Art shows and stress: Projects 43 & 44

The last time I shared something on my website I was getting prepared for the Harry Potter art show in Chestnut Hill. At that point I was feeling pretty good and then as the show approached the stress and worry settled in. I ended up not focusing on any new projects last week like I should have been. Instead, I fretted over what could go wrong at the gallery, but mostly I stressed over what would happen if I didn’t sell anything. I’m sure I’m not the only artist who constantly questions if this was a solid life decision. Creating and selling art for a living is a gamble because there is zero guarantee of steady income in most cases. I know some very talented artists who’ve made great lives for themselves and others, equally as talented in my opinion, that are working three or four jobs in order to buy art supplies. I’m somewhere in between. I do work other jobs outside of my art career, but have been fortunate enough that I only need part time hours.

So, the art show came and went over last weekend, and I found out that I only sold one print. I won’t lie, it put me in a bad mood this week. I kept thinking about how I spent months preparing and creating prints only to end up not breaking even on costs. It was frustrating and disappointing.

The thing is though, I can’t let it stop me. It was hard to pick the brush back up this week, but if I don’t then I’m telling myself (and everyone else) I don’t think I’m good enough. I knew pursuing art was a risk. It would’ve been much easier, at least on my bank account, to find a different full time job. When I’m honest with myself though I know my fears about this all go back to the money and whether or not I have enough of it. Whenever I do anything else, marketing, teaching, or modeling, I always end up wishing I was creating art instead.

Yes, this first official art show as a watercolor artist was disappointing. I honestly thought I would do a little bit better, but it was a learning experience. My hope is to grow from this moment and work towards having more success in the shows to come. For instance, the Dark Arts Show coming on November 4th! I’ve decided to use two of my Doctor Who themed paintings and two Harry Potter. My project for last week, “Don’t Blink” is finished, but I’ve decided not to include it in the show.

weepingangel

As you can see “Don’t Blink” is a weeping angel, or silent assassins as they’re also known, from Doctor Who. I felt personally it wasn’t as strong as the other two or my previous Harry Potter watercolors. It will still go down in the books as Project 43 for the year.

This week I’ve been frustrated and swamped with school work and preparing a birthday party for my kids that I haven’t been able to paint much, on top of just not wanting to because of the disappointment I felt in myself. Today was the first day I really had to sit down and work so I forced myself to take a deep breath and try. I wanted to paint on top of sketch I did, but it kept turning out horrible.

What I like to do, when I feel like I’m falling apart, is I grab a small piece of watercolor paper and I just paint a simple shape. I don’t think about it, I just go for it, and then from there I turn it into what I think it looks like. I focus on the basics of watercolor, such as creating highlights with the whites of the paper and creating depth with shadows. During that practice I created this red balloon, which I’m titling “Let Go” (I know, real original) which is now Project 44 for the year.

redballoon

With that done, I feel a little lighter and more capable of focusing on the fun weekend ahead of me with my fiancé and kids! I hope if you’ve had a challenging week you find relief somehow and are able to let go, even if it’s just the tiniest bit!

On a final note, if you’re interested you can purchase the prints left from Harry Potter Weekend on my Etsy site at an awesome discount! On top of that, use code BLOGREADER15 to get 15% off your entire order! If you follow me on Instagram you can find an additional Etsy discount code there as well. Click here or the image below to go to my shop! Both codes expire 10/31.

en_isell_2

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