For the past few years, it's been hard for me to self-identify as an artist. Whenever people tried to call me one, I'd typically dodge the title because it felt so uncomfortable. Because I wasn't making much of an income through art, I felt it was sort of disrespectful to the real, surviving professional artists out there. Of course I was putting in some hours in Cary, NC at Time For Art with kids' classes, special events, and facepainting; but it didn't matter much to me because other than those small gigs, art was still somewhat only a hobby for me... until the last several months.
IT STARTED WITH WINE AND DESIGN.
"I wish I knew you were coming all the way from Durham," Wine and Design Fayetteville studio owner, Jessalyn Abril, told me more than six months ago, explaining that she was also coming from the Triangle to interview me. Our encounter was ironic, but it made it all the more clear to me that I should look into working with the studio in Durham and focus on building from there. That was April 2016, and I've done exactly that since then. I have instructed over 25 studio classes and private events, not counting any of the groups I also worked with as an assistant artist at Wine and Design Durham (studio photos are shown below). I am really seeing this more as a process now and remembering to enjoy it along the way. I find myself more productive and finally feel comfortable calling myself an artist. This new-found confidence is helping me create more artwork on my own, when I'm not busy with work, personal or Durham Art Guild duties. For example, envisioning my art in gallery spaces and submitting to exhibitions is a lot less scary now. I've even gotten my first chance to feel what it's like to have paintings sold while they are on display recently. Aside from Wine and Design groups, I additionally hosted two events in collaboration with TYPE USA called Canvas Creations. The third one will occur next month; photos from the first two (1, 2) Canvas Creations as well as more information about other upcoming events are also below. The year seems like it will close off well; I can only keep expectations higher for 2017.
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