Showing My Work

In school, math has always been my worst subject.  I failed Algebra the first time I took it and passed later with after-school help from a tutor.  One of my biggest issues is that I didn’t show my work.  It seems that I have a similar stumble with my photography.  But, in 2014, that is going to change.

My first attempt at putting my work together for others was mostly a disaster (and not because of my Hawaiian shirt.)  I first printed and showed my photography at the 2011 Blue Dome Arts Festival.  I bought a tent & table, matted over one hundred 8×10 photos, ordered a few canvas prints….I felt like I planned things out well.  It was quickly obvious I had no idea what I was doing.  People could not tell what I was selling, and those that did venture into my spartan tent left quickly.  A storm blew through the first night, lifted my poorly-secured tent off the ground, and would’ve smashed into my neighbor had it not been for some quick thinking people nearby.  I actually packed everything and left, unsure if I was going to return the second day.  I get discouraged easily.  I did return, though, and even sold a few pieces to friends and family.  At the end of it all, I’d spent about $1000 in preparations and sold about $60 worth of my work.

BrewBurgerMuch time has passed since then.  My girlfriend, who has an amazing talent with crafts, has encouraged me to put my work together and have a local showing somewhere.  Not something that’s part of a larger festival, mind you…something designed around my work only.  It’s a daunting task that almost cripples me to inactivity.  What if I invest more money, only to have the same result?  What if nobody cares?  I had my work up at a local restaurant for a time (R.I.P. BrewBurger) and I did sell some pieces there, but it was a minimal investment of time and money for me.  I could hang my stuff and skedaddle, only hearing anything if I happened to sell a piece now and again.  An art show?  For my work?  With me present?  The idea terrifies me.

The few people I have talked to about this idea have shown support and interest.  Samantha has been absolutely wonderful; she even had a book made of my work for Christmas to show me how great it looked on the printed page.  With her support, I finally set things in motion.  I set up an etsy shop to start getting my work out to a larger audience.  I still have to figure out what I want to show and how I want to show it:  What pictures do I select?  How many is too many?  What sizes to I have printed and available?  What about canvas?  The anxiety that comes with these questions now comes with something else:  hope and excitement.  Once I get my pieces together, set a time and place, and take a deep breath…it’s on.

About rhysfunk

Rhys Martin was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma in 1981. In 2009, he sold everything he owned and left the country, living out of a backpack for ten months. He discovered a passion for photography while traveling throughout Southeast Asia and Europe. After returning home, he looked at his home town and Oklahoma heritage with fresh eyes. When he began to explore his home state, Rhys turned his attention to historic Route 66. As he became familiar with the iconic highway, he began to truly appreciate Oklahoma’s place along the Mother Road. He has traveled all 2,400 miles of Route 66, from Chicago to Los Angeles. He has also driven many miles on rural Oklahoma highways to explore the fading Main Streets of our small towns. Rhys has a desire to find and share the unique qualities of the Sooner State with the rest of the world. Cloudless Lens Photography has been featured in several publications including This Land, Route 66 Magazine, Nimrod Journal, Inbound Asia Magazine, The Oklahoman, and the Tulsa World. In 2018 he published his first book, Lost Restaurants of Tulsa. Rhys loves to connect with people and share his experiences; ask him about enjoyable day trips from Tulsa, locations along Route 66, and good diners or burger joints along the way.
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1 Response to Showing My Work

  1. I am so happy that you are showing your work–your photography is really remarkable and I think others will enjoy seeing the places you visit through your eyes. And I love your etsy shop(! It’s already a favorite! Can’t wait for the show!

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