Monday, October 17, 2011

Gallery Sitting your Own Exhibit: the good, bad and the ugly

can be a really humbling experience, and a  valuable one too. Nancy and I gallery sat the whole day Saturday at our exhibit with a steady flow of visitors. 
The bad and the ugly 
Here is the humbling part, not everyone is going to like your exhibit or some of your work and some make it very obvious.   Some just walk in and out immediately, some display the "sniff" (That "sniff" of derision is unmistakable), some don't smile or speak when you say hello, some complain about the gallery itself (not the work in it), and some make minor complaints that have no relevance to the work itself. Learning how to deal with that with grace, sifting out the useful information, learning how to talk about your work, and accepting that it's okay for some NOT to like  your work is all a valuable part of the artistic journey. Putting yourself out there is tough and developing a thick skin is imperative for your survival as an artist. Here is some great advice on How to Develop a Thick Skin.

The Good
It's wonderful seeing people engaged with your work, liking your work (and buying it of course),asking questions, laughing, making   observations and connections between your work that you may not have considered. Seeing what people doodle or write on our Cloth Guest Book pages is a real treat: We've been asking guests to sign, draw or stitch in our guestbook pages.

Theresa F, did the most adorable drawing that I'm currently embellishing a wee bit. As the exhibit goes along Nancy and I will be embellishing the pages and some of the text/doodles before it is bound and donated to the community.


daisyfae said...

there is an art to accepting criticism. and the lesson that "not everyone will like you" is a challenging part of growing up. i haven't entirely mastered either... but keep trying.

those 'sniffers', however, are toads. i like to think karma has them well targeted...

JafaBrit's Art said...

yep, but those "sniffers", hum! I agree, karma will deal with them.

Anonymous said...

A cloth guest book-what a novel idea!
And so fun that you are stitching/embroidering it for posterity.
Is it an actual 'book?' May we see a pic?

Honestly, I don't take too much to heart re: my art. Some people 'get it' and you can just tell; some people are just curious and often open to both listening and sharing. Then there are the snotty/snarky types: b/c they're either just THOSE kind of people or maybe jealous (the 'sniffers.' )
But you make your art for yourself, first and foremost, right? And then there's 'us,' your fan club. :-) And we love your creativity and your guts. And come to 'visit' to soak it up and cheer you on. Thank you FOREVER (you jafas) for putting it out there and then taking all the time and effort to share. XOXO

JafaBrit's Art said...

Hiay Anon, I will be doing a post about the cloth guest book in the near future :)

and thank you for your LOVELY words.