The Weekend In Review

This was an interesting weekend. There's nothing like a terrible show to send you looking in a new direction. I went into into it with very high hopes: the November show I did in Gaithersburg was one of my best experiences, so I was expecting this to be similar. It's not Christmas, so I knew sales would be down, but I was not expecting it to bomb.

One thing I've always noticed at the "Fine Art" shows I do is the way people talk to me. There is always a handful of amazing people, who are genuinely interested in talking about my work or anything related to it, and I love these conversations. But this weekend I got a lot of pity comments. One woman walked by and said "This is that thing that little kids do when they scratch colors on to a board and make pictures."

I'm not saying I never hear negative comments; people have different opinions at every show. But I've never been to a show where people seemed so concerned for my well-being, and were trying to offer me advice even though they have no experience to speak from. One woman, who had never heard of block printing, told me I would definitely have to expand my line in order to sell anything. One man asked me if I could afford to buy food.

So when I found this TED talk on Girls Can Tell this morning, it really spoke to me. In the beginning of her talk, Elizabeth Gilbert describes the way people reacted when she told them she wanted to be a writer, and it seemed incredibly similar to some of the comments I heard this weekend.

I really enjoyed her insights on creative careers and the way people respond to them, and it seemed like an incredibly fitting way to start the week. I especially liked the line: "Is it rational that anyone is expected to be afraid of the work that they feel that they were put on this earth to do?"

It can be easy to hear negative comments and take them to heart, but I came home last night and got straight to work on researching new projects. To some extent, criticism is great for creating better work, but when that is all you hear, it's time to move on. I know there are plenty of people and venues that do appreciate what I do, and I will be working harder to find those from now on!


Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published

Notes From The Studio