art show

i'm trying hard not to stress about the art show tomorrow night. i know it'll be good for me to put my work up and have people look at it, even if no one likes it. but that doesn't stop the feeling of being afraid and anxious. will people like my art? will they like it enough to buy it? will they like me? will i get nervous and say something stupid? will i be able to be extroverted enough to sell myself to all these new people?

i feel a lot of pressure to sell my painting, because i could really use the money; and i could also really use the external, tangible validation that other people besides myself like my art and think i'm good enough that they'll fork over their money for my work. i don't feel nearly this jittery about my designs. i know i'm good at designing, i have tangible proof i'm good at designing, and i have a serious track record built up around being good at designing. my art, on the other hand, is full of mistakes and issues and is tied into my emotions and is this fragile thing. it's the place i've been pouring most of my energy into since fall 2002, and it's quite hard to not turn tomorrow night into a judgment on how the last four years have gone and whether or not i'm doing the right thing by pursuing fine art.

throw in a little bit of the open-house/back-to-school night jitters because my mom and stepdad are coming -- will my mom like ron? will my stepdad think it's all too snooty and lah-de-dah? will they think i'm crazy for wanting to do this once they see the small studio in its cramped reality? -- and i have knots in my stomach.

i keep catching myself holding my breath at my desk, and having to very deliberately breathe deeply.