I caught Covid. It's been about twelve days since I tested positive, and five since I have tested negative. I am so grateful that I didn't experience the terrible side of Covid like so many others. Fortunately, it's been more of an inconvenience than anything. But, having had it, I still think of how much worse it could have been, and feel for those that are still dealing with the effects of other, previous strains.
I lost my voice and am still hoarse from all the coughing, which I'm still doing. The headaches were more than just an inconvenience. They were debilitating at times. Fortunately, they're subsiding. The waves of fatigue that hit are annoying, as they typically happen right when I'm trying to really get into something, like make dinner or take a little walk around my property.
My perspective of this experience helps me appreciate how this too shall pass and I need to continue to learn patience. I'm usually more patient when it comes to others than with myself. So, it's a test of one's Self-Care. I tend to silently deal with pain and stress - not even letting myself think much about it, much less talk about it to others. It's all just too inconvenient to impose on others or trouble myself with, because it'll stop everything I have in motion.
And so, it's time to get back my focus and build on my goals of success.
The Career of a Honey Bee
Fun Fact: I'm a beekeeper.
For my husband's birthday in 2016, I got him all the fixin's to start beekeeping. We joined the area association, took the beginner's tests and got to keeping bees.
We would spend hours just watching them fly to and from their hive, working hard to build up their colony and their pollen and honey reserves. Every two weeks we would go into the hive to inspect their progress and their health. It's hard work, and you do have your failures, but the payout of learning about them and observing their world has been amazing.
Honey bees have a broad range of careers in their short life. (They only 30-60 days!) From the moment they hatch out of the little cell, they get to work. First, they're cleaning service, then they become nurses, then builders and undertakers, then guards...
It's when they graduate to become foragers that they reach their prime (and the last half of their life) they get to go out and see the world... within a 5-6 mile radius.
I cannot compare myself to the magic and talent of the honey bee.
But, if I look at my career, I see that I have taken a variety of steps to reach this new moment. I was one part winging it, two parts making a wish list of what I wanted to experience. I sort of took a jack of all trades approach - wanting to learn what it's like to work for the artist, the collector, the museum, the auction house, so on and so forth. Other than maybe Curator of MoMA or the Met, I've pretty much checked off that list of wishes. From this, I have gained a lot of perspective on what it takes to build a successful career in art.
And now, I'm happy to share what I know to help those that are foraging for knowledge on how to find their success. So yeah... I'm not the honey bee. I'm the flower.
The Gallerist's Perspective
I love my career. I have had the privilege to experience so many facets of the art world and work behind the scenes of many amazing places, as well as met so many artists and art aficionados over the years.
When I was working in the Charleston gallery, I met artists almost every day. Most were coming in to admire and find inspiration. Many also bought. (Which is such a great compliment, by the way - artists buying other artists' work!) Quite often these conversation would turn into Q&A sessions.:
How do you select your artists?
What's the trick to getting into a gallery?
How do you know an artist is good enough?
Are you accepting submissions?
Will you look at my work?
All are great questions that I am happy to answer. However, that last question, when asked, can be the hardest one because of what proceeds...
Usually, the person is already pulling out their phone, scrolling through thousands of images of family, foodie pics, vacations and selfies to try and find examples of their work. Meantime, I'm standing their trying to be pleasant, patient and accommodating. It is for this reason I no longer will look at artwork on phones. As nice and quickly as possible, I decline and invite them to email me.
So, if you're an artist just starting out, here's a free tip:
Don't put a gallerist on the spot to look at your work on your smartphone.
Find out the submission process and follow their guidelines.
Remember, gallerists are there to sell the work of the artists in their gallery.
And besides... a little screen is not going to justice to show your art.
Despite the occasional awkward moment, I've always enjoyed having conversations about the gallery business and the process. Maybe it's my loquaciousness. More so, though, I just really like what I do, and by nature I like helping people. And, if I may be frank, I think it's important to give people the know-how of what NOT to do so they don't waste their own time or make a bad impression on the galleries they really want to work with.
I want to help artists cultivate their career and get a little insight from the Gallerist's Perspective. So... that's exactly what I'm going to do.
Life is a story to share. Document it.