Get Out of Dodge...and actually talk to real people.
Recently, I had a desire to leave the homestead on a perfect Fall Saturday...which, I took a step further and left the state...for a few hours. Luckily in NJ, leaving the state doesn't take long - hail to the "small" states!
Up early, grabbed a Wawa coffee (those who know, KNOW!) and crossed the Delaware into PA up to one of the many art towns in the area. It's Fall, which in this area means festival time. Every weekend from Sept. through Nov. you can find festivals filled with food, music and ARTISTS!.
We, (my significant other - aka "the Fireman" & I) head to Tyler State Park in Newtown, PA to relive the days before Covid where we would come every October to the Pennsylvania Guild of Craftsmen Art Festival, now post pandemic named The Crafts in the Meadow Fall Invitational Craft Show at Tyler Park Center for the Arts - http://tylerparkarts.org.
These type of art events are my absolute favorites hands down every time. The fireman, not so much, but he puts on a brave face and it's much easier than trying to get him into a stuffy gallery.
I have been trying to cage myself in my studio every Saturday to "get art done" since I still have to do the "day job" to pay the bills. This Saturday, I just needed to get outta Dodge for a change a scenery and to find some fresh inspiration.
Inspiration comes in many forms for me, but sometimes I find just getting out of my normal routine can jump start my imagination or refresh my mind. I am one of those people where my wheels are CONSTANTLY spinning. I came to this festival to get a fresh look at what other artists are doing, examine their styles and media and scan over the subject matter. I collected business cards of the ones who styles I admired whether it was their subject matter, use of color or just something in their work that "spoke to me." Next, with said business cards in hand, I will take the time to research and look through their websites. It can be a double edged sword looking at other artists websites in essence of "oh, I should be doing that because someone else is" to "I'm just not this good." I've come to find out that I am just admiring and learning, NOT comparing. I have to be ME, I know my style is different and I shouldn't have to make excuses or provide some philosophical essay for how or why I create what I do. I'm coming into my own and embracing ME and respecting other artists and their how's and why's. Don't compare yourself to others. What a weight lifted off my shoulders once that clicked in!
Weekend road trips are our thing and it felt real good to be at an art show again. The amount of talent out there is staggering and intimidating and can be envious at times as I dont have the luxury of just doing art as my main job.
What I know is it is crucial to get out and connect in real time. Meet people and actually TALK to them. Show an interest in what THEY do. Conversations and connections will follow. Photos, posts, likes and shares won't define your talent. Walk away from the screen and the keyboard. Reality is... we need real interaction, words and connection. Form relationships,
I'm taking my time and learning all along the way. Real people, real conversations. Real connections. Try it. Close the laptop, put the phone down and take some time to visit other artists and just say "hi."