What is the scariest thing you’ve ever done? Did it work out? Were your fears put to rest? How often do you do things that scare you? How do you define courage?
Last year I did a scary thing by having my photography on exhibit at the North Carolina Arboretum and now I’m about to do another scary thing… (more on that in a minute.) The Arboretum show was scary because it was my first show, because I had committed to the entire upstairs, and because I did not want to mat and frame my images like traditional photography shows, nor did I want to settle for the small label with only title and price. In every way I wanted my show to be different–a fact that thrilled AND scared me at the same time.
Ordering more than 50 gallery wrapped canvas and metal images–some in large sizes!– was a leap of faith, as it is one thing for ME to like my photography, but another thing entirely to expect others to like it too–and go that step further and buy it. Going in I had no idea what the reception would be. Would people even come out to see the show? Why would they come out to see it–they certainly had never heard of me. Would anyone buy anything? If nothing sold would I feel like a failure? Would failing affect future endeavors? Would I own 50+ images at the end of the 3 months that would sit around and collect dust?
I knew that whether other people bought my work or not I would continue to capture beauty with my camera. It is something I cannot separate from myself and the thing that makes me whole…. But still, the questions remained.
Thankfully, the exhibit went well. I got a lot of wonderful comments, met some kindred spirits I now call friends, AND, I sold just about half of the images from the show.
Now I’m about to sign the paperwork to rent space to sell my work in an artist consortium here in Asheville, called Kress Emporium. Similar questions from the Arboretum show swirl in my head… but like last year when preparing for the Arboretum exhibit, I do my best to ignore them and focus on the excitement rather than the fear. And that brings me to this week’s quote: