Vulnerable is exactly how I felt trying something new with my art recently. In the flurry of getting ready for my art show, I was rooting around in my art closet and rediscovered really nice photos of paintings which have been sold. AHA! I could make lovely notecards out of these, I thought! Excited to try something new, I contacted an artist friend who is rather expert at notecards. She said that she does it on “Word” on the computer. So I go into “Word” and amaze myself that after a little trial and error I figure it out. I’m pretty much the opposite of a computer geek–so this is kind of amazing.
Next challenge: Getting the found art photos onto the computer. The word SCAN popped into my head–something I had been putting off learning to do.
So I google “scanning photos into computer” and discover that scanning software should have come with my HP printer.
Off to find the software. My office was turned upside down by “the Flood” in February, so I thought it must be in the large pile in the adjacent playroom.
I find it. Eureka!
I follow the directions (which to some folks is easy) and am able to install the software onto my computer, put a photo of my painting onto the printer scanner, push scan on my computer and it worked just like it’s supposed to!
Now I’m a kid in a candy shop, manically scanning and scanning more photos of my beautiful paintings into the computer!
And then making and making beautiful cards out of the scanned photos! I even figure out how to write Margaret Harrison Designs on the backs of the cards in my favorite Mistral font.
Then I’m straightening, cropping, arranging, stacking, finding little gold ties in the back of a closet to tie the notecards into pretty little packets. 🙂
Then, I remember . . . envelopes. If you’ve ever tried to do homemade notecards you know that envelopes are annoying . . . especially if all your notecards seem to be different sizes for some unknown reason, and it’s very hard to find just the right envelopes for them. It takes 4 trips to 3 different stores.
It’s the day before the show; I load up my Escape with paintings large, medium, and small . . . and art cards, and head to Kernersville where I meet the gallery owner Angie who helps me unload everything into her fine gallery, Southwinds.
In the middle of the unloading I got this peculiar feeling–the one you have when you present something to someone that you are very excited about and realize it may not be quite right.
I noticed that my notecards had no neat plastic sleeves around them for proper presentation.
Driving home from the gallery I decided to call Angie about this, and she kindly said they were fine and that it was “probably too late to get someone to overnight the plastic sleeves to me”(this was the day before the show). She suggested that I could “order the sleeves for them next time.”
So here we go: That comment, as innocuous as it was, triggered a royal case of 3rd grade shame.
I go into a full scale and ever escalating shame state, and being me, I start working like a crazy woman to try to make it better.
I go online to see if I can get sleeves overnighted.
I go online to see if there is a place in Winston-Salem that sells sleeves.
I call around: Nope.
I decide to go see for myself at Michaels. And there they are–some plastic sleeves–I wasn’t totally sure about them, but being in an escalated shame state I bought them. Of course, I discovered when I got home that they were too small. In an escalated shame state, I do not think rationally or linearly, or do anything resembling measuring cards before I go buy sleeves for them.
In this state, I also decide I need to make more bird cards in case there’s a “run” on bird cards, and then, of course, buy more envelopes, this time buying very fancy envelopes to make up for no plastic sleeves.
Because of no plastic sleeves, I decide I need to make some sort of packaging for the cards. I find some leftover colorful folded card stock which came with the envelopes that I just had to have. I decide if I punch holes in them and tie them together with colored string that I could place a packet of notecards in each one. So I fold, punch holes, and tie for several hours, making sure that the holes are just far enough out to the sides that the cards will fit in properly.
All done, I attach tiny decorative clothespins in yellow, turquoise, purple, gold and silver.
I probably ate up all future profits with the $ spent on gas, beautiful envelopes and tiny clothespins! But anything to ward off escalating shame state, right?!!!
Fast forward to showtime at 4:00 on Saturday, a mere 3 hours after finishing the packets with clothespins. I arrive at the gallery, present the basket of my notecard packets and new bird cards. The gallery owner points out how she has set up my notecards on beautiful glass display case with some of my smaller original landscapes.
They look beautiful and gallery owner looks very pleased about how everything looks. She says we might not need the new packets for display but that we could place the notecards in the packets to send them home with the patrons after they purchase them. I thought that was fine.
The show is in full swing by now. Folks are loving and buying my art cards, even without plastic sleeves. I thought cool. A few minutes later, the gallery owner’s Mom tells me that she tried to place the art cards into one of the packets to send home with a patron, but they wouldn’t fit into the packet. I showed her how I had planned for them to be placed inside–sideways with a third of the cards and envelopes sticking out. She looked surprised, maybe a little shocked–I guess it was highly irregular to have them sticking out. Another flash of shame.
Fortunately I was able to brush this one off quickly: The notecards were selling. They were beautiful. Absolutely, no call for alarm, no need to spend hours feeling goobered and trying to make up for NO PLASTIC SLEEVES.
Everything had turned out fine, better than fine . . . I had a good time at my art show and sold lots of notecards.
If you’re at all curious about my “3rd grade shame” and this state I call goobered, it’s thus: In 3rd grade I thought I was clumsy, uncool, awkward. I didn’t seem to ever be able to do things the right way. My handwriting was much more irregular and unbeautiful than the other girls’ handwriting and I often had yucky smudges and tears on my papers–I really don’t know how they got there. If you had seen my papers, you would have thought I was a little boy instead of a little girl except for the scraggly penned “Margaret” at the top. I also felt self-conscious because my hair didn’t have the beautiful pony tails and pigtails with ribbons like the other girls. For some reason my Mom thought I would look nice in an awkward perm??
And with clothes and accessories (what accessories?) I always felt 10 half steps behind.
I remember papers falling out of my notebooks, broken pencils. I felt big, awkward and uncool–I was the tallest person in my class in 6th grade. I was very different and seemed to do things differently.
This was a source of great shame for me growing up. And what you need to know is that I didn’t do it differently because I was trying to be creative.
I did it differently because I didn’t know how to do it the “right” way.
I didn’t find out I was creative until much later. What a relief that was!
Does anyone have a moral to this story?