This weekend I submitted two pictures to the RCA Conwy open exhibition. Every new year I compile a ‘to do’ list with things I want to achieve over the coming twelve months. On Thursday night I rediscovered that list in my note-book and it reminded me that I’d successfully completed or made a start on several things this year, but also that there were a few things I hadn’t got around to. I’m sensible enough to know that there’s no point beating myself up about things that are out of my control, but one item glared at me from the page, defiant, just waiting for the usual excuses of “oh well, it wouldn’t have worked anyway” or “I’m not really that good”.
It’s unlike me because by nature I am a ‘go-getter’. I’ve set up successful businesses after the crushing blow of redundancy, completed a PhD while working full-time and looking after a baby and established a social enterprise community cafe with no money. This is the kind of thing I do, but when it comes to nurturing my own creativity …well that’s another thing altogether.
This year I have changed. I’m no longer focused on bringing in a quick buck. Instead I want to work on my inner self. My creative self. It’s a scary step giving yourself permission to live life the way you want to, but I as stared resolutely back at the sentence on the list telling me to “work on a photography exhibition” I knew I couldn’t leave this item incomplete, when it was totally in my power to make it happen and only procrastination and self-defeating behaviour stood in the way.
Friday 9th I got up early and chose my two pictures.I had until 5 pm to print, frame (no clip frames allowed, all with mirror plates) and submit them to the gallery for the judges selection. I didn’t hold out hope especially with the snow hammering down outside and about £100 in my bank account. The odds were stacked against me.
First stop Tesco. I thought I’d have to wait at least an hour, but the lads on the desk assured me it would only take 10 minutes. Both complimented my pictures, adding how nice it was to print something interesting and high quality. I left with a big beam on my face as I headed off. Next mission; framing. I phoned the gallery in Llandudno and explained my last-minute decision to submit. No problem they said, just come on over. Driving snow and freezing temperatures weren’t going to prevent me submitting, so I set off. When I arrived I discovered framing was going to be much more expensive than my meagre budget would allow, but the assistant explained they had a selection of sale frames and after a quick rummage I found two that were very cheap and perfect for the pictures. In fact recycling is much more up my street, and framing worked out at half the price they’d originally quoted.
I made it to the gallery with an hour and a half to spare; submitted the pictures, tried to work out how much to charge, paid the fee and came in just within my budget. Its almost as though the spirits, gods, universe was helping me out.
I left with a deep sense of guilt at spending the shopping money on an exhibition I may not even be selected for, but I did it. Nothing ventured, nothing gained and luckily we have a well stocked larder cupboard.
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Framed prints Unframed
20×16 £120 plus postage £40 plus postage
18×12 £100 plus postage £35 plus postage
15×10 £80 plus postage £30 plus postage