Communication! The most valuable thing EVER.
I was so lucky to get the opportunity to talk to an array of very different and very talented Artists yesterday. I feel so very grateful for this opportunity and it's something that I should've been doing a long long time ago!
It's been a bit of a rubbish week. The weather's been awful with the snow and near arctic conditions (I will never moan that it's too hot in the summer again!) and I've also been feeling under the weather too. Which doesn't help!
Knowing that we wanted to visit the Talented Art Fair at the Truman Brewery had us obsessing over what the weather was doing ALL week! It was touch and go for a while.... but the trains were running (hurrah) so we got wrapped up and braved the cold. It was the best decision made all week!
This is only the second time that this event has ever happened. It's arranged by the same team as the New Art Fair and showcases both new British and new International Artists as well as those who are already established in their particular fields.
I can honestly say that after being there for just half an hour, it had been worth the trip already. We got to speak to no end of people trying to make their way in the art world. Some, the same as myself. Working a regular job and creating their work in their free time, juggling family and 'regular life'...and there were others who are lucky to make art as their full time job (jealous!).
Meeting the people behind the work is invaluable. You discover the reasons behind their art, the hidden quirks hidden with it, their personal stories. In fact, much of the work didn't have a particular meaning....they were created just through the love of creating.
The two most inspirational stories that resonated with me were firstly, a lovely woman who hadn't even made art until a few years back. Her home circumstances sadly deteriorated and being in tough times, she needed something to keep her distracted and up beat. She started a creative project with items that she'd collected over a number of years. This actually ended up changing her whole life for positive reasons as her path lead her to a move in location and to meet new people that significantly impacted her life in GOOD ways. She now has a happy life making art full time whilst getting to spend quality time with her children. She's worked hard and her work is now collected throughout the UK.
The second was a brilliant gentleman who paints from life. An avid walker, he takes his sketchbook with him to record suggestions of what he see's on his travels to then create his finished pieces at a later time. We were talking about the practicalities of lugging lots of kit about. It works for some, but not for others. His prints also consist of the raw ideas and colour trials from his sketchbooks. These were FABULOUS. Such a riot of complimenting colours and textures. I honestly could've sat all day long looking though his book. He actually made me want to pick up a paint brush right there and then and start painting something. A chat about techniques, hints and tips for selling and various UK art fairs was so very much appreciated. I can't begin to tell you how significant that 15 minutes of time was. The ironic thing was that he said he felt a bit intimidated by being at a London Fair. He had absolutely NOTHING to worry about there! I hope that other people found him as inspirational as I did. He's someone that I will definitely remember for a long time to come.
And there were many more. People happy and willing to share their stories and the challenges that they face. The blood, sweat and tears that have gone in to getting them to where they are today. You realise that everything doesn't have to be perfect or have to happen in a particular way. You work at your own pace. Be comfortable and happy with what you are doing. Roll with the punches as you will always find a way through.
We are not all struck with divine inspiration or the sudden 'gift' of making fabulous work every single time we put brush or pen to paper. Everyone has their tough times. Insecurities. Worries about being 'liked'. The brilliant this was that no one there felt like they were in competition with each other. Every Artist is very different. Doing what they do for very different reasons. And they are all very supportive of each other. It felt like a proper community.
I skipped out of there very happy, knowing that I do have the motivation and the drive to keep improving and to try and kick some art ass!!!
It's a process. A challenge. A learning curve. A journey. Something to ENJOY.
Have the passion. That's all that you need to succeed.