A pony? A dog? Nope. I have my first photo show this weekend. You read that right. I’m showing my photography. In a public venue. For real. If you’re in the area, come visit me at Belleza Ropa in downtown Olympia during Arts Walk. I’ll be in the store displaying some of my photography this Friday evening and Saturday afternoon (April 27th and 28th).
How did this happen? On accident. Well, not on accident…but I kind of bumbled into it. A couple of months ago I was contacted by an arts show that travels around the US. They were coming to Seattle and invited me to participate based upon what they’d seen on my Instagram page. I was enormously flattered. And wanted to do it. Who wouldn’t?? But, I didn’t know anything about the organization or show, so asked if they could give me a few days to think about it. They agreed, and we set up a follow-up call.
I conducted some research, spoke with a few friends, talked with the husband…and decided not to do it. The show included many others besides photographers…models, musicians, hair stylists…the gamut. And, it was “pay to play.” I had to agree to sell 15 tickets at $25/each. If I didn’t sell them, I would have to make up the difference. I decided it wasn’t my thing. Interestingly, the representative who spoke to me so eagerly about my work never did call back. It wasn’t meant to be.
But, it did whip up a desire to show.
Every spring and fall Olympia sponsors an Arts Walk. Local businesses host local artists. There’s also a parade called the Procession of the Species. Venues with music. Lots of events. Lots of people. But, how to get my foot in the door? I contacted the organizer of the event and confirmed that one finds a host-business simply by pounding the pavement–making calls, stopping by. Considering that I was inquiring in February and Arts Walk was in April I suspected that most businesses had already selected their artists. I asked the organizer if she new of any businesses still looking and she suggested Belleza Ropa, a clothing and shoe store right in the heart of downtown.
I reached out to the owner, Jeannine, via email. In the first, I introduced myself and asked if she was still looking for an artist to partner with for Arts Walk. She responded that she was. I sent her some samples of my work and she agreed to host my photography. Just like that.
Since then I’ve been printing (I elected to do everything on metal), creating business cards (so very official of me), setting up a square account (hoping to break even on those printing costs) and whipping myself into a frenzy. It’s a huge leap…putting myself out there. It’s one thing to share some photos on a blog, on Instagram, on Facebook. It’s a completely different thing to stand face-to-face with people while they look at my work. It’s not just a hobby for me. It’s a passion. A love. And I’m putting it out there…putting myself out there.
That’s the other thing: the store likes to have the artist around. Makes sense. So, I will be on-site on Friday from approximately 3-10 and on Saturday from 11-4 (give or take). Standing there. Next to my photography. On display. Excited? Yes! Nervous? Most definitely! Hoping to sell something? That would be really cool.
So, if you’re in the great Oly area and are planning on attending Arts Walk next weekend, stop by and say, “Hello!”