Waiting for Winter, 2006, Oil on Panel,24x30
One of my goals for this coming year is to get myself and my work into some art publications. It's not because I want the added attention. I don't really. I would really just prefer to paint and to attend the openings, write my blog and allow that to be the extent of connecting with others. However, I feel like it is time to make a little effort in order to move things along just a bit. It's also a good way to push myself out of my comfort zone. I don't plan to go crazy with this or anything. I will probably just send a few packets out. As much as I admire Alyson Stanfield's advice about artist's promoting themselves, frankly I am not comfortable with doing many of the things that that entails. I have a business card, but wouldn't dream of handing it out to everyone that I meet. I actually don't talk about what I do to everyone. I often enjoy having a conversation that DOESN'T revolve around art, or about what I do. I don't send out postcards or show notices very often, and in fact, I really don't even keep a very good mailing list. I just feel uncomfortable pursuing buyers and generally let the galleries that show my work take care of those things.
However, in an interesting coincidence, yesterday I received a request to participate in a project involving a series of conversations with artists whose work is being shown in the Berkshires. In a moment of blind optimism I agreed to do it. Instead of slipping into a short article in a print format, I am jumping right into the most uncomfortable of all situations for me, a videotaped interview! Holy crap! At least it will be shown only on local public access stations. I felt reluctant to turn it down, because I felt I should support the gallery's efforts, and then as I learned more from the director/interviewer, I decided that I could probably handle it. You know, without vomiting or fainting or otherwise making a fool of myself. It will be just us discussing my work at the gallery. She takes care of all of the technical aspects so there won't be a bunch of people watching or standing around, which makes me feel so much better (I am extremely uncomfortable in front of groups of people, which is one of the reasons I don't teach and why I will probably not do artist lectures. I say probably, because it is always possible that I will change my mind and get over it, but right now, just the thought of public speaking fills me with dread and nausea). Anyway, I am sure that the worrying about it beforehand will be the worst part, well, along with actually seeing and hearing myself on television.
Thanks to the galleries I have worked with, I have had a few chances to do publicity. I have only done one interview, which was for a college newspaper in Ithaca. The writer, a college student who looked like she was about 12, did a good job and even the photograph turned out ok. I've had one review, for the same show (at the Main Street Gallery in Groton, NY), which was published in the Syracuse Post-Standard. And last year I did participate in a gallery talk at The Arts Center in Saratoga Springs where I was in a three person show. I wrote about it here. And about a month ago I turned down an offer to do a radio interview in Concord, New Hampshire. It was partially a scheduling issue, but I also felt really overwhelmed about doing a radio interview at the time.
And so I think this will be fine. The director gave me the ok to wear black (evidently black can wash you out on video) which really helps me feel more comfortable believe it or not. And I am glad to be chipping away at least one of my New Year's resolutions after having a slow start with most of them.
1 through 3, so far and all of the personal ones have been disasters. Heh.