The CA State Fair
I have been an artist for as long as I can remember, being an artist is my zen, its my sanctuary, my therapy, I can rename this many times but I think my point is made that I think of art as more than a body of work, but a form of spirituality.
I was invited by my friend to show my art along side her at the CA State Fair last year 2018 and I was excited, but I had a block that was preventing me from creating any art that would help me prepare for the fair. It would be my first art show and thought I might have enough art accumulated so I didn’t paint more art even though I had prepared to binge painting had bought new raw material to do so. I don’t mention it in my virtual world much, but I am not shy to say that I suffer from depression and that from time to time it wins and will consume a part of my life where I will have to struggle to pull myself out of the grasps of its hold. I don’t know if it is because of the excitement or the pressure but there are all kinds of reasons depression can hit all of the sudden, but unfortunately it did around the time I needed to be productive.
I went to my show with my half finished projects and my art that I have been doing at home for fun, not thinking about the quality of them or the perception my art was giving of me. My work was mediocre at best and was not at a level that I know I could achieve with practice and discipline, but I had not done that for this show and it showed. A few people whispered under their breathe and a few asked me questions on my “amateur” work and were surprised I had been doing art for so long. I was a bit embarrassed, I had to do better next time, I said!
I want to thank my depression for being persistent last year, my show would not be as humbling and as motivating to me to be so productive this year. It was definetly the push I needed, the humbling experience of being surrounded by talented artists that put their heart and soul into their work for years but a light behind my blush that I had last year and went home not defeated but uplifted and saw how much work I had in front of me if I would be brave enough to do another art show again.
April comes around this year and my friend calls me and asks me to do the show with her again. First of all I cannot believe she would ask again based on the art I showed the year before, but she said that I helped motivate her to start doing art when she never considered being an artist and would not be where she is without my motivation and encouragement and wanted to give it back to me. She said she has seen the work I have been doing on my Instagram and facebook and is confident that this year the art show will be a success!
A curveball was also thrown that the show will be 98% mine, she will have to attend for namesake and will have to paint a canvas along side me. I was truly honored and once again humbled but in such a different emotional way this time. The feelings I felt this year were more victorious and less nervousness. I was confident and excited to be able to show my progress. I spent 2 weeks packing up the most fragile art I had that were framed and packing them and then working my way down to the least fragile and etc’s I will need, going over my prints and schedule of the weekend I will have at the CA State Fair with my friend Christines Acrylic Art.
When the day before the show came, I started packing my car and saw how much stuff I was bringing this year. Well she did say that 98% of the wall would be mine and I did not want to waste that space. I even had stuff in the front seat of my car, I had no space for people XD just me and my art. I took the long 5 hour drive to my friends house and we had a great night catching up and going over our art and food creations she made mmmmmmmm. We must of stayed up until 3am chatting like we were back in high school, well that is were I met her … in high school 23 years ago. Geez time sure does fly huh.
Anyhoo we woke up the next morning really early so we could pack the cars and arrive at the fair early enough to be able to drive right up to the building we will be showing at and unload with ease. I unpacked all my art and knick-knacks and went to park at our designated spot a loooooong ways away and took the trolly back to start hanging my art up. My friend and her husband were so much help and kept stating that I had so much art! I stepped back and took a look at what I had up, it wasn’t even half the art I brought or even have made in the last year, but the fair was about to open so I had no choice but to stop hanging art and set up my table to prepare the fair to open. I had my artists statement on the table, my business cards spread out, prints for sale and framed art on the table to enjoy. I had brought my French easel and an unfinished piece to demo and paint while I was at the fair, got that set up and away I went painting.
The people started coming in and right away I had my first print sale, then another, then people asking questions about my work, taking business cards, commenting on how they like my work, it was more than I could imagine. It was a complete success! My hard work the last year, all the push I had been making, the late nights of non painting that I have been doing like website updating, instagraming, facebook and everything was starting to make sense. I was doing what I am meant to be doing …. ART!
The fair, although successful, was also very stressful and tiring. The hours were Saturday and Sunday from 8am-10pm, enough to drive your body to exhaustion and your mind into craziness. Next year I might just do one day but it was definitely worth it!
My friend called me a week later to tell me that the director of the show at the CA State Fair called her and said that my art exhibit was very successful and was the talk of the art building that weekend. It made me very proud and I thanked her and told her to thank the director. Next year, I will attempt to do the paperwork to be able to show on my own and invite my friend to tag along with me so I don’t have to rely on her to do it. Growing in the art business is difficult and I am still learning but these steps are necessary as long as they’re forward and not backwards.
I looks forward to more shows and exhibits, and hopefully I get to show and demo at the CA State Fair again next year. If you see me there, don’t be shy to come say hi and see some of my art. If you mention this blog I will give you a free 5”x7” print 🙂
Have a great day!