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  • Writer's pictureAlanda Calmus

Lets Get Real

So, last week this happened. I made a post on Facebook that got quite a bit of attention. I’m posting it here in case you missed it because I had quite a few messages from fellow artists and small business owners telling me that it helped them feel not so alone.

It seems many of us feel the same way so, here goes and I hope it helps or at least gives some insight into what this artist’s life is like.

“Ok, so this may be a little post-illness and sherry-fuelled, but…

I woke up this morning feeling pretty damn flat. At one point, I had my head in my hands thinking, “Ugh! I’m never going to manage to do all the things people keep telling me to do, to be a successful artist/entrepreneur. I might as well give up completely! It’s too much!!”

And it is too much!

No one person can possibly do all those things required in today’s age of technology and social media to “get themselves out there!”. I’ll tell you now, I can’t even work out how to do the SEO for my websites.

All I really want to do is paint and I want to paint well. I don’t want to be perfect but I want to continue to evolve my art practice and that needs time. Time in the studio that I can’t move in because it’s rammed with random items I only use occasionally and artwork that hasn’t sold yet. Time in the studio that is so cold in the winter my fingers can’t function and my toes go numb. Time I often don’t have because I have other responsibilities.

I genuinely can’t be arsed to get dressed up or put on make-up just to take a selfie with my paintings (you may have already noticed that). I’m literally wearing painting clothes all week (even when I’m not painting). I mean, what’s the point of changing them when I’ve got to walk the dogs in the rain? Then I’m just going to slide into PJs in the evening anyway? To be honest, a lot of the time I’m wearing my PJ’s until lunchtime while I’m doing my admin work too.

Be warned, if you ask me out of an evening, I may well come out wearing a ball gown with enough sparkles to give Dolly a run for her money. Lipstick fit for a clown too, because, well, I’m out, out!

I have tried, and spectacularly failed, to make videos of my painting process. I’ve got hours of questionable footage that I haven’t the time nor the ability to edit effectively.

I’ve paid so, so much for online courses. (Don’t tell my husband) (Yes, I know he sees this too)

Some have been absolute gold. Really great, transformative, and generous teachings that I have truly benefited from. I have tried to implement, as best I can, these teachings but I still can’t manage to do ALL THE THINGS!!! I often feel so overwhelmed with the magnitude of it all that I can’t even manage some of the things!

I have tried all my working life to be “professional”. When it comes to what I put into my paintings, my customer service, and the artists I work with, that will never change. However, when it comes to the real, nitty gritty of what life is like for me as an artist trying to make a living, maybe it would be more helpful to just show it all.

All the “Bloody hell, look at the state of my hair today!” moments. The “Oh my god, I can’t even see my desk!” moments. The “Well, that looks like a pile of shite!” moments.

Helpful to me because I don’t have to try so hard to get everything perfect before I even start. Helpful to you, if you’re in the same boat, to know that you’re not alone. Helpful to customers to understand that I’m a real person. Someone who genuinely cares that you like my work enough to make a comment, to share a post or to part with your hard-earned currency to own a piece of my heArt. (Ooh, the second guesser in me just stepped in with, “was that too cheesy?”, yes it probably was but here we are, raw and unfiltered)

So as of tomorrow, (Oh my god, I’ve lost the plot!) I’m going to start showing it all.

Now, I must warn you, I do get down fairly often (and not in the good, dancing way, although that should definitely form more of my daily routine come to think of it!). I am, however, the sort of resilient f*cker that will kick my own arse if someone else doesn’t do it for me. So you can expect my honest feelings of despondency to be tempered with the insane optimism of someone who genuinely believes that anything is possible.

Tomorrow morning this post will either get deleted or be followed up with a live video of me surfacing from the shame of being real by bloody well committing to delivering what I’ve promised.”

Note: It didn’t det deleted so here is the follow up video.

Vive la révolution!

Alanda xx

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