About 8 months ago someone from Fiber Arts Magazine contacted me and asked me if I would put an ad on my site for their start-up on-line magazine. I was excited about being approached by a what looked like to me a really good publication about fiber art. We made a deal, I put up the add and would be paid a small monthly fee and get a free subscription to the magazine. I wasn’t making a lot of money, but what I liked about it was that it made me feel like part an art community that I have never been able to enter. Because, as much as I shy away from what I perceive as the art world, a part of me would love to be accepted by it.
Well, the fiber magazine ad didn’t work out. They forgot to compensate me and when I inquired about it, they said they were too busy to keep track individual ads. I immediately took this as a huge rejection, of my work, my website and of me personally. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that what was really going on, was that I was looking to a stranger, who had reneged on a contract with me, for legitimacy and community.
It would be wonderful to have my work in museums or written up in an arts magazines, but legitimacy, that has to come from me not from someone else. And as for community, I have that too. Everyone who reads my blog or buys my work is a part of my community. And my community is also filled with other artists, like Nancy Bariluk-Smith, Kim Gifford, Donna Wynbrandt, Jane McMillen and of course Jon (just to name a few). I’m surrounded by artists and people who love and appreciate art.
So what am I looking for? I’m looking for what is right in front of me. I’m looking for what I already have. And if I can’t find legitimacy inside of myself, then I should be doing something else.