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.

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