Monday, September 24, 2012

What's Next? Well......Cliff Jumping.

Well another summer show season is winding down, and I am looking forward to putting away the tent for a few months~ I have happily loaded and unloaded all of this stuff into my tiny minivan more times than I can count; in sun, rain, heat, cold, thunder, lightning, wind, HAIL, in three states, and even into an airport hangar!  There are surprises at every turn,
      and I love the life I have. 

2012 has been a year of firsts. 
It was my first show season in 12 years without being interrupted by tornado sirens, (thank goodness) as well as the first time I've had unexpected 'visitors' in my booth overnight.... muddy raccoons.  2012  was also the first year I really screwed up my calendar.  I actually drove through the wee hours of darkness to arrive before the crack of dawn in Delaware.... a week late.  
This also marks the year that my two oldest daughters were big enough to be recruited as show hands; It surely is much easier and much more fun setting up with them now than it was when they were in diapers.

This year will be different...
Like me, I think that most artists have difficulty balancing the time we spend making things that we know will sell, and the time we allow ourselves to create things that are true to our hearts, regardless of whether or not they ever sell.  It is largely a situation of economics, and it can be very frustrating as an artist to succumb to the side of sensibility.  I find myself wondering how many artists are kept from doing their best work because they feel they have to make widgets to pay the bills. I decided that win or lose, this year was going to be different.  It was an easy thing to say, but doing it felt a bit like jumping off a cliff.  I have never jumped off an actual cliff, but I had a few preconceived notions about cliff jumping... 

1. Before you jump, you probably look closely at your feet.  I imagine I would have details of all the pebbles on the ground memorized too.

2. Once you've jumped, you can bet you're going to land somewhere else. It's just a matter of whether you land safely in one piece, or dash yourself into the rocks.

3. When you are in the air it is pretty much impossible to start over.

I looked at my feet and then I threw my sensibility out the window. I bought a bunch of materials that I couldn't afford and I made the things I needed to see come to fruition whether or not anyone cared to buy them.  

Cliff jumping turned out to be a very good thing for me. I looked at my feet until I understood them.  I landed in a different place, a better one.  I discovered that it really isn't a matter of landing safely in one piece or dashing into the rocks after all; because as an artist, I would much rather dash into the rocks as myself than to safely land somewhere not knowing who I am.   I am definitely going to jump more often. Maybe even yet today.


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