This weekend I had an exhibitor's booth at Good Fest, the (now annual) block party hosted by Pittsburgh's own Goodlander Cocktail Brewery. I've had varying experiences at festivals, but this past Sunday at Good Fest was a really great day.
Any festival -- rain or shine -- at which you end up selling some work counts as a "great day," to be honest. But the weather was perfect...sunny and clear with just the slightest October chill. There was a good crowd of people interested in art. Even those who didn't buy stuck around to chat and ask questions, etc. And I did succeed in making a few sales.
But the real fun was in getting ready for the festival. In the week leading up to Good Fest I spent almost every evening making new works on paper and small canvases, just so I would have plenty of inventory for people to look at -- if not buy.
The funny thing is, hardly any of the new pieces I made sold. What I sold were existing / older pieces. But the thing is, the process of making all the new work was like a reward in and of itself. I mean...the sales are nice, because art supplies ain't free and also it's a good feeling ANY time someone takes out their hard-earned money to pay you for something you've done by your own hand. But...
...the real joy, the real magic, the real essence of all this, is in the process. I feel like if you're doing this for money, recognition, awards, or fame you are in the wrong endeavor. It's got to be about process, creation, the practice of whatever it is you're doing. Those other things are nice (if and when they ever show up at your door) but I feel as though you've got to pursue your art with the same diligence and passion whether or not you ever sell another piece, publish another word, etc.