Its been a busy couple weeks for me. I don’t usually travel but this spring, I’ve gone somewhere different each of the past 3 weekends. I love to travel and explore new places, but I’m pretty much a home body.
The last 2 weekends I attended 2 different professional art quilter’s conferences. Both left me inspired and feeling reaffirmed that I’m on the right track. Last weekend, especially, left me thoughtful about my career path. I attended the annual SAQA (Studio Art Quilt Associates) conference in Alexandria, VA.
Throughout the 4-day conference, attendees were presented with non-stop informative classes, lectures and social events. I reconnected with a few people and made some new friends. I learned a ton.
Most of the topics presented weren’t new to me, but I did learn something new from each one. The information presented had me thinking a lot. For example, one good take-away point was when Valarie Poitier, in her class “Promote Your Work Without Apologizing,” said “you are the most important person in this room.” Now, what a extremely narcissistic thing to think, but ever so true.
She wasn’t saying that “I” in the context of the entire classroom or conference was the most important person. What she was saying was, “I” am the center of “my” world. It is my job to promote me and care for me. This is a tough concept for an introvert like me to immediately embrace, but she’s right. We all need to think this way.
Compared to our male counterparts, women tend to be the caregivers. Many of us were trained to assume submissive roles. We were taught to be quiet and always do the right thing; e.g., try to quietly be perfect (there’s that “p” word again). Valarie’s attempt to have me think differently, may take some time to process.
The same concept was reinforced by Trudi Van Dyke, when she gave her lecture “Navigating the Gallery Scene: Clues to Help Find Your Niche.” In her experience, those artists who spend most of their time marketing their work and less time creating, usually sell more of their art. Hmm?
Oh, I received plenty of take-away points during this wonderful weekend. The best part was continuing the discussion with my friends (new and old) during the social time. Through it all, I’ve come to understand a few things about what I should be doing and maybe not be doing. It will take awhile to process the weekend into an action plan.
Right now, I’m looking forward to staying home for awhile. Over the next few weeks, I hope to get a few new sewing projects started and maybe a couple finished. We’ll see where the information I gleaned over the weekend takes me. Sometimes there’s something wonderful that happens when you really look in the mirror.
“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” ~ Anais Nin