This year has been one of exponential growth, not always comfortable. Growth is good, I like pressing forward, I like moving towards a goal.
Let’s start with something positive: it is always good to find out what works and what doesn’t. What works is when I am with people who are of a positive mind, who have similar goals and aspirations, people who are ambitious and who are not afraid to work. I like being with people who answer my questions before I have even asked them.
What doesn’t work is a bit more lengthy, but that is okay, because it has led towards decisions that will streamline my own interaction which will result in more efficiency in my own goals and how I get there. I’m not going to complain and bitch about what has happened, that does no good. However, because of the experiences that I have had with art exhibitions this year, and I am sure that we (as artists) all go through them and discover our boundaries, here are a few things that I would ask you to consider before asking me to participate in an artshow / art exhibition / art exposition.
The first and foremost thing you need to be aware of is that I am ex-military, and I still work to very highly exacting standards. I will expect a lot from YOU. If you are unable to meet the same standards of work ethic and cooperation, don’t bother reading further. If you are, then by all means, continue:
- Are you a hobbyist or a full time artist? How much time do you dedicate towards your art?
- What is your progression in terms of further education? Do you read? What do you read?
- Why are you asking ME? What is it you hope to attain by my participation? I will ask you this, so please be prepared for an answer.
- What is your goal for the art show? Do you have a premise or are we just doing an art exposition?
- What is your claim to fame? What have you done for the art community here in Kelowna (or elsewhere)?
- Are you prepared to pull your own weight? I put a huge effort out to ensure the art shows I am involved in are successful. I have discovered (and endured much pain when I realized) that the reason a show is not successful, is not because of me. If you are not prepared to put in as much energy and dedication as I am, then do not ask me.
- Are you wishy washy and have a history of pulling out at the last second, or making some other excuse for bailing?
- Are you prepared to show up at the show, 15 minutes early or are you always late? Are you prepared to stay for the entire show?
- Are you interested only in a local venue? ie a “country gallery”? if so, please do not ask me.
- Are you prepared to contribute in equal terms of funding for advertising etc?
- Are you prepared to be proactive and speak as nicely about my work as you are about your own?
- Are you well versed in internet programs and opportunities?
- Are you able to think out of the box, or are you rigid?
- Do you show mostly reproductions? If so, please do not ask me. My own path dictates that I do not do reproductions, and I have made the decision that I will only show with artists who do not do reproductions.
These are just some of the questions I will ask you and these are some of the questions you need to consider as they are part of, or should be part of, your work ethic.
If you have not read the essay “Self Reliance” by Sir Ralph Waldo Emerson, then please do so because you will understand me and be able to work with me much better after you read it.
And if you would still like to contact me about participating in an art show, feel free. I look forward to talking with you.
All the best, Julia