THE PATH IS SOMETIMES LONG – PART VII: Would You Rather Be Hit in the Face with the Water from a Glass or from a Thrown Rock?
Simple answer? Maybe…maybe not…
It was Monday, May 28, 2012. I had just experienced the absolute greatest day in my young photography career. For on this day, I would display all of my Huntington Beach art at the Huntington Beach Memorial Day Art Fair. It was a huge event with literally thousands of people strolling through the various displays. My excitement, my anxiety, and my anticipation could not have been greater!
From large framed prints to small matted prints, my art was making an appearance at arguably the biggest art day in Huntington Beach:
There were images with Scripture:
There were even a few images with explosive impact:
It was quite a repertoire of photography. In fact, just about everything I had shot up to that point was on display.
By the end of the day, I had sold 23 framed and matted prints in various sizes from 11″x14″ framed to 20″x30″ framed. There were matted prints and canvas prints flying out of my display. Sometimes, I could barely keep up. I remember thinking to myself, “This is really happening!” Not only do people seem to like my photography, they are willing to purchase it!
Two days later I received a phone call that would deflate any and all excitement that had been built by this amazing day:
“Yes, this is he.”
“I am Ms. X from the Huntington Beach Art Fair.”
“I’m sorry to have to tell you this, but you won’t be able to participate in any future Huntington Beach Art Fairs.”
“What? But, you just approved me last week. How could I be ‘unapproved’ this week?”
“I am sorry, Mr. Thomas. I’m really not at liberty to say”
Upon further investigation through conversations with other artists at the event, I came to realize one of the other artists who also specialized in Beach Art (and had been a long-standing participant at this fair) complained about my success and demanded that his history at this fair be protected.
And that was that. As quickly as I had ascended on this exciting roller coaster ride, I descended into what seemed like a bottomless pit. My arms, that had been high in the air as I was screaming down that first great plunge, were now lifeless at my side.
This was the absolute worse thing that could happen. My beloved Huntington Beach, where I had captured 90% of my images was turning its back on me as an artist. It was over.
So, back to my original question from the beginning of this post: Would you rather be hit in the face with the water from a glass or from a thrown rock? Please allow me to use a quote from H. Jackson Brown, Jr., best know for his best-selling book, Life’s Little Instruction Book:
“In the confrontation between the stream and the rock, the stream always wins – not through strength but by perseverance.” ~ H. Jackson Brown
I was knocked down, but that was not the end of my story.
THAT CAN NEVER BE THE END OF THE STORY!!