This past weekend was a special occasion for me, being the first arts festival I have attended outside of Middle Tennessee, the 50th annual Dogwood Arts Festival. I arrived with Aurora, van packed down with a year's worth of artwork and prints just behind the rain Thursday evening to load in and find optimistic vendors setting up in the gloomy muck. The weekend did not disappoint with the weather being the topic on the tips of most peoples tongues.
I found myself some more this weekend or better put- reinforced my belief in my work to mySELF by opening my heart and mind to the general public. It's weird watching a sea of people float by your work. A double-take here and there. Occasionally, you catch an eye bulge or facial expression similar to something I'd draw. If the purpose of art is to evoke emotion, I'm a successful man. I saw parents pull their children back from my work and saw others hold them and laugh and laugh and point and giggle. I saw people stare and saw people take one look and shake their head in disgust. I talked to kids barely in school and men who told me psychedelic stories from fifty years ago. All of them told me the ways my work opened their mind. In turn, these perfect strangers (and some new friends) gave me new perspectives on the effect of what I do.