For those you know me in person, you know that I can be moody, stubborn, and a little too intense with my emotions in general. I have been working on this project for about 5 months now, and I have to admit that I got cranky over the weekend. The installation has been amazing. Unlike a gallery show, I get immediate feedback from visitors. I get to over-hear people's conversations, who don't realize that I am there. I see firsthand the visitors' reactions to the work, and it's been a complete boost to my self-confidence as an artist.
I have had people bring me coffee and cookies because they enjoyed the work so much, they wanted to thank me in some ways; I have had people offer me money because they wanted to support me and future projects; I have had people fix loose threads completely on their own; I have had people come back multiple times because they had just a good time knitting and participating in the work; I have had mothers who had to smooth-talk their child into leaving because their kid didn't want to go; I have had people whisper to me that it was the best show they saw on Governors Island.
So why do I let a few negative comments make me cranky? I truly don't know. The negative comments are not even negative per se: they might be comments from folks who are not familiar with artists and their process ("you must have a lot of free time on your hands") or who do not realize the time, love and energy that must go into a project of that scale ("so is this a hobby?"). I might get one or two such comments every weekend among many many positive comments... yet here it was: I got cranky on Saturday.
My friend Yupin came on Sunday, and we talked about this issue: letting one or two negative comments out of many positive comments, ruin one's mood. She said: "let it go". And I will try, truly, I will try...
I am off to Pittsburgh next weekend for my solo show at Box Heart Gallery: 24 Hours in the Subway (www.boxheart.org/nn/upcom.html). I will be back on Governors Island the last weekend of July. Hope to see you there!