You've gotta have thick skin to be an artist. Especially if you plan to share your work with the world. My mother-in-law was an artist who entered many a juried show. We remember well her telling us "It's a very subjective thing, and all depends on the judge. I've had paintings that didn't get accepted at all in one show, only to turn around and win one of the top prizes in another." In the short period of time that Hubby has been sharing his photography with the world, he has already had some experience riding that rollercoaster!
The Wimberley Valley Art League hosts juried shows at our community center several times a year. A friend and long-time member warned us that people rarely sell much of anything at the show, but that it was a good way to get your work seen. The first time Hubby entered anything, two out of three got selected to be in the show, and one of those got an Honorable Mention. He was disappointed. I had to take him by the collar and give him what for. "How many pieces didn't even get accepted into the show? And of the 40 or 50 that did, how many got awards? Only seven or eight, that's how many -- and you were one of them! On your first try, you gooberhead!'
A couple of months later he took some of his photos to one of the local galleries, and had another rollercoaster experience. They hand out little green "People's Choice" stickers to the people who come in to browse, and encourage them to place the stickers on their favorite pieces of art. John stopped in periodically to see if anything had sold, and noticed that one piece had accumulated a few green stickers. He was tickled pink! Another time he arrived to find one of permanent artists holding court in front of that same photo. We edged up behind them to hear what he was saying. "I just don't get it. Why would anyone put a sticker on what is obviously a one-click process in Photoshop?" Hubby got an evil grin on his face and started edging through the group. "It took a lot more than one click", he said. "Are you sure about that?" "Positive!" Finally the light came on for the other guy. "Oops. My bad!"
It took him a while, but several photos he had taken in Barcelona had turned out so well, he just had to share them. So, last week he finally got the nerve to enter another of the juried shows at the community center. Again, two out of three got accepted to be in the show.
On Friday we attended the opening reception, and he was crushed to discover that, not only were they hung off in a corner by themselves, neither one had won a prize. "But they were so much better than that first one which did win an award!"
Last night he was sitting in bed, reading emails, when he suddenly burst out laughing. "Guess what? I just sold one of those photos in the art show!"
And, just like that, the twinkle-eyes were back!