Wednesday, June 11, 2008

All The Good Things

I have had a number of people asking what became of my art proposal to Mercy Ships. Mercy Ships decided they were not interested in being involved. I suspect an artist may represent too risky of a marketing move for a company intent on branding themselves. I think I am better off in the long run as their policies on complete copyright and creative control would make any art maker nervous. We have different visions and that, I realize, is fine.

I did however feel strongly (and brilliantly) about the idea. I was momentarily left hanging and wondering what had gone wrong. Then I reassessed as I often do when things don’t seem clear. I think most artist fluctuate between thinking they are the most brilliant thing out there and feeling like losers who can't produce anything other than shite. It is essential to have times where you think you are brilliant as it motivates the production of all those brilliant epiphanies. It will keep you thinking people are quite possibly blind when they don't buy into it. Artists shouldn’t fight their tendency to be sensitive either. It is there where artists record so that others can participate in perspectives they could not imagine. 

So, back to feeling like doggy doo on this particular occasion, not so much about the rejection itself, but more about how it was rejected. I pulled out my list entitled “all the good things” which is where I record all the really positive things that keep me believing in both myself and my goals.

All the good things (Apr/May)
-16,000 hits on my for April
-receiving a random email from a man who inherited one of my paintings in a will
-selling 4 major and 2 minor works through Vancouver Art Gallery and an Alberta art auction
-selling $12,000 of work in two months through galleries while in Liberia

-discovering my work has been featured on

-a friend writing a really nice blog about me

-a designer writing really positive comments about my work

-small encouraging notes my family members gave me at Christmas, but I saved until the spring
-4+ exhibitions I have lined up for the fall (with more ideas in tow)
-a strong sense that the best I have to offer is actually art related, not minor jobs

-the original proposal being picked up internationally with development possibilities into a bigger project than initially projected.

I would encourage anyone to write down lists like this. When I am not feeling that good about my situation, I pull it out and am instantly transported back to my exciting world of possibilities.


Friar Tuck said...

I need to start making those lists.

michal said...

Yes! Yes! Yes!

Anonymous said...

If you think you can do a thing, or you think you can't do a thing, you're probably right. That said, we have been given a wider margin of maneuverability, and that is not necessarily the case for those living in countries like Liberia. How lovely to pick up our lives and sing our songs, each according to our inherited gifts, for the benefit of others and our own enjoyment. That's the contribution you and Nigel bring to the table. Good on ya!

Anonymous said...

I'm getting all teary at work here reading your post and your list. You are really amazing Michal. I love you, sista!


Hannah Lee said...

I`m Hannah, working with Nigel in Mercyships. I really like reading your post and seeing your pictures. And Your paintings in remind me of paintings of Joseph M.William Turner, my favorite English painter,even though your style of painting is different form him. There`re some common things- dream-like landscape, heart-warming sense.
I`m not good at appreciation of art,but I like your paintings.
May God bless you in every work of your paintings~~~

michal said...

I heard James Ngenda, a Liberian, give a talk and say that westerners have the opportunity to do anything they want to in life. For instance, any westerner could get a doctorate degree if they wanted. Someone argued that not everyone could, that not everyone was capable. But James' point was that the opportunity was there for anyone who really set their mind to it. Liberians do not have this opportunity.

I do believe I can do anything I set my mind to. I also believe I am lucky to have been born into that privilege. But it leaves me wondering how to live life. Do I go after major opportunities...driving towards my goals, or do I sacrifice my life to help the poor?