I have been putting together my first ever solo exhibition. "Local Letterboxes". This sounds exciting and it is, but I have this constant nagging voice at the back of my head saying things like :
1. "What if nobody comes to see it?"
2. "What if they do come and they don't like your paintings?"
3. "What if they do like them, make positive noises about them, but nobody buys anything?".
The rational, sensible, scientific part of my brain can sometimes respond - but not usually at 4am - with something along the lines of :
1. "You have put up lots of posters, there's a piece about it in the local paper and you've been posting on Facebook and Twitter for weeks now - what more can you do?".
2. "If they don't like them, they will probably whizz round and then leave. They are not terribly likely to come up to you and say they think it's rubbish. They have not paid to view the exhibition. They will not be demanding their money back. Not everyone will like your paintings. Fact."
3. "Make the most of the feedback. Don't stress about selling - if you do, it will be obvious and probably put people off. It's more important that you're getting out there and showing the world (well, a small part of the world) what you do."
All artists have to find a way of living with the fear of rejection. I have read about this on many artists' blogs; the above is simply a distillation of my thoughts on the subject. It is very simplified; there are plenty other things to worry about. But I intend to try and keep things in perspective and stick to these three. It's remembering the rational replies that's the tricky bit!
My "Local Letterboxes" exhibition of watercolour paintings is on from 6th-11th August at the GALE centre in Gairloch, Wester Ross.