At the end of January I got an email saying I was one of 9 artists selected for a solo exhibit at Evermore Gallery in Downtown Boise. My first reaction was shock. I had never attempted such a thing, and I had approached their "call for artists" as an exercise in focusing my attention on what exactly I am trying to do (if anything) as an artist. The application process was really helpful for that. It required both a resumé and an artist's statement. The artist's statement eventually became the statement in the show's Artist Catalogue.
It has been more than two months since I learned about the exhibit, and it's been exciting, nerve-wracking, overwhelming, and more than a little scary. The main thing I have learned is that you need to figure out right away what you need to do so you can start on the things that have to be done right away, and then set deadlines and reminders for the countless other things so nothing falls through the cracks.
For me that meant I had to not only choose the images to print, but also print sizes and type of paper. Once I got them printed I needed to get them signed and ready to go to the frame shop. Step Two was finding a frame shop, getting estimates, choosing the mats and frames (and type of glass), and getting the prints to the shop. I decided to create certificates of authenticity for each framed and signed print, so Step Three involved research, writing, re-writing, and design.
The list goes on and on and on. For somebody who had never done anything like this, it was quite the challenge, and almost certainly made it more stressful than it needed to be. That may be the best piece of advice I can give: take some deep breaths and a little time off (I'm on vacation all this week), plus trust the people around you. I cannot say enough about Evermore Prints LLC for how much easier they have made this. Also, the frame shop I used, Timeless Portraits, has been phenomenal.
Every time I check something off the list of things I need to do (whether it's getting the prints to the frame shop or receiving my free Square credit card reader in the mail) I think something like, "Okay, that's step 100,642 done."
The next thing on my list is to be at the gallery this afternoon to direct the installation.
With that, my list has shrunk to very little: the things I need to bring to the opening reception - and what to wear.