Those Pre-Show Demons

Okay.  So now I’m going to bare my soul and admit to an embarrassing scenario, one which I experience pretty much every year with excruciating redundancy.  After the last show of the year, in December, I hunker down for a marathon of making work for the next year’s shows.  I am not a fast worker, so I don’t take a break, you see.  I bumble on, making more of the stuff that sold well, and trying to make something new and different (refer to previous post).  I think to myself that I have lots of time to tinker and tweak things so that by the time the first show rolls around I will be surrounded by nicely done work that I can walk amongst and choose the best of what I have, so folks will think I only make the good stuff.  No harf-arsed pots here- they ALL turn out perfectly!!

So without fail, every Spring, when the first show is about a month away, I spiral into a panic.  It’s where I bang my head on the table while shouting “Everything Sucks and I’m Not Going To Sell Anything!!!”  It doesn’t help any to hear the Really Good Potters saying “I only sold the little items”,  or to hear about more artists going belly-up and looking for a “normal job”.  I’m telling you, Fear of Failure is my best inspiration.  I don’t need a walk through the woods or a stroll on the beach to get inspired…I just think about paying my health insurance and that inspires the hell out of me.  I make pots and tiles and sculpture with the frenzy of a Jack Russell Terrier chasing a meat-scented ball.  Whattaya mean it’s time to go home???! It’s only 8pm!!  There’s at least another couple of hours I could squeeze out something more!!

Yesterday was a baaaaad day.  I’m glaze testing for pots and tiles.  I have a mountain of bisqueware I dunno what to put on it.  I have white tiles that I don’t know how I’m going to glaze.  I have a sculpture that needs to go on a metal post, and another that needs to hang on a wall.  I haven’t done this before and dunno how to do it.  I have a big-arsed set of four tiles that needs to be fired and mounted and framed.  Not sure how I’m-a gonna do this either.  And I’ve got a month to get it all done.

Today I’m a tad better.  I’ll get done what I can, and the rest will get finished eventually.  The final phase of my affliction will come with pricing, when I talk myself out of pricing things down.  Does anyone else go through this nonsense?  I want to be one of those cool artists who ooze self-confidence about their work.  “Buy it…don’t buy it…it’s all good”, they seem to say.  The first person who comes to my booth and leaves without buying anything usually makes me break-out with that horrible frozen smile.  You know, the one where your cheek muscle twitches and your eyeballs start to bug a little.

Okay.  So I exaggerated just a bit.  I’m a little tweaky, but not abnormally freaked out.  I’m sure it will be fine.  Just fine.  Really.


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1 Response to Those Pre-Show Demons

  1. tom says:

    You make me laugh. So glad to see that I’m not alone.

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