I've hinted in a few posts recently that something big was coming up for me. I've been too nervous to talk about it so far, but I should probably mention it, as it's happening tonight! On the theme of chronic illness, it's called Flare Up, and it's on for one night only at a small gallery called YGender in Carlton.
I will be showing some paintings and offering my new zine, along with about 10 other artists. (See how I just called myself an artist there?) This week has been very busy getting everything ready. I'm excited but also extremely anxious at the same time. Not only will I be meeting a lot of new people, but they'll be looking at my art which I haven't shown to anyone yet. Not to mention the possibility of selling some! I don't know what would make me more anxious -- selling it or not selling any at all!
Some of my friends have also said they would come along. I'm very grateful for the support but also anxious as most of them haven't seen my work yet, and they'll be seeing a new side of me. I'm worried about whether they'll accept it or not. The zine is something I've been meaning to do for years, so it was a good opportunity for me to knuckle down and get it done. Though it did turn out to be more personal and eccentric than I'd originally envisioned. I've written zines before and sold them, so I feel relatively confident about it.
Unlike the zine, the paintings are something new. I've never shown any artwork before. Also, the work I'd been doing previously was different -- brightly coloured with lots of patterns, featuring one of my dream characters. Overlaying the theme of chronic illness transformed it into something darker and stranger. I feel like it doesn't really represent what I'm doing right now, so I have some reservations about showing it. But I guess it's not really that different, when I think about it. And it was a lot of fun to do.
In preparation for the exhibition and what may come after it, I made the decision to use an alternative surname, an artist name, I guess you could say. I feel really uncomfortable using my real surname as it's rare and there are people from my past that I'd rather not come across. I had some biz cards made up, and created a Facebook page, for people who prefer to communicate that way. I honestly feel like conceited and even a bit of a sham to have these things! But it's part of the overall plan for what I want to do with the rest of my life, and there will always be challenges and less comfort-zoney parts to it.
I'd better go and finish getting ready now! Wish me luck!