Yesterday got kinda awesome

It was a tough start to the day, I had tears, headaches, and felt lost. Then I got a call… Well, Pete got the call because I’d given my new number, but then he called me and said, “Great news!” and so within a few minutes I was ringing an exhibition space. I can’t go into details yet – not till I sign the contract – but I’ve had a meeting with a curator regarding putting together a large, three-week long, solo exhibition of my work. We’ve had the handshake and a contract is on the way. This exhibition of my art will happen between April and May of 2015.

Needless to say, I was feeling better after having peanut butter and jam, but this took me to the clouds. I first pursued the gallery space back in January and was told that August was when the next year of bookings take place; I was told to contact again then. So I did. I emailed and they got back to me right away. They have said they really like my work.

Between January and now I’ve been working really hard on my career. The new website is up and looking great, I became represented by galleries in Marazion and St Ives (that happened in April), and I have had better direct sales than ever before. This exhibition is really the next logical career step and I am thrilled that the work I’m putting into my career is gaining momentum and showing returns.

I don’t make enough money to make a living yet, but I’m on my way. I’m downsizing my studios, living space, and other general spending out of necessity, but the enforced frugality is coming at a good time for my business focus. I aim to trim fat away wherever I can, maximise my earnings, and be able to make this path of mine successful. I may be back to the ramen noodle budget from twenty years ago, but everything else with my work seems to be falling into place.
Fortunately, I like ramen.

Peanut butter and jam

I’ve not had the most straightforward morning. I went to bed too late (although I really enjoyed staying up to watch Good Will Hunting with Neil), and my brain usually needs some chill out time before sleep, so that meant a rocky slumber at best. I missed my regular morning walk because of this (I needed to sleep in a little) and that has disrupted my routine even further. Add to that the pressures and chaos of moving and I crashed. I had a cry. I took a couple headache pills. I laid down for a few minutes.

I have regrouped somewhat and I can tell you that a eating a piece of buttered toast with peanut butter and strawberry jam on it had a lot to do with me feeling better. Warm, full of protein, and a hit of sweet. It is a combination made in comfort food heaven. I still have a headache, but I’m sitting at my desk with a cup of Keemun Panda tea and am getting on with my day.

I assembled an old desk in what will be my new, shared office space. It’s progress in an otherwise chaotic relocation. I’m not particularly good with change in the best of times, but having a clear desk ready for my computing environment is a pleasant little stepping stone of calm in my path, even if it will be weeks before it gets set up.

This past weekend marked the first days of moving for me, and in this transition, it’s imperative that I find an interim work routine. Productivity cannot cease for the next month as I get my shit in order; that would mean lost time and revenue. I cannot afford that. So, with that in mind, I think I might stock up on some peanut butter and jam. I’m gonna need it.

Baggage

I’m sitting in my office, at my desk, staring into my screen and trying like heck not to look around me. I have a lot of stuff. The nature of my work requires a lot of stuff, but I realise I require stuff too. I like books. I like surrounding myself with them. Most of my books are packed into boxes now, as are my DVDs, CDs and other miscellaneous things. Baggage. The stuff I love all becomes baggage.

I admire people who can live in the “Tiny Houses” that have become very fashionable in recent years. I can’t be one of them, not ever. I like the comforts of my belongings, and I also need stuff to do my work. You never see a large-scale artist or craftsperson living in one of the tiny houses… nope. We need things to do our things. Clutter is part of the job, because the job requires stuff.

Granted, this doesn’t explain why I still have so many DVDs yet I don’t watch TV. What I can say is that I collect stuff like I take photographs- it all helps me remember things. I was going through the travel bookshelf upstairs the other day and just by picking up a book on a place I began remembering the time spent there. I smiled and thought of particular cobbled streets, a dinner under a parasol, the storm. My brain is not wired to remember things without physical stimuli. I’ve always been this way and I’ve always found stuff a comfort. It helps me retain the memories- the me. Without these triggers I live a little like an amnesiac. It’s confusing and lonely.

Amongst those who know me there’s a joke about my terrible memory for movies. The fleeting information in a film pops into my brain and washes right out again. There are films I don’t remember at all, even seeing them a second time. I question all of my experiences. Did I really experience this thing? Did I imagine it? Have I only heard of it and my mind is making up the rest? Without the books, the DVDs, the photos, the boxes of keepsakes, my brain has no tether to these things that happen. It’s depressing.

I’m moving soon. I’ll have a new home and studio. I have no doubt I will live in a much smaller space and most of my belongings will remain boxed for an indeterminate time. It will be difficult to not have the comforting surroundings of my memory triggers. The stuff I love all becomes baggage. I said that in the first paragraph. It’s both literal and metaphorical to say.

I’ll never be one of those people who can get rid of everything and live simply. To do so would be to take away my experiences, which for me, attach by delicate threads to my mind. I don’t have to tell you that I’m a little scared of what I’ll become in my old age. Will my fragile hold on my memories get worse? I don’t know. For now, I can keep my books, my belongings, safe in boxes until it’s time to put them in a new home where I can see and touch it all when I need to remember… when I need to remember me.

sharing too much since 2003