My last post discussed my debut solo show as part of First Friday Scranton (June 3rd 2016). The show was titled “alice: can we draw together.” I won’t get into the details of the name. It honestly doesn’t make much sense. But we did draw together, me and myself and the community of friends, family, and strangers who made time in their day to visit my show. We didn’t draw with pen and paper, but with laughter and hugs.
The show was a lot of work. I packed boxes and boxes and bought frames and printed posters and packed more boxes and bags and boxes and one by one I dragged everything into the venue in a sweaty panic. I had a lot more to show than I thought. I was allotted a cozy room off the venue’s main bar/dining area, and I struggled with how to fill the space. I needed tables, easels, more tables, move this table here, no I don’t like it there, let’s move it over here, I need another easel, I’m so SWEATY!
THIS is the reality of the freelancer. You have to book the shows, do the advertising, pay the fees, pack the boxes, set up, take down, and do it all over again. You may make some money from the show but when you think about all the work you put into it, the money is not much.
And yet, I LOVE it. I sold many pieces to strangers. You’re work is amazing, they said. I love your work. I love it. Can I buy this? And this? This mug you made. It’s beautiful. I will have it for years.
When I hear words like that, the effort and insufficient pay is meaningless. I have made art and gave it to people I don’t even know because they said they loved it. Art is weird like that. You hate everything when you are making work but when others show an honest interest, it changes my internal dialogue. Maybe I’m not half bad at what I do.
So, I think I’ll keep doing shows. It was really nice. Everything is nice.
Above: photos from alice: can we draw together