I had the pleasure of participating in Band Together, an annual event that raises money for organizations in support of great causes. As an artist in the Artists’ Village, I had several hours to paint something on canvas for their Silent Auction. I stressed out a bit trying to decide what to paint, to the point I was anxious the whole time I painted it. Although it helped me stay focused and in the zone, my neck and back were killing me the next day; painting with odd body posture for several hours with minimal breaks will do that to you.
After having this experience, I definitely learned several things that could make events like this go much more smoother (and less anxious for me):
- Keep it simple. Having x amount of hours to do a painting and wanting to put loads of detail in a piece with a lot of aspects to it is way too much! I think I would have been more content with my piece if there was just one subject that had a lot of detail rather than the grande scene I was trying to depict on canvas.
- Have fun and talk to people. When I’m in the zone and I feel like I’m pressed for time, talking is the last thing I’d want to do. It could have been more fun overall if I’d had the chance to converse with a few people besides answering brief questions and showing my gratitude for compliments.
- Let go of pressure and expectations. I was surrounded by other artists who had been doing this event for years, and those who had been working artists for even longer. That alone was a bit intimidating to me because I started to feel like I was leagues behind in experience and work quality than them. In turn I ended up feeling like my art wouldn’t be good enough, especially since it’d be surrounded by other works that I thought were amazing. Seriously, the things those artists did in a couple of hours were jaw-dropping. I loved it (and I’m thinking the secret to it was keeping it simple). Back to my point though, there’s no need to compare my work to theirs in ways that make me feel less confident about my own; I take their work as inspiration that in time my work will improve to more of my liking as long as I keep learning and painting.
After I let anxiety get the best of me, the paintbrushes were put down, I had some food and a few cups of wine, and I enjoyed the concert put on by Hall & Oates. The duo make for great live musicians! They were feeling it and the large crowd was too. I’m so thankful the Band Together crew reached out to me and let me contribute. Even though I kinda felt like a tadpole out of water surrounded by frogs, I am grateful for having the opportunity. Maybe I’ll even get to participate next year. 🙂