The days before my very first group show - the very first gallery, in fact, that my work has been in outside of school - are becoming fewer and fewer.
And as my nerves eat away at me and I dream of my paintings falling out of their frames, or the wrong name and information being taped beside the wrong painting, or people looking at my work and laughing at me or - worse - not looking at my work at all, I have to look at what I've done and decide to keep going in spite of, or because of the above.
I came across this quote the other day and it made me think about this line of work, this creative universe that I have been piecing together.
Because I spend a lot of time being ignored. Not by you, thank God, not ever by you. As an "artist" (and feel free to put your line of work within the quotations: writer, musician, scientist, landscaper) you have to build your own mountains so you can stand on them. You reach your hands out to other people and sometimes (usually) find yourself grasping at nothing.“The soul that sees beauty may sometimes walk alone.” — Goethe
On a side note: I read every comment and email that I get. I love getting them. I try to reply to everyone. If I don't reply to someone it's either because I've become distracted IMMEDIATELY after reading your comment OR because I cannot find the contact information to respond.
But once and awhile you reach your hand out and find another hand there; solid, welcoming, excited to discuss your ideas with you. You can never predict who that person will be or what they do.
I watched this video on Ted Talks about starting a movement in under three minutes. If you watch it, you will see that sole person out in the middle looking ridiculous. But he continues on dancing and loving what he is doing. Eventually someone follows suit. And then another, and another. It reminds me of how it feels to be doing what you love before anyone is on board with you. You do it and you do it and you float around in your own people-less world until there is that hand, waiting, embracing.
It's hard to keep going. But keep going.