After a creative whirlwind of a year, I kind of expected summer to hit and me to just take a month off. I am not so sure that’s going to happen after all! After our class exhibition, there is the West Cork Art Centres member show of the year, which I was in last year and would like to be in this year. After that there’s rumours of an exhibition I am to be in, out Baltimore (West Cork) way and then another in August in Church Cross, Skibbereen.
My instinct is to back out before I let any one down with my unpredictable health issues. My other instinct, when I get attention, is to run screaming into the blue yonder until everyone forgets I exist and I go back to being a content little hermit.
Something has changed though. There’s this tiny wee spark inside of me now that has instilled me with a new confidence. Confidence that my community will support me when I am weak, if I just ask for it (which I never do because hello, stubborn), confidence my art is worth exhibiting and confidence that if I just take everything one day at a time I can exhibit and put my work out into the world. That I can make a go of being a working artist who gets paid as opposed to just creating because I love it. I will make the work anyway, so why not take a deep breath and put my work out there?
I have to say, I felt like I was stagnant when I went back to Rossa College as an art therapy student. I felt like it was good for me socially and to hone my skills but everyone else I had been in class with before had gone on to degrees and I was repeating the course for leisure. It felt like I couldn’t make “real” progress, but at least I could meet some people and have access to the facilities at school. It felt like a consolation as opposed to progress.
Now looking back I have made a massive leap forward in terms of ability and confidence. I have made several friendships I know I will enjoy for years to come, I’ve got 4 exhibitions under my belt with 4 more on the way and I’ve found that letting people in on my process (as opposed to being worried people will copy or steal my ideas) has done more to inspire me and spur me on then anything I could have imagined.
I’ll have to be careful I don’t take on too much, as always, but I have to say I am really loving where I am at the end of this year. I feel capable, proud of my achievements and confident in my direction. I know I can do exhibitions (provided they’re accessible!) and produce finished work worthy of hanging and selling. I know it’s ok to work at my own pace because the end product is worth it. And I am no longer nervous of the “art scene” out here any more – I have yet to have a negative experience.
I am really looking forward to what happens next 🙂
(Which FYI, you can be part of – I am still offering art at a discount to raise money for my kiln. Click HERE to find out more.)