Back in early July I was a participating artist at a gallery show at Studio Boise Photography Center.
They hosted “Idaho Places, Idaho Faces,” their 2nd annual photography contest AND! Studio Boise was celebrating their 1st year as a business. So already this was set to be a pretty fun night. Family, friends, artists, live music, celebrating local artists and local business. Win win win win win.
The photos displayed during the gallery show’s opening night came from photo submissions that were hand selected by a panel of three judges. I was lucky to be included in those top photographs. Even just clicking the “submit” button when applying for these contests takes courage and by allowing yourself to be vulnerable and by putting yourself out there, great things can happen. What’s the worst that could happen? You submit your work and don’t get into the show? It’s a bummer of course but doesn’t make you any less of an artist. Instead just think, okay, onto the next one. Carry on. You are STILL AN ARTIST even if they don’t select you for that specific show. It’s true. I promise. I know because I finally believe that for myself.
I was so happy to see everyone who came out to the gallery show’s opening night and to support my photograph and enjoy a (free, wee!) glass of wine/beer or two. Everyone who joined for the gallery opening was given one token to vote for one photograph. The winner would receive a $1k cash prize! Runner up would receive free studio rental time. As the night went on and the votes came in, we all chit chatted and drank and admired photographs with the theme,” Idaho Places, Idaho Faces.” At the end of the night the votes were counted. I stood among my wife, family and friends and as the owners began to speak into the microphone, I thought, ah geez, that’d be super cool to win, but also just super cool to see all my people in one place rooting me on and to be part of an art community again…and then…runner up announced…and then…the winner was announced and I heard my name. WHAT?! I kissed my wife and walked up to where the studio owners were standing, all while fashioning the giddiest of grins. I shook the hands of the wonderful couple who opened Studio Boise’s doors one year ago and graciously accepted my prize. Celebration ensued and hugging of my dear friends and omg moments continued throughout the night and several days after.
This event was the start of me believing in myself as an artist again. By believing in myself, I’ve had the confidence to put myself out there as an artist more than I ever have. Following that night, I have been involved in so many more art opportunities and have been invited to join an Art Collective here in Boise! (More to come on that later!)
Who would have thought that by going on a walk with my camera and photographing one lone goose, that it would be a key element in helping guide me back to art and helping me build my confidence again as an artist. Self doubt is a tricky one, and when it creeps in, knowing how to climb out from under it is the hardest part. My advice, stop wishing and hoping and start doing. DO without a guarantee of anything necessarily “coming from it.” Do it for the process, do it because IT MAKES YOU HAPPY. Submit to that call to artist, because why not?
City of Geese
“I felt lucky meeting one of Boise’s many geese as I strolled through the Boise Depot. As I slowly approached and lifted my camera, this curious goose walked a few steps closer then paused and looked right at me, as if posing for the shot. I walked away that day with a new favorite photo.” -Emily Hanigan
Cheers to art.
Cheers to supportive loved ones.
Cheers to community love.
Cheers to getting your make on.