Well, we missed the ferry this morning. Not missed exactly, because we were there and the ferry was there, but we were four vehicles (and one trailer) short of fitting. So, rather than spend an hour waiting for the next ferry and knowing we would miss our connector to Vancouver (which would mean another two-hour wait), we decided to leave the ferry line up, return ‘home’ and try again tomorrow. It actually worked to my advantage, missing the boat (so to speak), because rather than doing computer work during the drive home I can work from the cottage. Every glance out the window shows soaring fir trees, lacy cedar trees, robins, orioles, woodpeckers, tiny nuthatches, a single hummingbird and the ever present vultures riding the wind currents overhead. Not too shabby as far as office spaces go.
I’m busy preparing for my show next week, so that means double checking my list(s), adding items, checking off others, and looking at what needs to be done over the next ten days. Today I get to to be a graphic designer, creating the layout on information cards available for the duration of the show. Souvenirs, after a fashion, for those who love what they’ve seen and would like to take a small piece of it home with them.
Working on a task like this reminds me that there is much more to pushing for a career in art than simply making art. Sounds like a rather obvious statement, I know. Yet when I’m in the studio I forget about all the other stuff that has to happen in order for me to share what I do with others. It’s only when a show date is imminent that I really think about the whole business side of things. At my level that means I fulfill pretty much all the roles – graphic designer, website designer, proposal writer, finance manager, marketing manager. Plus, I’m everyone’s assistant in addition to being the ‘doer’ for all related tasks. This isn’t something unique to me, or my pursuits, and I fully acknowledge that I’m not an island unto myself, that other people are involved when having a show. Ultimately though, the person risking full exposure is myself.
With my first solo show I thought, perhaps naively, that the sculptures I made could stand alone, front and center. I figured that I would be present but sort of invisible, ready to to talk to those who might be curious about the Maker behind the Marker.
As it turns out, I’m not invisible and curiosity about the artist is bigger than I expected. In response to the lesson learned I tell myself that if I fulfil each role to the best of my ability, and plan for every eventuality then things will go as expected. Not so. The ferry debacle this morning is a reminder that planning only takes me so far. Being talented is great, being determine is great, but being adaptable is what makes all the difference.