Last weekend was one of the busiest weekends of my life. It started off with my artist reception at Lille Aeske in Boulder Creek for my month long exhibition “The Beasts of Boulder Creek.” Then the following Saturday and Sunday were day long Open Studio events as part of the Santa Cruz Arts Council Open Studios. So for 4 hours on Friday night and then 7 on Saturday and another 7 on Sunday I was in full public mode. It was overall a good experience. I find that I’m getting better at communicating about my work and explaining myself. It used to be very hard and awkward talking to strangers but I find that I now have the confidence and charisma to talk almost anyone. I made a decent amount of sales and had some offers for future shows. So overall a positive (if tiring) experience.
However I did have one little conversation that gave me pause. A stranger asked if I was successful artist and I had to think about what that means to me. What does it mean to be a successful artist these days? Is it having a million followers on instagram (I don’t), Is it making loads of money by art sales (I don’t) Is it creating? (yes!) Is making enough to pay for all your supplies? (yes!) There are so many ways to measure success. I have friends that do indeed make loads of money selling their work. I know others that have tons of followers on social media, enough to be sponsored by brands. That is not me and if compare my success to theirs it’s down heartening. However I am moving right along and I do have what I would call success. I am very excited and absorbed with my subject matter and I can’t imagined getting tired of it for a very long time, perhaps for ever. I can officially say that I’m breaking even when it comes to expenses, that includes materials, studio fees and promotional costs. There was a very long time when the creation of the work cost more than what I earned from it. So the fact that it is paying for itself is awesome. Then there is the very important fact that it brings me joy. I am mindful and content when I am drawing and painting. So yes I guess I am a HUGELY successful artist.
Here are a few photo’s from the two events the last weekend.
Beasts of Boulder Creek: Artist Reception 10/6
Artwork display for Santa Cruz Open Studio’s