. And aside from that, there were a ton of people who I didn’t know there also. Even better, everyone I talked to about my work had intelligent questions, and I felt like there was a really good dialogue around what my art was saying. All in all, it was a huge success and I was on cloud nine the whole time.

And since then? I’ve been feeling good and optimistic. I’m encouraged, enthusiastic and empowered to keep making art; to keep spreading my message and to continue to fight for the causes that are important to me. Being an artist is not all fun and games. Sometimes it sucks, sometimes it’s painful and I want to give up. But then I think about the alternative and can’t even fathom not doing this. So I’m going to keep chugging along!