My history of exhibiting is, well, patchy at best.
When opportunities present themselves and when it comes to being ready, having my shit together on time, every time, has never been my forte. I’m rarely organised enough to pull off a last minute submission and on the very few occasions when I have managed to achieve this small miracle, my efforts have been duly rewarded with a complete **** up. And don’t get me started on the anxiety I have when attending the opening night shows.
It hasn’t been until very, very recently that I realise why I enter panic mode when applying for a show.
This is how the process usually goes:
See an opportunity.
Flap around trying to find something to submit.
Wait for the judges decision.
Get selected (hopefully).
At the last possible moment try to get my framer to weave her magic, in record time, so I can meet the gallery’s drop off/delivery time slot.
Arrange for last minute delivery to venue.
Wait for news of a sale (which’ll be a miracle).
It’s all rush, rush, last minute panic and dread, anxiety build up and emotional collapse.
But it really doesn’t have to be this way. At least that’s what I’m telling myself. It just takes a bit of forward planning and preparation to bring a little calm to the studio.
So this is the plan:
Keep a spread sheet of yearly opens and exhibitions that interest me (update as and when necessary) and set my calendar for timely reminders of upcoming events.
Build and prep my own frames (simpler than it sounds after visiting the university of Youtube). And as I paint on MDF panels of standard sizes, batch making to these dimensions in readiness is a no brainer.
Select paintings from stock (never paint to order, that’s just a disaster waiting to happen).
Deliver and… relax.
I was never in the Scouts as a kid, so being prepared has never really been my thing. Instead I wing it, mostly. A solution which, to be fair has very rarely failed me. But applying a little method and discipline to bring order to this unnecessary knife-edge, white knuckle ride of a process seems to be the way to go.
I’ve just submitted to a popular local arts festival and I feel like everything is under control. If/when I get the acceptance nod, I’ll be ready to roll.
Just need to beat my anxieties into submission and I should be all set.