Earlier in the summer, at a point when I was concerned about ‘Life after the Diploma’, I started applying for everything I came across; exhibition; events; support programs for emerging artists. You name it I threw my hat in the ring. Last week I was slightly hanging my head – I had had either no response or a rejection from each one. Clearly no-one else thought as much of my work as I do myself. Conceit had got the better of me.
If I had been checking my spam folder regularly I might have been a bit chirpier, having discovered that my work had been accepted for the exhibition Battersea Arts Station. Suddenly rummaging around for hours in the muddy banks for the River Thames is worth it – yippee, my first proper exhibition!
But then things went a bit crazy in my inbox. It was as if somebody had been reading my blog and felt sorry for me. They had then rung round all their contacts and suggested that they could stave off my suicidal tendencies if they asked me to take part in something. So Now. in addition to Battersea, I need to find work for the Royal Opera Academy Gallery in London, just off Pall Mall and for the Great Northern Contemporary Crafts Fair. All three events take place in October and will be rapidly followed by the November Open Studios.
Well what was I to do? I suppose I could have told them all that I was too busy. But opportunities like these don’t grow on trees. You have to grab them when you can, don’t you? Particularly when you are just setting out and you need the breaks. I just wish rather that they came with some sort of timetable so that, just like London Buses I could be reasonably confident that there would be another one along soon!
So now I have a bit of a tight schedule. Suddenly I need a whole lot of work and, given that they all seem to like the newer pieces on website, I cannot simply hand over the work from my final exhibition – not that I would want to anyway. I am so much more pleased with what has come since. I know have a day by day plan of what needs doing when which includes working in the studio on Saturdays and means that there are going to be a great many days when my work space is going to represent organised chaos. Moral of the story – keep applying, keep your spirits up and be prepared to make like crazy from time to time. By the end of November I shall be getting quite practiced at this form of vessel and, as Fred Gatley told me ‘do one thing and do it well’, I shall stick to that. I just wish he had warned me that although there would be times when the phone does not ring, there might also be times when you have to add ‘and do it quickly’!!