Change is in the air
Here, summer is a little like winter in other parts of the country. For most of the country the winter is too cold, whereas here the summer is too hot. In either case, it’s oppressive outside so you spend all your time indoors, dreaming about what you’ll do outdoors when the weather breaks.
Our long hot summer seems to be breaking, at last. Typical summer temperatures over 105F appear to be past. Today the temperature only reached into the upper 80s, which seemed positively cool. I even managed to get out into the garden and pull some weeds today. I have trouble doing that in 100+ degree weather. (Heck, anything over 90 feels oppressive when you’re weeding.) Soon it’ll be cool enough to do the major front-yard makeover I’ve been preparing for.
And with the changing of the season comes other changes for me.
I’ve been staring long and hard at my art festival schedule. 2008 was my year of “try anything once”. Any show in southern California that seemed halfway reasonable and accepted me (not all did!) I went ahead and exhibited at. Big shows, small shows, nearby shows, shows that I needed to drive a long distance and book a hotel for, I tried them all this year.
And managed to wear myself out in the process. I generally exhibit alone, and let me tell you, it’s a LOT of work for one person! I love interacting with the public and talking about my art. But with the economy in recession and attendance at all the shows way down, there’s a little less joy in it these days. Now, I love doing festivals and I will certainly keep doing them. I’m just going to be more selective about which ones I do.
In 2008 I just didn’t know which shows I’d be able to get into. The best shows (the ones with the best art, the largest attendance, and highest sales) tend to be very hard to get into. And indeed I was not accepted by many of the better shows I applied to. But I did get into some, and I’m getting much better at putting together a compelling application, so I expect to get into more of the better shows next year. At least, I’m going to try!
So my strategy for 2009 is to do fewer, better shows. I’ll only apply to those shows I really want to do. No more little “filler” shows. It’s a huge gamble, and I hate gambling! But the exhaustive round of multiple small shows just wears me out, puts miles on my car, and saps energy that I could better put toward painting (or gardening!).
At the same time, my studio is rather a mess and I need to reorganize it. I’ve been reading “Organizing from the Inside Out”. I’d read it before, but somehow never got around to actually doing anything with it. Another artist has been featuring other artists’ studios on her blog, and I’d been ogling those beautiful, clean, organized spaces, wishing mine was like that. Wishing, but not doing anything.
But now another artist has started blogging about cleaning out her studio, and it just seemed like the universe was sending me a sign. It’s time to fix up my studio for real, not just read about it! Going back through the book and really doing the exercises this time, I’ve come up with a plan. It will keep the things I need in easier reach, and gives everything a home. I’ve drawn up detailed plans for furniture placement. I’ve designed a new filing system that should work better for me. I know exactly what I need to do.
I should be able to start moving the bigger pieces of furniture within a week (depending on some help for this part). This is gonna be a major shakeup.
Change is in the air!