Monday, February 20, 2023

Art busking & the challenges of putting yourself out there

Dad reckons to stop pulling myself down into the past, something that is 2 or 3 years ago gone by by now. He is right, I need to focus on things I've done now. The issue is, I ruminate constantly on my past. I wanted to try 'art busking' as in, drawing free caricatures of people for them to take.

People understand music busking because it is an established thing. Sitting down on the street with a small A-frame sign and say "I'll draw you" however, is something new. I asked a local Saturday morning market in Willunga if they would be ok with it and they were very enthusiastic. 

The first person I drew was a little baby. The grandma seemed very pleased with it. 
A feeling (I forgot) I live for is that, kids tend to see the sign before their parents and tend to gasp and say "Mum look!" and proceed to tug at their mum or dad. This is not always successful but I take delight in seeing a positive reaction to my work. I started to feel a confidence blossom in me, that said, wow I can do this! All these miserable years of saying I have some 'art impairment' is maybe something I can set aside me?

Yet trouble began about 4 drawings in. One lady came up and wanted to be drawn (not depicted here) When she got it she said "This doesn't really look much like me though..." with a smile. 

I was taken aback. 
People usually love my caricatures?
I felt insecure because of my art skills being impaired in recent years, maybe I really had lost it?
She proceeded to ask me about doing commissions! Out of all the things! She blathered on about 'clean language psychotherapy" and needing some illustrations done. I tolerated her but wished she'd get the heck out of my caricature camp chair. 

I felt a bit miffed by this encounter, but more people came over to be drawn. The guy who was helping manage the market was drawn (below) and bought me a coffee! The last people I drew didn't have money but gave me two nice peaches. In total I made $13 over a few hours but also gained peaches and a coffee for my efforts!
The challenge of putting yourself out there drawing caricatures is you have to really have a self confidence that says "I can draw" and "My work is good". Something I have not been able to say for many years. Still, I am proud of these few drawings. I think they are charming. It has taken immense mental strength to begin to say my work is good. Some people may not appreciate it, like the weird lady that dissed it, but I have to have the self kindness to remember they are a weird anomaly and most of the art I do is loved by the recipient. I don't really know what else to say, this journey of healing with art sure is hard.

Over and out!

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