If you make your living as an artist, as I do, you've probably seen a major change in the purchasing habits of Americans since the end of 2008. The last three years have been a challenge, to say the least. I've paid the bills OK, but pulled the belt tighter on dog treats, trips to the country and dinners out. And, the salvation army is getting fewer of my clothes, as I'm hanging onto the fashions a bit longer than usual...overlooking a frayed sleeve or balled sweater in favor of a thicker wallet.
In the past, I've been 99% commissioned as a painter. All of my work is paid for before I paint it. But, I'm getting fewer calls as our sluggish economy drags on with little recovery. So, the other day I decided that I needed to change my strategy. And I asked myself, "Where are the buyers of art going to buy art these days?" And that's when I decided to find out where the best art fairs in the nation were located. It turns out that Scottsdale, Arizona is a really hot art market...and that's not a bad place to be in February. So, I got my stuff together and was juried into the Waterfront Thunderbird Art show in Scottsdale, Arizona...my first art show ever. Then I borrowed a tent and displays and spent a month framing paintings..all the while crossing my fingers that this leap of faith would bring me the sales and exposure I've been hoping for.
Sometimes we have to do these things...to take well planned leaps in the hopes of landing someplace we dream of being. I did it many years ago when I left the comfort of a job and started my own ad agency, then again when I started studying singing and then again when I starting singing professionally. Each time, I felt a sense of joy at the moment of the leap (mixed a little with fear) but never a sense of dread or of wanting to escape current circumstances. I feel that joy now as I prepare for this long trip across country with my paintings in tow. Images of hope and optimism fill the trailer and fuel my heart.
I'll let you know how it goes.