Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Thanks For Listening

Being any type of artist can sometimes be a very frustrating experience. Working so hard to create something you hope other people will enjoy, even give you money for, and ending up feeling sort of frustrated and disrespected that those things don't happen, or not to the degree you had hoped. There really has to be a sense of just creating because you love it, but once you've reached a certain level of expertise you really wish there would be some sort of recognition and renumeration attached to your efforts. That's how it works for fishermen and teachers and ditch diggers. Make no mistake, I understand how capitalism works, and if you choose to create a product simply because you enjoy it, but you know it's not something other people have ny track record of buying, that's your fault. 

I recently published my second children's book, Atrocious Poems A To Z. I really don't even want to talk about that, or try to sell it to you, per se. 

My main frustration at this very moment stems from the fact that this entire book and every illustration in it is currently in an exhibit on the walls of a major American museum, and three days after that exhibit debuted, and was reportedly enjoyed by all who saw it, there exists no media coverage, no pictures, no blogs, and no one is even talking about it anymore. It's almost like it didn't even happen. 

And this wasn't an exhibit where local artists were invited in an omnibus manner to show a piec, this is a museum exhibition the same as if it were in Chicago or Los Angeles or New York. Come Monday it's as if it never happened. The exhibition runs through October, and unless they paint over the walls I'll still be there until October, but I seem to have no way to capitalize on that momentum to sell my new book. Or even get a story written about it by local media. 

My partner has moved on because she's a great artist and always has more people wanting to commission her for projects than she can even accept, but when you're a publisher and author, and you spend eight years on a book you sort of need it to have legs. 

I even sent a press release to my hometown, where I started the first version of the book in 5th grade almost forty years ago. For ome reason a locally educated kid who spent twelve years going to school there, and moved to the next biggest town where he had kind of a big deal art show just wasn't interesting. Of course it didn't catch the interest of any of the media outlets here, either.

I'm bummed. I can't lie. I expected and hoped for more. I publish hundreds of other writers, poets, photographers, and artists every year at the two literary journals I edit, and not a single one of them could be bothered to share a link on social media. I'm not sure what I'm even doing here trying to force something on people who don't want it. 

In better new, we worked for six months on this book and exhibit, and now I can relax a little bit. Time to sell it, and since I know that's impossible I can just proceed at my own pace. Jenny has already moved on to her next six projects. I haven't decided what I want to do next, if anything.

Thanks for listening.  Pin It
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