Saturday, August 18, 2012

The Kindergartener

I think they are holding their heads like this to balance the hairstyle

I had tea with another creative, someone I adore and have made friends with recently...we were friendly before but something shifted about a two or so years ago and we just started hanging out was natural and easy and we are both kind of dorky and geeky and giggly. We both have suffered from depression and have come out on the brighter side and can tell when the other is skirting the edge. It is quite refreshing.
So we were having tea on Thursday and talking shop, she is a graphic designer and painter and we talk out creative roadblocks in an effort to figure out how to keep moving. She went first and we talked about her creative and personal road blocks and sipped tea and ate macaroons and figured some shit out...then she looked and me and said "your turn".
I was feeling sort of blue, since my piece didn't sell at the event.

I called the gallery on Tuesday, the event decided to host a "Morning after exhibit" in order to give people an extra chance to purchase art that hadn't sold at the big hootenanny and didn't want to buy entry tickets on top of the art purchase price...I called it the "sloppy seconds" gallery.  So I called there on Tuesday to find out (incognito) if my piece had sold. I did this at work (my other job, I work in an industrial business that my brother owns) and while my mother was visiting me there. So I called and said " Hello I was calling to see if number 55 was still available for sale?" trying to be all sly and disguise-y "Oh, Hi we didn't keep the numbers on the work, can you describe it to me?"  SHIT..."Um...yeah, it was a print, of two women with trophies..." I was kind of freaking out..."OH that one I LOVE that piece, yep it is here." ..gulp" uh, thank you I will tell the person that is interesting in it" "OK, bye..."
My brother, hearing this conversation, started to laugh..." you are going to tell yourself" I hung up the phone and said out loud " Barreness, your work is in the sloppy second gallery, you have shamed your family name" My mother, kind of didn't get this and said, well, your father and I  are going to see it tomorrow...I am glad it is still there. My brother, at my comment realized I was upset.
I took a little walk and came back to finish my work.

Back to Thursday:
I had woken up that morning, dragging, looking forward to meeting my friend and talk about something other then the pity party I had been throwing myself for the last couple days. When she said my turn...I just sighed..she said "unload"...I told her that I was disappointed that my work hadn't sold and that I had really gone out on a limb with new techniques and processes and I had blown all my whistles and rung all my bells. It was silly to be upset about it, as I know how subjective art is and that I am trying to get into a new community of artists and that it is super clique-y and that art is all about who you know and as an art buyer you have to be following artists in order to really gauge what they are making and how they are growing artistically and it SUPER SUCKED that my work was in the sloppy seconds gallery.
She looked at me and said "of course it hurts, the kindergartner in you worked really really hard on that piece and was really proud of it and no one told her they liked it"
I started was validating.

 I kept thinking how I was ushered in, in the 23rd hour to be part of this exhibit, and two people put their names on the line for me and my participation. I didn't want to let them down. I didn't want to make a fool of myself. Like finally being invited to a party and then bringing  food that makes everyone sick. Remembered for all the wrong reasons.

I felt ridiculous, but it made more sense. She reaffirmed that I knew that going that extra mile was the best thing artistically even if the work didn't go home with someone.
We left topic after that....and talked about other shop talk things and giggled.
I was able to breathe again.

I met the Barren at home and told him I finally mourned the lost opportunity and that my continued work hard was just what I needed to keep doing. The phone parents had gone to the gallery, but my piece wasn't there. My father chatted up the gallery gal and she showed him the sales log and there was my name, and there was the name of the sold out of the sloppy seconds gallery.
I asked if they were messing with my head, and my father got all super serious and said:
 "I would not joke about your work."
I think that if I had gotten this information hours earlier it would not have felt as good as it did. I had mourned my little broken hearted kid in me and walked ahead. The Barreness, had slammed that kid really hard but had not won. It was liberating and fulfilling.
The gallery sent an email out the following day with images of the work that was still available for sale and my image was not amongst them. My father had not lied.

* I looked up the name of the buyer, SHE is a super amazing humanitarian who is building schools for girls in Africa. How super cool is that!

Here is the piece she bought:


Stinky said...


the process you have followed and described . . . it feels so 'something' with the external validation of your work, but yeah, its so important, otherwise why would you create? Has to be a feedback loop.

Glad you have the grounding connection with your creative-type friend, I think thats soooooo important - the no bull-shit say it how it is without blowing smoke up your arse.
And yay for selling you work, regardless of which gallery it is in!

Mali said...

Thought I'd commented yesterday, but it is quite possible I tried on my iPad, and it has this weird habit of not being able to edit my comments even as I write them.

So, what I wanted to say was Yay you! For three reasons - that you have a great friend, that you came to terms with disappointment, and that you sold your piece. It wasn't Oprah who bought it, was it?

Oh - and BTW, I love it. You're very clever.

Wolfers said...

Like the art!! I'm glad that you got the art sold- sure sounds like Oprah...she is building schools for girls in Africa... :D
Nevertheless, it's always wonderful to have women art to show that we all can be successful role models.