Saturday, January 29, 2011

Widespread (Studio) Panic

Ah! 8 days until my show! Ah! I haven't made any earrings yet (my best sellers)! Ah! I haven't even thought about my display! Ah! I'm out of business cards! Ah! My house is a mess! Ah! I need to do laundry! Ah! Ah! Ah!
I have a full-blown case of show panic.
Show panic (SP) is what sets in about a week before I do a show, the voice that says, "What the hell were you thinking?!? You're not ready for this, you have SO much to do! How is it all going to come together? Maybe you should bag out..." It's this horrible fear that my whole professional reputation being on the line with one show and that my financial success at said show is directly related to how much saleable stuff I'm able to produce for it, and that if I fail even slightly I will end up on the street. Seriously.
Yet it all comes together somehow. Fortunately, my bouts of SP are getting shorter and shorter. I think that, in part, this is because my work is now more cohesive. The pieces flow together and inspire different variations on the same themes. Not only is this helpful for building an inventory, it makes the idea of displays less intimidating. Instead of trying to match disparate items, I can put an entire series in one part of my booth, and another series elsewhere, organizing them into the families of metal and mixed media to which they belong. In other words, bodies of work instead of a jewelry rummage sale.
But this speaks to a larger issue of confidence, of finding my own creative voice in this vast and wonderous medium. It's a reassuring feeling to have parameters, to have designs that are mine, that work, that are a joy to create, that people genuinely seem to like. My creative voice is now stronger and less afraid of appearing in public. Now, about that housecleaning... 

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