Updated: Sep 1, 2020
by Stephanie Konu
Now that we have all gotten accustomed to the worldwide Pandemic and the constricting measures contained within; I have come to reflect on some regrets about my artistic practice. Looking back, I wish I would have tried a little more, and learned a lot more. I can’t place too much blame on my past self, because hindsight is 2020. That was a bad joke. Regardless of whatever year this still is, here are my…
5 Regrets about my artistic practice
Not embracing my passion early enough It took the threat of the world coming to an end before I decided to leave the things behind that were making me unhappy. For many years I felt stuck in a dead end job. I always stayed cheery, but each day took a toll. I wanted someone to come and save me, but I realized after a long time that no one was ever going to come. I had to save myself. The passion I have always felt for creativity was the signal beacon all along. My journey led me to the signs, but I had to change my mindset to properly interpret the signs. Now that I have embraced who I really am, I am also embracing my passions and pursuing them daily.
Never taking art seriously in high school Ok, this one is not so much my “fault” as it is one of those things a person looks back on when they reach a more mature state of mind. In high school I was interested in art, but never signed up for it. I thought all art classes were just a boring process to rob you of your creativity. I wanted to have less structure in my creative pursuits. All of the students I knew who took art classes seemed pretty moody and miserable, so I never felt drawn to learn in that way. I took drama class, which fed my desire to create, but looking back I would have benefited from a few weeks of studying a colour wheel!
Not investing in art history knowledge. Similar to my studies in high school, I regret not learning more about art history while in University. I could have taken a more varied course load that would have brought me to art galleries and exhibitions (which I frequent all the time now). Perhaps I would have grown tired of them, but I could have saved myself a lot of time if I had taken an interest back then.
Not networking with more artists pre-pandemic. My first exhibition was in December of 2018 at an exhibition space on St. Clair in Toronto. I was so nervous to be around other artists. I thought that they all must have had degrees in Fine Arts, and that they would immediately see me as an outsider. As I gained experience in exhibiting my work, I have learned that the best way to immerse oneself in a room of like-minded people is to smile and let the warmth radiate from your soul. I have been able to network with the few artists I met before the lock down via Instagram; but I am looking forward to more in the future, now that I have a better idea of what I have to offer.
Skipping exhibitions because they asked for entrance fees At one point, after returning back to work from my maternity leave, I stopped entering my work for exhibitions. I saw the entrance fees as a good enough reason to stop applying to those shows, and only applied to the RARE show that did not charge a fee. I was lucky to find a few good opportunities, like my 2 year run of exhibiting my work in the Legislative Assembly Building at Queen’s Park in Toronto; however my regret is that I may have missed out on life changing opportunities because of minimal cost savings and overall cheapness.
Do you have any regrets stemming from a big change in your life? I would definitely like to hear about them! Leave your comments in the section below, and thanks for stopping by.