Earlier this month I read a blog post by Alyson Stanfield, the well known Art Biz Coach (https://www.artbizblog.com/2017/06/cultural-desert.html) who is one of our neighbors to the west in Golden, Colorado. Actually, I had read it quickly one day because it caught my eye and then I recalled it this evening, and searched for it to read again. I was pretty sure where to find it. It got my attention initially because I completely related to the theme. Her post is about artists who struggle with where they live because they believe their community (is a “cultural desert”) cannot support what they do. And, what I believe she was saying is that your mindset should adjust to what your goals are, no matter where you live. It’s up to you.
Now………..for those of you who know exactly where I’m coming from, right here, in the “middle of nowhere USA”, “the land of Oz”, the land of dirt, wind, and buffalo, know that we hear people talk that talk too often, only to put their community down. I say whoa pony! I believe that having been raised in a community under 30,000, in farm, cattle, corn, and wheat country, was the best place to experience. I was raised in Garden City, Kansas. Left, returned, left again, returned, I lost count. I’ve experienced life in large cities such as Dallas, Texas and Miami, Florida, also great parts of my life. However, the people here are really special, we hear that all the time from out-of-towners. Not just sayin’ that, you know?
Now, back to that desert thing. Most of my life I knew I would be doing something creative, and I figured it would be in a large city. Little did I know that my very best customers, my loyal customers, would exist right here in Southwest Kansas. Alyson talks about the connections you can make in a town if you plant yourself. Man oh man is that true. In less than a week, I will be popping the tent to show my art, once again, at our local art in the park event. Although it’s not huge, it’s mighty (and one of my best shows), and I so look forward to seeing all the familiar faces who will visit my booth. I absolutely love the fast pace of the day and all the interactions, and it makes my heart swell to such gratitude.
Now that I am a full time artist working from home, there are certain tactics to doing business on a larger scale. New website, new blog, selling throughout the U.S., GOALS. Who knows, I may end up in a giant city down the road, but for now, I’m cultivating this land right here.
© 2017, Robin Valenzuela. All rights reserved.