My space at the two day art show was located a few steps up on a platform in the corner. It seemed like a good spot when I agreed to it. I didn’t know until I arrived Saturday morning that another vendor’s booth would be partially blocking the view of my area. I did sell a print of my “Forest Angel” early on the first day to someone who fell in love with her.
Forest Angel, by JoAnne Silvia
But as the day wore on, I didn’t get a lot of traffic and sold little. In spite of the compliments I got on my original paintings, I felt myself getting more and more deflated and resentful. I asked if there were any other spaces I could move to for Sunday and the answer was a clear, “No.”
Saturday evening, I decided that rather than be miserable, and not wanting to attract more misery, I needed to change my attitude for Sunday. Maybe that way, I would attract more people who wanted to buy my art. I decided to be as positive as I could about the whole thing no matter what happened. I smiled and talked about how I loved the music being played and sent positive energy into whatever I did. I caught people’s eyes and encouraged them with my smile to take the steps up to my platform.
Though I continued to receive compliments on my work, my sales were not much better than on Saturday. I did sell another “Forest Angel” print to someone drawn to her immediately, and I sold another print and some rocks I’d painted with angels. I worked on a sketch and painted more rocks, and kept reinforcing my positive mood. It was an exercise in acceptance of the things I could not change. I had worked hard to put this show together, and I worked hard to stay positive on Sunday. My attitude was something I could change.
The most important lesson I learned (again) was that, after acknowledging my disappointment, it was healthier for me to have a positive attitude, even knowing that I lost money on the venture. That doesn’t mean I’d do it again, certainly not under the same conditions, but I finished the day without any more complaining.
I appreciated the abundant support from my husband and from my friends (in person, on social media, and on WordPress.) One of my friends told me, “the people who are meant to have your art were not there.” That helped. It also helped when near the end of the show, I went around and admired other peoples’ art – work that I complimented because it was beautiful, but I didn’t buy anything. I realized that just because people didn’t buy much of my work, that didn’t mean that their compliments were empty. Anything we create with love has value.
At church on Sunday our scripture reading from Phillipians included this:
“God will take your humiliation and turn it into God’s glory.”
I believe God has something else in store for my art.
I need to remember this message that I posted on “Anything is Possible:”
And I will remember how much better it felt to return to a positive attitude, after acknowledging my feelings and allowing myself to sulk a little.
You can see more of my work here:
Today, I have a busy day on the job that pays the bills for now, so if I don’t respond to comments right away, know that I’m thinking of you. I’ll check in later.