I am not a blogger. There, I said it. I think bloggers are narcissistic and shameless self-promoters. When I began to structure my art business like a small business I found out that of all the artwork I create and present to the public, only about 3% of you will ever actually see it in person. Which means most of you will only ever see it online or in print, which means I have to drive traffic to my website to get more of you to see my work. Sending more of you to see my work, equals more sales, and more sales means I get to continue to do what I love every single day. And when I get to do what I love, and it touches someone, well, that's what life is all about. I won't get into statistics, because it bores me unless I'm actually looking at those cool zig-zaggy lines. And I hate reducing you to a number. But I have to drive a certain number of people to my site before I make a sale. And for some reason, my blog seems to bring people to my site. I am astounded that people actually read what I write. I am humbled when what I write actually moves someone, such as the suicide post did, and I have started to realize the importance of these posts.
That said, I will always only write what is in my heart. Especially as it pertains to my art work. My work is a direct representation of what I am going through and what I am feeling at the time. I usually won't say it while it's happening, but you can bet it will eventually show up in my work. Remember the suicide post? I was working on a series of six paintings during that period. I didn't realize how dark I was feeling, but had to laugh months later when I revisited the photographs of the paintings because they were all of messages in bottles. I was playing The Police's Message in a Bottle on repeat in my studio. Save our Souls, Save MY soul was what I was really saying, and I didn't even know it! Ha!
During one memorable critique with my mentor, he focused on the changing subject matter. He asked me where it came from. I told him most of the time I kept a sketchbook by my bed and as I woke up with a racing mind I would scribble the image. A moon holding a net, a floating figure that was about to drop to the jagged rocks below, a figure whose sleeve was skimming the flame of a candle, a figure who was sinking into a pond, lily pads, lots of lily pads. He asked me if I had ever consulted a dream dictionary to figure out what I was painting. The imagery was very intentional even if I didn't know why I was painting it. I said no, but after that I began to dissect every painting. It was scary, powerful, and intimidating because it was so accurate.
I recently critiqued a good friend of mine and had her do the same thing to get her to open up and be able to talk to others about her work. She was shocked by what she was painting. Mainly images that pertained to fertility, and her own struggles with conceiving. And here she thought she had just picked some random uplifting images to work with. Nope, we all have hidden intent whether we recognize it or not.
The most important thing I am learning throughout the marketing and promoting of my work (which I HATE, and I am fairly confident I am in the same boat with most artists), is that at least my work is being seen and collected by people I feel are handpicked by me. Art is about connecting, and if something I've said has connected you to me, then you are in the right place and I am happy you are here. If I've created something that speaks to you, as it spoke to me while I was creating, then we instantly share an emotional connection, and I treasure that connection dearly. You are purchasing a piece of my soul, and I find great joy in sharing. If you are just reading and looking at pictures and are part of the 97% that will never own or see a work of mine in person, then I hope something I've said or painted resonates with you and you will continue to come back and read and enjoy.
This is a very huge moment in my life. I am growing in ways I never thought possible, and am absorbing every minute no matter how sad, eye opening, or delightful it all is. I can say for certain that it isn't boring and will provide me with LOTS of new material and subject matter for the spring! So be prepared!
Thank you for continuing to come back and visit. You guys are great. I cry with your stories, I laugh with your comments, and I am inspired through inspiring you. I'm looking forward to my best year yet, and can't wait to share it with you!!!