a great big leap of faith.
Almost a month ago I got an email on my Facebook page about setting up a trading post at an art trading event at the Riverside Art Museum. For the last couple of years I had slowly decided I wanted to devote more time to art, build up an inventory, open an Etsy store (everyone does it!) and eventually show somewhere. Painting and crafting became a lot more interesting when I finally found something I was passionate about and I started to get positive feedback as I experimented with ideas & techniques. The free arts movement I have been recently involved in was an immense push for me to keep at it. To keep chipping away at ideas and exploring a passion I had squelched inside me for so long. So when I finally got this email last month, to set up a trading post and bring my art to display, talk about, and trade with a community of other artists I should have felt excited to be given the opportunity.
But honestly? Excitement was not what I felt. What I felt when I read that email was fear.
Here was an opportunity, wide open for me. I didn’t even have to ask for it, I was invited. I would get to “show” my work in an event setting for the first time. I would meet the people I admired on social media and be exposed to new things. And most importantly, I would be demonstrating to my kids (who are really too little to grasp the importance of this but that is beside the point) that it is okay to follow your passions. To not feel stuck by your circumstances; in my case, being a mom to two little ones who happened to work full time and had very little time for anything else. I guess, really, I would be reaffirming that for myself.
Being “stuck” is a comfortable feeling, though. It allowed me to hide behind my iPhone and post Instagram photos of the occasional projects I did, and nothing more. It really wasn’t that much work, and I only really worked when I felt like it. I got to leave free art out every now and then, but that was just a small little leap of faith. Leaving something behind and taking a photo of it, letting the art go to be discovered by someone else; there was still some wiggle room for me to remain anonymous. I got to meet a few interesting people in person as a result but for the most part, it was easy.
I said yes to this opportunity in spite of my fears, and I will indeed be setting up a trading post with a few little paintings and prints and several hand-painted cushions. My theme is still going to support Congenital Heart Defect Awareness and even though it’s something I truly care about, having a month to chew on the thought of it hasn’t calmed my nerves any. I am freaking out. I’ll have to pack up my work and stand behind it. Look people in the eye and confidently say, I made this. I have a message. For the first time, ever, I am having to find that little, tiny voice inside me, the one that is not so good at speaking up, and use it to shout, This is my art, and this is my heart.
A great big leap of faith, for the first time ever, in myself.
For more about this event (look for me hiding under my table), visit the event’s Facebook page!