Many of you who follow me on social media channels know that I participated in a spring market in Downtown Los Altos last month.
I would’ve loved to just sit at a table and do arts demos but they wanted product — understandably since it’s a market — so, I ended up painting 50 individual gel-plate printed double-sided wooden discs that were varnished three times over; 80 unique roses on wooden slices to be used as gift tags or keepsakes; 30 intricately-detailed 3D-gold laced mini wooden tags; and 50 alcohol ink prints on metallic paper mounted to create beautiful frame-worthy cards.
The paintings were fun to create … it was fantastic to build three completely different series on wood (a substrate I usually don’t work with) and a wonderful feeling to know that these tangibles would make someone’s day.
But in the weeks leading up to the market and the four hours there, I started to realize just how much of my soul was not in the finishing process or the marketing of merchandise. The hours spent varnishing and sanding, deliberating over display aesthetics, purchasing props and simply guessing whether this would be a “successful endeavor” or not … it gave me reason to introspect.
It also helped to have a myriad of conversations with those who stopped by … an informal survey helped me understand how much people want to see the process, understand what goes into creative process and feel encouraged when I tell them they are artists as well!
It’s taken me almost three weeks to fully recuperate from the event and in this time, I’ve had a lot of interesting, quiet conversations with myself:
What do I love most about art? Why do I yearn to make time for it? What brings me a deep sense of satisfaction, not just the temporary high? What fuels me, challenges me, engrosses me? What makes me want to show up every day? What feels empowering and fulfilling?
I’ve come to the conclusion that I needed this experience to:
- Validate that I enjoy teaching more than mass-producing products
- Push me to create mini project- and technique-based online courses
- Create an online store so that whenever I do have tangibles to share, you have a place to purchase them
It’s been a wonderfully enriching experience stepping out of my comfort zone and giving myself the opportunity to tune in, listen, and continue on my path of creating and sharing.
So, thank you for continuing to be part of my journey and I hope to see you, soon!