Appreciation for what I have and the people that enjoy my work.
So one of the big things I have learnt and always felt strongly about is being appreciative for all the people that support me and give me their feedback, from friends to family and friends on my social media sites.
When I receive a compliment on my work, it's like winning the lottery..LOL. The fact that someone would take time out of their day to comment on something I created or even just throw me a like is such a rewarding experience and still up to today blows my mind when it happens.
I was super happy to have received the thank you note cards I created which I am using to give out to each person that purchased one of my paintings at the show and to the people who helped out with the event.
With these I can write a personalized message on each. (although a lot of them went to my mom, sisters and best friend because they hit me up for one of each painting as soon as they came over..LOL) and this way they can all have a little token of appreciation and a print of one of my pieces.
I was always insecure about my artwork simply because to me, Its what I do, I don't do it for any other reason than to express myself and get things off my chest that I would normally not say out loud.
Each of my characters and pieces has a special meaning to me, they are reflections of myself, personified in others, and even sometimes the situations or feelings of the people around me that I try to get down on paper or canvas as a means of expression.
I always received a lot of encouragement from my friends and family about my work, but of course, being the self doubting type I am, it's hard to convince yourself that what they say is really true, like hey, they're my friends and family, of course they're gonna say great things, it's their job right? but at the same time you do need that critical eye, I have done a piece or 2 where Jamie will look at it for a few minutes and then just say "I hate it" LOL sure it's harsh (and at the moment I want to hit him upside the head with the easel), but, sometimes its what you need, constructive criticism to help you grow and learn as an artist.
It's tough to put something on display that you created for others to see and criticize, because if you do get really bad feedback (which luckily up to now I haven't) it's like someone calling your child ugly..LOL.
Well with these lessons learned and that encouragement and push (and a thicker skin now) is that I decided to start showing my work and making social media sites where I could publicly share them, before that, everything I ever created was for me and my inner circles. All that changed last year when I finally built up the courage (and after alooooot of pushing from the people around me) to try displaying my art publicly and thankfully It was really well received.
So far I've been lucky enough to have my work displayed in an art store, a public art show in the community centre and library in Georgetown, ON and lastly in a fantastic gallery which was my first official gallery showing.
All of this was what I had hoped and dreamt for but was always too afraid to try and now that I have and it worked out I'm really glad I did.
My Niece Mya, was inspired after watching my speed painting videos so after watching them all she decided to recreate my piece "Coy" which is extremely flattering :) I actually have one of her original paintings hanging in my studio along mine.
I received some amazing feedback from people within the art industry, which really helped me gain confidence in what I do, great comments and questions from the people who went to the opening reception, people on my social media sites etc.
Throughout all of this I learned a lot and have been lucky enough to get some great advice and wisdom from people who have been in the industry for a long time and really understand and appreciate art, Pamela Murray has been a great supporter for me and has given me amazing advice that will stay with me throughout my career as an artist.
Just this week I had some fantastic comments from Nikki and her friend Blakelee on my Facebook page which really made my day. a bunch of awesome comments from people on my instagram page and some features on art accounts, so all in all it has been a really great time.
We even had my family over for a potluck dinner and candle making which was great fun, now, the candles were kind of a disaster LOL, but that was only because we didn't have transparent wax so it didn't work as good as I would have hoped. but we still had fun with our monster looking candles.
When Mya comes over she loves to go into my studio and paint, so I set her up on my table with some acrylic paint so she could create her masterpiece and then she decided to move on to watercolours and mixed media with pencils, watercolour pencils and markers..LOL. my best friends daughter "Hailey" also wanted to join in so also made her own masterpiece in acrylics.
At the end of the night, each of them got to take home a hand made masterpiece of their own
I love to see how excited Mya gets when she sees all my paintbrushes, paints and materials, she looks like a kid in a candy store and right away says "I want to paint" . I try to show her little tips and tricks that I use in my own paintings and she always does a great job of trying them out too.
so to everyone who has been there for me, supported me and encouraged me to continue on with what I do, I just want to say "Thank you" it really means the world to me and I couldn't ask for a better prize for what I love to do.