An Artist’s Life, Part II

So my first month as a full-time artist seemed to go well despite my inability to fulfill my socializing quota. I sold a few pieces plus some image reproduction rights, had a show up in Kamloops, met a bunch of artists, and was feeling pretty good about everything.

I’m up!

Then I looked at the calendar: nothingness looms. No shows, no sales, no contacts, not even any social events. Some things I thought were going to happen fell through.

I’m down.

I google “Calls for Entry.” Nothing. Contests? Ditto. My agent has forgotten I am alive. My leads aren’t returning my calls. I panic! Even the employment agencies have little to offer. At this point, I’m not even sure I have friends.

I’m seriously subterranean.

But then one of my friends does call me and she heads up an Arts In View program at the bank for which she works. Lo, two three-month slots are open, September and December, different locations. I’m in for both (she’s a really good friend). 20 pieces each. Small canvases. Wow, solo shows – I better get busy.

And even better, via e-mail today: I now have a spontaneous show at a popular mayoral candidate’s campaign headquarters for a month, starting ASAP because another artist wasn’t ready. I remember reading somewhere that most artists should have two or three show’s worth of work painted and ready to go at any time. Well, hey: my lack of sales gives me at least one show’s worth of work. I basically just need to show up with a hammer and nails and as many paintings as I can scrape together. It’s good exposure since he’s bound to get a lot of media attention.

So, back up to ground level at least. Life as an artist? It’s a %$#@ rollercoaster, I tell you.

But I still haven’t written that damn business plan.