My application for my first Starving Artist Art Fair was turned down.
The woman I was in contact with was very nice, very supportive. The jury preferred that every piece of my artwork — Angel Tears — should be hand made.
I get that. I knew that. I know all of the hard work that goes into making something from scratch. That’s where the blood, sweat, and tears come from.
I chose to use a combination of purchased items and assemble them to my own specifications. The entire process is mine, just not the physical pieces.
The woman who sent me my rejection email suggested I try the smaller, local art fair across the street from their bigger one. Same day, almost same place.
Probably the best suggestion I’ve had all year. And I’m going to do it.
I would imagine many of you out there go through the same amount of angst, pride, doubt, and excitement about every piece you create.
Why am I doing this? Making this? Making this particular style of this? Is it any good? Who would want to buy this? Can the purchasing public see this flaw or this wrong flash of color or this odd texture or this slipped stitch?
Your first rejection. Your first return. Your first complaint. They didn’t like it. They hated it. They hate my work.
I went through this same angst, pride, doubt, and excitement with every piece I wrote, too. My fear of never being published, never being read, never being understood. I write and delete and edit and throw out chapters and stanzas and stare at my computer screen and watch kitty videos.
Why do I put myself through this? This up and down, heart-and-gut-wrenching doubt about my beloved product?
I am happy to say that I ignore most of those wasted emotions lately. I plan on sharing now rather than hope for tomorrow. I believe my writing is that good. And now my crafts.
Do you believe you are creative?
Do you enjoy what you do?
Do you like your end result?
Are you willing to work at getting your art out there?
I am excited about trying a smaller venue. Face it. I’ve never offered my art before to the public. Ever. Not my writing, not my crafts.
I’ve never offered my dreams before, either.
I love the feeling creativity gives me. It lifts me. It’s therapy after a crazy day or a depressed night. I enjoy working on something that started as a thought in my mind and evolved into something tangible.
Don’t let a road block in one direction stop you from turning and going a different way. There are dozens of ways to get your work out there. It doesn’t have to be a sales route. It can be work shared with friends and family, shared online, on a blog, or in your own online publication. You can enter half a dozen art fairs, craft fairs, or start your own art fair or a neighborhood art fair.
If you love what you do, don’t give up.