I expected not to sleep well last night. I am still fairly hyped from deciding to do the art gallery project, and nervous and slightly guilty and debating things over and over in my head. Not conducive to a restful night.
But, instead of lurking at my livejournal all evening waiting for comments and reassurance and validation (which is awfully easy to do!), I shut down the computer, watched a few Star Treks with my husband, went to the connex box and dug out sentimental old sweaters for the changing season, made a sourdough veggie pizza, and had a generally relaxed evening. Then I went to bed and slept like a baby until the alarm went off.
This is usually a good sign that I'm doing the right things. And that I haven't had too much Coke that day.
A few friends emailed me after my last post, dear friends whose opinions I totally respect. Their emails were generally themed 'are you nuts?' and they were very anxious to make sure I wasn't doing this to the detriment of me, and my art. The answer of course, is that yes, I'm utterly nuts. I've been nuts for a long time, and this shouldn't come as any kind of surprise to anyone.*
As for my own art, and my own dreams and goals... I'm not really out to dominate the world with my own art. Honestly, I'm not sure I could. I'm okay, and I could get better, but I don't see me being the next Amy Brown or Michael Whelan or Ursula Vernon (being examples of wildly successful (or getting there fast) with wildly different means and methods). I don't particularly want to illustrate RPGs or be seen on lots of book covers or have products at Hot Topic. It'd be cool and all, and boy would I like to make lots of money at it, but if you asked me what I really love to do... it's projects. I adore projects. I love being able to send other artists paychecks, and get them paid work (that I don't then have to do...). I love to make products and find the perfect packaging and it's a thrill putting pretty stuff in an envelope, smiling to think of the person at the other end getting to rip it open and see it for the first time.
I love getting letters from 'my' artists who say that being in EMG has given them the confidence to go do such-and-so other exciting thing.
I shouldn't have made my last post quite like I did, probably. It was a little less classy than I try to be. I don't want to replace Epilogue, or Art Gauntlet, or diss either of them.
I want this new gallery to be a place to come and learn - more about 'what will they tell me about my artwork that I simply can't see myself?' and 'How can I make this piece better?' I don't want it to be about just getting IN, I want it to be about challenging oneself, and improving. I want getting in to be a start - and this will be a heck of a lovely portfolio-styled gallery - but that's just a start. I, personally, will consider getting in 'okay,' but I'm going to shoot for the 10s. I doubt I'll get them. I wouldn't give me above a 6 on most pieces, but I'll have a goal, complete with the tools to get there.
That I can help set up a system to help flailing (and even not-flailing) artists get these tools - that's priceless. That's... like donating directly to karma or something. Without having to go through a telemarketer.
Quality and control of the critics will be key. Super, super important.
Yasha put it best: The two biggest underlying factors of failure in online art galleries have been success going to the heads of the admins and stress building up and burning out the leaders of projects. Or a combination of both. I don't think this'll be so much a factor for you provided you have an excellent, competent and fair staff working directly underneath you and supporting you.
I don't think success will go to my head. Honestly, I don't. I have much, much bigger goals - you only get the rationalized, planned and currently executable goals - which is why I'm always faintly surprised when people think I'm successful. I'm not, because I haven't even begun to stretch for those yet. These are just little bitty building blocks to the places I want to go. If this takes off, super! But I won't be able to take all the credit for it.
First rule of leadership - take the blame and share the credit.
If it fails miserably, it's my fault. If it succeeds, it is because I was able to find, train and lead the right people to the right jobs and let them shine.
Burnout - yeah, that totally depends on who I've got working for me, and how well I treat them. I know the excellent, competent and fair folks who could make this happen, and I have been incredibly grateful for the offers of help that have been coming in.
I don't think for a second I could do this on my own. That would be express route straight for failure and burnout.
I will get my ducks in order shortly and get back to you folks with 'volunteer' details.
And darn it, I think this is funny:
Somehow, incredibly, creamofart.com was free. It is mine now. I may or may not use it for this gallery - it may be too silly - but *I* think it's hysterical.
*Fortunately, it's a good kind of nuts. Cashews, or something.