Unlock the door

At Soul Survivor this year I only sold two paintings which kind of crushed me a little*. The previous year I sold almost all the paintings I made – and I didn’t even like them! This year, when I put so much of myself into them and only sold two, it made me feel massively rejected.

Ok, so I know that this year there was a bit of a different crowd and sometimes people just aren’t in the right mood for art. I also know that I can’t expect everyone to love my art…or anyone for that matter. It’s just that for my entire life, this has been the one thing that I have been good at. I got an art award at school, my friends and family are always going on about my creativity – which, let’s be honest, I was quite ok with. That was me, Blair the creative one.

For the last year I have been toying with the idea of having my own shop and selling my art for a living. I know that this would involve a lot of hard work, but I was confident that there were people out there that would buy it. When this Soul Survivor market stall came up, I had it in my head that it was test to see if I would be successful.

So after getting to the end of the market, and only having sold two paintings, both to people I know, I felt a little more than mildly depressed. The one thing that I was good at was rejected.

I almost laughed. A friend of mine told me to “not take it personally”. Not take it personally? I put so much of myself into those paintings. How could I not take it personally?

I spent the next couple of days wondering what next. Maybe I wasn’t creative. Maybe people were just being nice. Was my art actually any good? If I wasn’t good at art, what was I good at then?

My entire identity was shaken. It still is a bit.

Sad Girl

At Young Adults this week, our pastor and his wife came to talk to us about there experience of prophecy and the importance of it. One thing that’s really stuck in my mind is that whatever God gives you, give it away. So God has given me creativity (I think), I should use that for Him. But how?

It was really weird. I was thinking about all this yesterday and my job and my life and how I’m living from CD to CD. I was making coffee for one of the 1:45 regulars when one of them asked me “If you could get paid to do something that you love and get paid for it, what would you do?” I immediately said, “Paint and make stuff”. How funny.

So that ‘s me at the moment. Just so you know.


*Understatement of the year.


About blair

Generally described as "a bit odd", loves books, adores music, thinks movies are wonderful and is rather attatched to art.
This entry was posted in Art, God, Me, painting, soul survivor and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Unlock the door

  1. hello.

    so you do know, it was a much younger crowd at Soul this year – and much younger = much less money and also = money is food not art. And did mean that we were swamped with the movies we showed (weird! Who would bother going to the movies at Soul Survivor?), so I’m not surprised really….

    aside from the very inadequate agreement with the person who said, “chin up”:

    I think… if I can be slightly bold, that you should see what happens if you try to paint something really, really different. Don’t get me wrong, I really like your cute little faces and animals and people and quotes but I think you should try something totally left of that. Be it dark or simply courageous in topic or different in style.

    I spend a lot of my time (studying design) feeling TOTALLY inadequate. Being surrounded by such talented people is a hit to the ego (don’t let this deter you from applying for the course btw) but it is also inspiring.

    I found this too with my blog. With writing. Now I write so much that I don’t care what people think and I love it even when it’s crap and full of typos. But originality is in my creative grammar and it is satisfying.


    keep painting. whatever you do. keep painting.
    there is nothing to lose except wall space.

  2. Laura says:

    Soul Survivor where? :)

  3. blair says:


  4. blackingoutthefiction says:

    Oh Blair!

    It is exactly the same with me and writing. I spent heaps of time on this piece of writing only to have people criticize the hell out of it in class the other day – went home with identity crisis of chronic proportions. Wondering am I ever going to get anywhere with this? Am I any good at all? Surrounded by other more eloquent, more articulate and just plain better writers everywhere I turn, who are getting published, who are going places. Am I kidding myself?

    I think it’s really easy to let comparison and what other people think take over. Us creative types all seem to let the success of our work determine our self worth. And you’re right, it’s because it’s a part of you. When it fails, (or you perceive it to fail), you fail. You wonder why you’re doing this at all, when all you seem to be met with is disappointment and disillusionment. You lose sight of the reason you’re doing it in the first place – for your own enjoyment, for yourself, because you love it. And for me at least, that that has to come first. Despite whether you make money from your art, or whether it’s any good in the eyes of other people (which for the record, yours is!), you have to keep loving the process of making art, expressing yourself, etc. That has to be the most important thing in the equation I think. Try not to forget that! xxx

  5. Ruth says:

    Possibly being one of the two people that bought your art…it’s made a significant contribution to the lack of art in my room…and my room (and me) are very grateful for it!!
    I agree with Bec, and I think you should create through these feelings of frustration and disappointment. Paint them, sew them, draw them. You might be surprised with how you can use them for your benefit!

  6. Ben says:

    Bad times Blair! I’m totally not an artistic person. The last thing I can remember doing was making a first fleet boat out of paddlepop sticks and having my art teacher step on it. I’m almost certain I’ve told you this story before, but it involved the day my class learnt what ‘boner’ meant, and a whole lot of clay.

    In any case, I think your art’s great, with or without people’s names written in pencil on them. From a person outside the artistic world, I see putting yourself out there at all a really courageous act, because you’re completely vulnerable to public opinion. Obviously that’ll blow up a bit sometimes. I see that in the risks I take and guesses I make when doing ministry stuff.

    Agreeing with above comments, definitely keep on trucking though. The worst thing to do would be to let your passion for it die because of one setback.

    Much love.

  7. Pingback: Where two oceans meet «

  8. Marita says:

    I love your paintings Blair, keep doing them. Maybe sell them on Etsi, I think they would sell.
    Just a thought but maybe God gave you this talent for art so that you could honor him. He loves what you are doing. Do art because (a) you love doing it, (b) God loves you doing it, (c) we love you doing it, (d) you are in a really good mood generally when you paint (not that i’m saying you aren’t otherwise, but i can see you get a kick out of it), (e) by painting you are worshiping God, because you are using the gifts he gave to you and (f) and the millions of other reasons ppl have given and more.
    I know you won’t stop so please don’t get annoyed at all this advice ppl are giving u, especially my soppy corny one. but take courage that it’s just because we all love you and want you to be happy and feeling whole. xoxox

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