The night before my first outdoor art festival, I couldn't sleep. This had been a dream of mine for awhile and it was finally coming true.
What if I suck at this?
I stared at the ceiling while jumbled thoughts of things I might forget, disaster scenarios, and what ifs raced through my head. My clock sat there mocking me, but there was nothing more I could do now.
What if it rains?
I awoke at 4 am to finish packing the Nissan with as much as I could possibly fit. My games of Tetris had finally payed off as I maneuvered all of the necessary elements of an art show, a tent, tables, chairs, artwork, into a surprisingly large trunk.
What if nobody likes my art?
Everything is going to be fine, I repeated to myself as I drove an hour to the outdoor venue. The sun was just starting to peek above the trees as I pulled into my spot for the next ten hours. I had arrived a bit early to set up in a desperate effort to look like I actually knew what I was doing.
Damn it, I forgot to bring tape! Now how am I going to hang up my sign?
Not that the tape would have mattered. It was July. In Tennessee. The sun started to push down so effectively, the force of gravity actually changed. The paint on the canvas, my hair color, and the metal chairs began to melt. Nobody came into my booth. I don’t blame them, I was beginning the resemble The Blob.
What am I doing here?
The booth next to mine was a much different story. The artist had fans, ice, and had even set up waterfalls for ambiance. Each customer that walked in left with a perfectly packaged ceramic piece. As the day went on, I began to doubt its existence. I was convinced it was a mirage.
I am never doing this again.
As the last art patrons trickled out of the area, I had sold nothing, I stood for nine hours due to the chairs melting, and I’m pretty sure I was beginning to show signs of severe dehydration. I was about to pack up when I saw a giant hat leaning over my table.
No. Sudden. Movements.
A classy southern woman, who I am guessing was about 70 years old, looked up at me with the kindest most understanding eyes.
“I love your little cards. They are so funny.” She giggled as she contemplated the meaning of each one. “I am going to buy your whole booth!”
Ok, that last part didn't happen, she didn't buy the whole booth. But, she did buy several cards and a print. It was my first non-family, non-friend art sale. More important than the sale was how she seemed to get me. She understood me just by looking at my art. For that moment I had more in common with this little old lady than the entire universe combined.
I packed up the car and drove an hour home. The first thing I did when I got home was book my next show.
I'm Jackie, an artist, illustrator, and friend to ghosts, monsters, and aliens. This blog is full of DIY projects, stories, and things I think are cool. Stay weird.