I woke up in the middle of the night last week feeling sick. I was dreaming about the YART sale coming up the following week and my stomach literally hurt at the thought of sharing my art with people I don’t know.
I am an adult. I don’t like not being good at whatever I do. This art thing has pushed just about every button I have. Because I am once again a beginner. There is no way past this obstacle. I have to go through it. Which is disconcerting. Embarrassing. Frustrating. My skill level is nowhere even close to where I want it to be. So I have to keep creating art that is sub-par in my eyes in order to eventually – hopefully – be able to create art at a level I deem acceptable.
No wonder my stomach hurt. However, I have taken to heart the assurances of close friends that my art is at a level worthy of sharing and of being offered up for sale. I have to trust them because my judgment is faulty when it comes to my own stuff. So I decided to participate in the YART sale at The Artery (an artist co-op) in Fort Collins, Colorado.
It is a perfect venue for my first public art exposure. No entrance fee and the co-op takes a 30% commission. I don’t even need to be there for the two day event. I just have to drop the art off, set it up for display and pick up whatever doesn’t sell on Monday.
Yesterday was the first day of the sale. I procrastinated pricing for so long I ended up doing it at the event. Price too low and people won’t buy. Price too high and the same thing happens. So where is the sweet spot? I was blind. I’ve not sold any art before. I had no idea what someone would pay for my art.
With some frantic last minute advice from friends and a bit of help from my daughter, I got everything priced and labeled and set up in the middle of the room. It was truly a scary morning. But looking over the table fully loaded with my artwork, I had a surreal moment. All that creative goodness was mine, created by me. And some of it I even liked. It was pretty darn cool.
Tomorrow I go find out if anything sold. I was tempted to go in and see it today, but it is an hour drive up there and to tell the truth, it doesn’t really matter. What matters is that I strongly felt the fear of sharing my art, but did it anyway. Whatever didn’t sell is going up for sale on Etsy and I will keep on painting.
I hope that my art will at some point bring in some income for my family, because we need it, but money is not the reason I paint. I create because it brings me joy. With music in my ears and paint on my brush, I lose all sense of time and space and find myself, over and over, dancing in my seat. And that, my friend, makes it worth facing the fear.