Has it really been 8 months since I've posted to this blog? And that last post was nothing to write home about. Wow am I ever terrible at this...
But here I am, making an update and trying to keep myself accountable to...well, to myself, I guess. I do keep the newsletter somewhat current, so that's probably a better bet for news and updates, but I want to do a sort of year-in-review/preview here. Because I'm deep into 2018 planning and events, and that makes me reflective. I like to compare where I am with where I was, so to speak. So! Let's do some stats!
In 2017 I submitted to seven local group shows/exhibitions, two markets, and eight galleries or retail shops. I participated in all of those shows and one of the markets, for a total of eights events. I didn't actually hear back from a single gallery, but the one local shop was a maybe. Of course, that shop has since closed. Since that was my first year really trying to get into shows and sending out feelers for different opportunities, I considered it an incredible success and was pretty proud of my accomplishments.
So far in 2018, I've applied to and been accepted into six local shows, signed up to have a table at a local art market, queried one gallery on the other side of the state and been invited to participate in a show there, applied to an international art magazine, and submitted something to a national contest by a large art supply company. Not to mention the several promotional postcards I've sent out to different publications and the business cards I hand out like I'm at Mardi Gras (with considerably less boob flashing action). Since it's only February, and this list only extends to April/May events, I think I'm on track to surpass last year, which would be great.
The fact that I am doing all of this while maintaining a full-time job and my adult responsibilities and home and family life sometimes actually surprises me. I mean, it's a lot. A LOT. And it takes a lot of juggling to make it work. Plus burnout is always there, on the edges. The other thing that I'd like to make more progress in is actual sales. All of these events, and a growing network, haven't really resulted in selling a lot of art, however. In 2016 and early 2017 I did have some steady sales, mostly from friends and acquaintances, but that has slowed down in the last several months. I do have a commission I have waiting to be finished and another project I back-burnered that I really need to finish. I'd like to take on more commission work, but I'm hesitant to commit to things I can't really say I would ultimately enjoy.
I plan to stay pretty busy through May, but I'm seriously considering taking a break over the summer months to enjoy some free time, maybe catch up on a backlog of reading I have that's been piling up. And we'll be moving into a new house in a nearby town around that time, which is obviously going to take a lot of my attention. For now I'll continue to say yes to as many things as I think I can realistically handle.