So, when is the dream officially up and running? To be really mundane about it, my moment came when I needed a domain name for my website. Hooray for technology. As Tom Lehrer said: "Plagiarize, Let no one else's work evade your eyes": An artist whose work has been feeding my soul for the last year, Rachel Milne, uses rachelmilneartist.com, so I thought that would be an appropriate syntax. Suddenly gailreidartist was everywhere: website, Facebook page, Instagram... Then someone asked me "what do you do?". I panicked and said "I am a housewife". Cue flagellation of feminist self... have I learnt nothing?
Up stepped Rachel Milne again, sharing on her website and Facebook page her journey, excitements, disappointments, and inspirations. I realised that the dream would require some serious padding-up, and going right out of my comfort zone. At that point I signed up for a stall at an art and craft market, set up my facebook page, and started trying to publicise. Then behold my friends! Encouraging, commissioning, helping with planning, providing contacts, and generally believing in my work. I was lucky to meet Trever DePattenden, a very well established artist here in Dubai, who has been encouraging and advising me with great generosity and skill.
And hey, guess what? The message/meaning behind my work is emerging all by itself. I would sheepishly refer you, if interested, to the lastest (but by no means final) version - my Artist's Statement (under the About menu item).
Another boost came from being accepted to join Tashkeel , a really supportive environment to exchange ideas and pick up skills from emerging and established artists, studio space, and hopefully feedback and advice on future direction. Nervously excited to have had a great first session there this month, surrounded by a heady mix of printing ink and coffee smells. Happiness is... peace, soft lino, sharp knives and a Yellowman soundtrack:
I have yet to approach any galleries or other outlets, nor find good access to a camel farm, nor succeed in any competitions, but it will happen... now, where is that nose-peg and bullet-proof vest?