... and I owe it to the generosity of a fellow artist.
While I haven't met a huge number of artists in my life, I'm starting to widen my network. There seem to be a couple of different types that I routinely meet, those that are willing to share and lift each other up, and those that sit in their own little studios and avoid others. Maybe the latter crew are being more diligent in their artistic practice...? But, I notice that they also don't usually volunteer information to others in terms of business ideas or show ideas.
I worry that the "scarcity of art opportunities" mindset is self limiting. I understand to some degree; it can be a little worrisome to think that the artist you tell about a show might snag a spot instead of you. My personal goal is to help others along the artistic path. I'm having an excellent time and want others to join me, side by side... or even ahead of me so they can pull me up too. Ever watch those groups try to get over a huge obstacle in a course? They take turns. Some get pushed up first; they then turn around and pull up the person that just pushed them ahead. What if artists did this for each other? Could you imagine if a whole group of artists were on the lookout for show ideas for each another? How many more opportunities would there be overall? How many more things would you try because you saw a peer be successful with something?
The other day I got the word that a group of artist peers juried me into a local co-op gallery known as The Main Gallery... unanimously! It was quite an honor to be included so warmly, and I'm really looking forward to be involved with such a talented group. (For those not as familiar with a co-op gallery, this is the type of gallery where you pay a nominal membership fee plus time and some labor, much like a co-op preschool. It is not unusual to find them in smaller towns where there are not as many traditional galleries.)
This opportunity would not have happened without the kind invitation from fellow artist Kerith Lisi to "check it out" because they are taking new artists right now and "your work might be a good fit". This will be an exciting and fun new chapter to my art experience as I learn more about the business end of running a gallery... all because of the generosity of a fellow artist. Someday, I hope very much that I can return the favor.
Who would you help if you put yourself in the "plentiful" mindset? What opportunity would you share?