A Great Learning Experience
It was an intense and exciting weekend. This was my first time exhibiting at the Kentucky Crafted Market in Lexington, Kentucky, and I was pretty stoked. Not knowing exactly what to expect or how to go about it, I was running on mostly adrenaline for about four days. I'd been steadily preparing for months, and tried to learn all I could beforehand. I'm grateful for those who helped, encouraged, and guided me along this unknown path. I'm very glad for all the support I've received.
Once we got everything unloaded and set up, the next couple of days I had ample opportunity to watch lots of people. I have to say I was pleasantly surprised to see how people reacted to my paintings. When one steps back and allows people to view and interact completely on their own, one can see their true responses. Although people seemed to enjoy the floral, landscape, and automotive images I've painted, my oil paintings Dear Lady and Elk Man seemed to evoke the most heartfelt expressions. The emotions ranged from chuckles to laughter to tears to expressions of endearment to the occasional scoff or joking toward one another.
Another lesson I learned from this experience is that nothing can replace the viewing of original works of art in person. I assumed that in our digital age viewing art online can suffice, but it really doesn't. Experiencing my neighbor's one of a kind exquisite wood carvings or chasing & repoussé metal works or stone creations first hand can never be replaced by the online experience. Besides that, I get to meet the fellow human beings who made them. That's why I say if you ever get the opportunity to go to an event like this, do it! To me it's like the difference between listening to your favorite music in a recording, or going to a live concert.
I enjoyed meeting many people and hearing a tiny slice of their stories, some of which favorably intersected with some of my art, which they decided to purchase. I'm glad that my paintings resonated with them! Due to all the lovely reactions and interactions with people, I plan on offering a few more of my images as fine art reproductions. Usually the ones I offer are from the original paintings that have already sold. Stay tuned to my website to see which ones become available.
Another part of this learning experience is knowing the value of true friends who are honest. I realized that there is always room for improvement, even after giving one's best effort at the time. Part of the wisdom of experience is learning what not to do next time. As humans we often have blinders on when entering a new venture. When one is fully immersed in a project, it really helps to have another person's perspective. I deeply appreciate this encouragement and support from close friends, not to mention their physical effort to help me get ready for the event! I certainly could not have made it this far without them.
Overall, the Kentucky Crafted Market was a good experience, and I hope to do it again. In any case it was worth it to get my art out there in front of more people, meet new faces, connect with people, and see the many different hand crafted items that are made right here in Kentucky and elsewhere. As always, please reach out to me with any questions or thoughts you may have.