Thankful Thursday - The Power of Sharing Your Story

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Quite often at art festivals and exhibits, people ask me about the inspiration for a piece they're viewing, or how I became an artist.  I welcome these questions because they allow me to share a bit of my personal story.  Sharing my story opens a window into my life and permits my listeners to imagine themselves seeing the world through my eyes for a moment.  This can become a powerful connection.  While I'm describing my artist practice, techniques, or what inspired me to create a specific piece, I love it when what I've said sparks another question, an observation, or an "aha moment" in the conversation.  Years ago, when I was just beginning to sell my work, I remember reading an article which pointed out that collectors purchase not only the piece of art, but also the artist's story.  And, that oftentimes, the artist's story is what ultimately gets the collector to purchase the work.  This was an eye-opener for me.  I know this to be true of my own art collection; when I look at a piece, I often recall the event, the artist, and something of the connection we shared when I acquired it.  I hope my collectors do the same with work I've created that they've chosen to live with.

The sharing of stories and gaining insight goes both ways, of course.  This is one of my favorite examples:  During a busy art festival, a woman returned to my booth several times, always drawn to the same piece.  When I asked her what questions she had, she said she didn't have any, but wondered aloud why she was drawn to that piece.  I told her it was one of my favorites too, because of the color palette.  She agreed, saying she loved it as well.  I pointed out that I often worked in variations on that theme, finding myself returning to it again and again, not really knowing or examining why.  She paused, then said:  Well, do you think it's because it represents Earth and sky?  And, though it now seems obvious, I was stunned; you could almost hear the gears clicking into place:  YES, it does, and that's why it resonated with us both! We smiled in shared recognition, she bought the piece, and I hope she remembers our connection when she looks at it.  

I'm thankful to be able to share my work and my story with the world, and I look forward to doing that with Penny, Jeanne, and you, our Creative Explorers in October at our Retreat.  When creative women gather, the sharing of stories, laughter, experiences, and insights creates a special magic.  Wouldn't you like to take part in this powerful connection?  We'd love for you to join us so we can hear your stories....Register today! 
Until next time....