Over the past few days, I have been debating internally what I would write about first when I came back from my little holiday break. Would I talk about Christmas Day? Would I share the beads of another contributing artist in my book? Would I write about the kids being home all week and me wanting to pull my hair out? Or about about the new mixed media pieces I am working on, would they take center stage?
The answer to all of the above is nope... I want to write about a shifting.
I am feeling a change happening... a shift in my ideas... a new direction I want to move. I have been thinking it for a few months but only really started vocalizing it to family and friends over the past week or so. Now it is time to talk about it here. The more I get my ideas out in the open, the more right they feel and the more settled into them I am getting. And I have to say, it is feeling really good.
So here is the thing... I don't want to do any art shows in 2009.
There I said it.
I want the year off.
Shows are 10 times the stress that I let on that they are. I pull my hair out. Granted, it is all self-inflicted stress, but it is nerve-racking just the same. This year, my applications for shows are due right around the time that I will be heading to Colorado for the photo shoot for my book. I have made the decision that I am not going to attempt to write a book, and come up with new jewelry designs for slides, and photograph them all, and write all the applications, and do the photo shoot, and be home with kids. It is all too much. It is my guess that you would be very hard pressed to find another artist out there that does what I do anyway. One that has a website with both beads and jewelry, a blog, contributes to magazines, does book contributions, makes their own beads for all original jewelry designs, is writing a book, raising three kids (one of which has a mental illness), and does shows. Something has to give.
The more I think about it, the more sense it makes. Plenty of artists that write books take the year off to concentrate on the writing. So why can't I? I have it in my head, too, that without the month and half of stressful creating that leads up to a show, I won't have the month of not wanting to make a thing after the show. Right? It might possibly make me more productive. I will have the opportunity to make Bead Box Beads on a more regular basis (once my book deadline is met in April), I want to apply to more exhibitions, I want to pursue selling my jewelry in more galleries, I want to work more with mixed media, ...
and there is something else...
I want to teach more!! I haven't been able to apply to teach at major beading venues because the applications for those are always due around the times I am prepping for a show. I want to hone my classes and apply to teach at Bead & Button in 2010, and BeadFest, and WireFest too. Who knows, maybe I can develop a lampworking class too!!
So there you have it. I am feeling a shift. A shift from what I have done regularly for the past five years, to something new and unexplored. What an adventure it will be, don't ya think? Are you up for the challenge? Will you follow me into the fray of teaching on a national scale and success or failure that will come with it? Are you up for reading my dribbling about writing a book, and writing class applications? Can you prepare yourselves for when I get moody from gallery rejections? Are you still gonna buy up my beads and jewelry?!?
Change is always scary... but, for now, it is feeling so right.