"I wish I knew what I know now."
Have you heard that before. I bet you have. That sentence could relate to a dozen different scenarios. The one I am going to write about, is the one that all artists meet at one time (hopefully it's only once!) or another.
There you are, in a market sitting under your used canopy with your tables set up with all your hard work. If it was food, it would be a banquet. The colors are beautiful staring up at you. The sun is shining and this promises to be a great day, whether you sell anything or not.
As the morning progresses, people wander all up to your table and look, but you don't engage with them. They don't appear interested, and they wander off. It's as if you can read their minds:
" I won't look to hard, so she won't talk to me. I don't want to make her feel bad. I don't have any extra money to buy art. I'll just look and walk by. I sure don't want to waste her or my time"
But then you get that one person....
My one person approached my tables like she was drawn there through a geophysical invisible force. She appeared young, and very well dressed, impeccable make up - like she was coming from a fancy lunch or going to a tea. I could tell she was from the south by her accent when she picked up one of my paintings turned to her friend, who was equally turned out, and said, "Bless her heart. Look at this. She's trying to sell children's paintings. Oh ain't that too much!" Laughing, she tossed the painting on the table, turned and walked away.
Well, I was shocked. Not that she had something negative to say about my work, but that she didn't even address me about it, choosing a passive aggressive way of hurling an insult my way. It wasn't constructive criticism, it was destructive and hurtful. Because it happened so fast, I had no way to formulate a reply and maybe that was for the best. I think, at times like that your best to just leave those hateful individuals to the Lady Karma. She is consistent and loyal, and hasn't failed me yet. The only problem with Karma is that you don't get to watch the comeuppance as it occurs in real time.
So, dear reader, if you come away with anything from this, just know when you put yourself out there, cretins and malcontents are trolling, and looking for victims. And yes, no matter how hard you try to steel yourself, your ego will make you a victim. If you respond to them, you give them the power they are searching for, but if you choose to ignore them, they will flitter away with an unsuccessful engagement to account for to Uncle ScrewTape.
Till next time