Learning Life Lessons

Life is definitely an on-the-job training kind of thing, isn't it? Whether it be learning to navigate a relationship, raising a child, or taking a chance, you learn as you go, and you never know what to expect until you get there. I learned one of those lessons this weekend.

I've been working on another website to promote artists and craftsmen here in the North Florida area. It started with the help of a few friends I met at the St. Johns Town Center show and we named it the First Coast Art Spot. Please check it out here! Works pictured here are by Jennelle Comiskey (left) and Nancy Asbell (below). If you've been reading this blog for any length of time, you know that one of the main things I like to do here is feature artists I've met or found various places, so putting together a website that does the same thing on a larger scale was not too big of a stretch. I've been contacting artists from the area who sell their work on Etsy and Ebay, as well as those I found through some local and state organizations and websites, friends telling friends, help from the local art show promoter I do shows with, etc. We're just getting started, but we're starting to get some interest and very positive feedback from artists we know. To note, we did not start this site as a money-making venture; sure, we hope that by promoting the Art Spot, our art will get out there as well, but it's more about promoting the group and art in the area in general. We haven't even covered expenses yet and we'll be spending some of our own money to help promote the site.

There are a couple other sites here in town that are doing similar things, and our philosophy on it has been the more the merrier; multiple venues just gets stuff out there for local artists even more, so on the Art Spot, we've listed these other organizations and any others that we can find that help to promote artists work in our links page. Though the girls and I didn't start the Art Spot to compete with these other sites, I think the owner of one of those sites feels differently about that and let me know. I had gotten a sense that the folks behind this site were not happy with us, so I contacted them to let them know that we were not there to compete and would like to work together, but that feeling was not shared. I guess that was my life lesson learned: I'll never please everyone.

As part of my day job, I do a lot of leadership training and one of the personality type inventories I use fairly regularly is called True Colors. I'll spare you the details here and just tell you that my color spectrum is Orange, Blue, Gold, Green. Those with Orange as their dominant color tend to have a lot going on and, instead of being stressed by that, tend to thrive in those conditions. I guess I'm a prime example of that. I do have a LOT on my plate. (Did I tell you I just accepted the position of President of the Greater Jacksonville Chi Omega Alumnae Association? As my DH said when I told him this, "Sure Kelly! You should do that because you really don't have anything else going on right now!" But at least I stepped down from my JACKPOTT position before I accepted the Chi O position. Anywho, once again, I digress.) Back to True Colors. As for my Blue, the primary quality of a dominant Blue is peace...the whole "why can't we all just get along and work together for the benefit of the whole" line of thinking. So, between my Orange and my Blue (which in one aspect really bugs me given the fact that I'm a Florida State grad, not a UF grad), I hope you can see where the negative vibe I received back from the other site was very disappointing.

So just for giggles, I checked my horoscope. My habit for this is to check it the next day to see if anything rang true, so Sunday, I read Saturday's horoscope. This is what it said: "If someone is questioning your ideals today, you have every right to question their motives. It's high time for you to give just as good as you get, so don't be shy about calling a spade a spade today. It's not about being vindictive or small, it is about being fair. Your reputation is something that opens doors for you right now, and you need to protect it." Hmmm!! That sounds very familiar! Anywho, I still hope that the owner of this other site will come around and see that we're not here to compete, but if not, we'll continue to charge ahead, and continue to include that link on our site. The way I see it, the hardest part about being an artist or craftsman is not in the creation itself, but rather in the marketing of that creation. So the more avenues artists have to market their work, the better, right? By the way, I do plan to join that other organization if they'll still have me!

Update: I just heard back from the manager of the other group again and they've agreed that it would be best for everyone after all if we work together toward a common goal. Yeah! I'll keep you all updated on our progress.

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