I'm so excited to announce that I will be a featured artist in RAW Artists' Premiere Exhibition happening on February 6 here in Denver! As I started planning what pictures I want to include, how I want my booth setup, and how to promote, I began to think about my last showcase.
The first and only other art show I've done was also with RAW Artists about 4 years ago when I was focused on painting and illustration.
Sadly, it wasn't very successful in terms of launching my artistic career, but that was totally my fault. I was nervous AF, unprepared, my artistic style was all over the place, and I was feeling discouraged because a few people who I really wanted to attend ended up flaking out on me.
That would probably explain why I didn't sell one single thing, not even a print for $5. Not to mention that hardly anyone came and talked to me about my work. Most people politely walked by and smiled without engaging.
I did have a couple of people who were interested, and one woman even wanted to interview me for her blog, but I never heard back from her after that night 😕.
To say I was disappointed would be an understatement.
Throughout the night I noticed all the interest in the guy's work next to me. I moseyed around the venue checking out the other artists and felt like a total amateur when I saw their booth setups, read their artist statements, and witnessed all the art lovers surrounding their work.
Everyone else was making sales and expanding their audience, but I wasn't getting the same experience.
This made me feel even worse than I already felt. By the end of the night, I felt like an actor who was playing the wrong part.
You would think this experience would have left me jaded and make me want to give up on my art career forever, and you would be right. For a while, I seriously believed I just didn't have the talent, branding or finesse that other artists had. I didn't think I had what it takes to make money off of my art.
But looking back now I view it as a valuable experience that I learned a lot from.
"Failure is success in progress" - Albert Einstein
After that bust of a show, I still kept creating, of course, but I didn't feel compelled to illustrate anymore, let alone try and sell my work.
Instead, I found myself doing more and more photography and practicing Lightroom and Photoshop in my spare time. I even invested in a nice DSLR camera and props to help execute my ideas.
I quickly realized that photography truly resonated with me in a way that no other art form did before. Yes, I love to draw, I love to paint, I love to write, and I love just being creative in general, but nothing compares to my passion for pictures.
This led me to create my Instagram account and personal website, so I could share my pictures, inspiration, and artistic story with the world.
For a while, the sole purpose of these things really was just to share my recent creations with anyone who cared to take a look. I didn't think my pictures were good enough to be hanging up on someone's wall or in a business or as part of an art show, but that recently changed.
I don't know what happened exactly but I had an epiphany out of the blue. I thought to myself, "I really love photography and I feel really good about my work and skill level so why am I not pursuing it on as a professional?"
This little realization is the best thing that has happened to me recently, and its already paying off.
I decided to start entering competitions and trying to get my work displayed around town, and the first show I applied for just so happened to be this RAW Artists show. Being alumni helped, but it felt good being accepted because of my photography.
It's been a little over 4 years since my last show, but a lot has changed.
For one, I feel sooooo much more confident in my art and in myself. I used to be intimidated by the thought of discussing or sharing my art. I would tell myself there was no meaning behind it. But that's not true.
It might not have been created as a statement, but there is certainly meaning behind everything I create. Now, I'm aware of exactly what my inspiration and vision are and what I'm trying to communicate, and I'm excited to share that with others.
It's because of this newfound creative confidence that I know this showcase will be a success. I've grown so much as an artist and person over the last few years, at this point, I'm just grateful to have this opportunity.
Last time I put too much importance on the wrong things like how many people showed up or whether I made a sale or not. All this did was stress me out and discourage me. Now I understand that the only thing that really matters is the fact that I'm able to share work with confidence, enthusiasm, and pride.
All in all, I feel more prepared financially, creatively, and better equipped mentally.
Words can't describe how pumped I am to be a part of this!!
If you're in Denver and looking to have fun and check out some sweet art then don't miss this! I'm just one of the many artists who will be participating and sharing their unique vision.
Buy your tickets here. They're only $25, and each ticket helps cover the cost for my booth. I'm looking forward to seeing you there!