Updated: Jan 17
Chasing a dream requires a good deal of faith and a greater amount of bravery. From the perspective of an artist I can tell you that rejection is a hard pill to swallow - especially so when one isn't braced for the possibility of it.
Several months ago I was presented with an opportunity to sell my work through a major retailer. Shortly after receiving my acceptance email I was invited to submit an application to the company's annual vendor fair. This event would allow me to meet up to 300+ individual store owners, show them my work and take orders which I'd then fill and replenish as needed. I discussed this career move with my husband and with his full support I eagerly submitted my application.
A few weeks later I received an email stating that the selection committee had accepted me into the event. From that moment on I began studying the ins and outs of selling wholesale and began designing my line of merchandise all the while keeping up with my current painting schedule and maintaining my online business with Etsy.
Finally, it was time to begin our 15 hour drive to the conference center. I felt prepared with everything needed for success: line sheets, samples, racks to hold my goods and most importantly: totes of merchandise featuring carefully selected works of my art. I felt fully prepared and ready for the next phase of my career to begin.
.......fast forward seven days.
This morning I awoke and began the usual tasks one does upon returning from a week-long trip: I unpacked the car, put away my suitcase and started a load of laundry. The one thing I didn't anticipate was returning home without having taken one. single. order. I shall spare you the agonizing details.
At this point in my story I could spend the next few paragraphs coming up with hypothetical reasons as to why no one wanted to carry my work in their stores but truthfully, does it really matter? If someone magically handed me a letter with a list of bullet points dissecting every reason why my work was found unappealing, would it enrich my life? No, it wouldn't. At best it would place doubt in my head about the quality and/or content of my work and I value my work too much for that. A dear friend of mine said something to me today that put things into perspective:
'I think it far more magical finding you on the internet exactly when you need a message from a spirit animal. It connects you and the buyer on a more energetic level than to see a card somewhere with no clue about the artist or their true intention for creating those artworks.'
How brilliant is that? And she's 100% right; I take no greater joy than offering my work to those who feel a deep connection to it - it's the core reason for this body of work.
I'd be lying if I told you I immediately embraced this experience and took everything in stride because I didn't. I spent my fair share of time feeling sorry for myself, believe me; but sorrow has now turned into a gentle reminder that every major upset in my life has held a purpose, ultimately leading me to a more fulfilling life. There is a lesson here; I don't yet know what it is but I look forward to seeing what the Universe has in store for what comes next.
Thanks for reading. Until next time,