Like a winsome elf caffeinated and sugar high on pixie sticks, children’s laughter, a triple shot espresso, and Christmas cookies, I ecstatically prepared for my debut at the Sawdust Art Festival the last time I wrote a post. In other words, you can think of ecstatic Scrooge from the famous Charles Dickens’ story A Christmas Carol as he recited the following line after he found out he was gifted with a new life full of promise and hope:
“I’m as happy as an angel! I’m as merry as a school boy!”
Like Scrooge, I feel I’ve received a new lease on life. It is truly remarkable how powerful dreams can be and how much those can change the course of life, especially when those dreams come to fruition after much hard work, faith, and help from others. Happiness takes a lot of blood, sweat, tears, and the growing pains of change, but the rewards are bountiful and can lift the soul in ways one would never think possible.
The festival ended and I have to say that being an exhibitor of the Winter Fantasy Sawdust Art Festival 2012 was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. To experience the festival itself as an exhibitor was one of the happiest times of my life for many reasons.
I learned so much from the very talented artists and staff I was surrounded by. Not only did I feel moved by the art I was immersed in there, which was a wonderland of exotic ideas, but I was amazed at the encouragement and positive energy I received.
My art booth was nearby a great cast of characters. Patrick Moran was the mad scientist genius of art who came by and kindly showed me different variations of sketching. Vicki Kauflholz was a witty fellow Leo, and a jewelry designer with a flair for primitive shapes reminiscent of ancient wall paintings fused with elegant precious stones. Lastly, Karen Williams Smith was a delightful, soulful rock artist who healed kindly through the power of her rocks. Other immensely gifted artists were housed in that little corner with us, and all of us glittered with our own strengths and contributions alongside the tranquil water wheel that all of the guests were transfixed by. I believe in what Picasso once said which was that “Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.” I felt like in our own ways and through different vehicles of expression we swept the souls of many who visited our little corner.
Not only did I learn a lot from the artists that were there, but I also learned, truly, that my art has a place in the world. I was overjoyed and blown away to encounter so many people who loved my artistic voice. I felt validated to find out that my artwork did hit nerves and that others understood and connected with my work. I loved to look in the faces of some of my clients and know that my artwork made them feel understood because they found themselves in whatever I created. Those clients would say to me over and over “This painting embodies exactly how I feel.” It was incredibly rewarding and moving to know that my work, in its own small way, made positive thumbprints in the lives of those who encountered it. It made me feel alive to connect with such wonderful people, and to receive feedback like, “Your work is so incredibly unique and beautiful. I’ve never seen anything like it.”
As if those weren’t tremendous gifts enough from the Sawdust Art Festival, I was also interviewed by the Laguna Beach local newspaper, “The Coastline Pilot,” which was absolutely incredible. My geeky gratitude leapt great heights off the second page of the Coastline Pilot article. If words could do cartwheels it would read something like this: http://articles.coastlinepilot.com/2012-11-15/entertainment/tn-cpt-1116-sawdust-winter-fantasy-20121115_1_cynthia-fung-star-shields-children-s-art-spot
The only negative component to the experience was how much pressure I put on myself to achieve absolute perfection for the festival. I’ve learned my lesson to take my natural perfectionism and try to shelf it (as much as possible, anyway) when I prepare for festivals. If you’ve read my blog at all, you would know that stress does strange things to me, and when I prepared for the festival it was no different. I murdered a humongous spider with a hammer, developed a semi concussion after I hit my head on a wood table, had anxiety ridden sleepless nights, and plenty more Calamity Jane moments. When the festival opened, I looked about as fresh as if I had just slept on a fire ant hill with a deranged Kodiak bear, but it didn’t matter. Regardless of the fact I looked like dreadful road kill from sleep deprivation and stress, I was thrilled to be there and to have that opportunity.
I can’t wait for what’s ahead and the adventures I will be taking. I am so glad I took a chance not only on the Sawdust Art Festival….but also on myself.
If you’re looking for gorgeous, bohemian fine jewelry pieces that echo a time long past, please visit Vicki’s website at www.victoriakaufholzjewelry.com. To experience Patrick’s lively event centered works please go to www.morangallery.com and if you would like to encounter the earthy, nurturing works of Karen Williams Smith please to go http://www.touchstoneartwork.com/