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.
Much 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.