Saying Yes (or No) to Opportunities

Saying Yes (or No) to Opportunities

The last month has been a bit of a blur—lots of end-of-school events, my kids starting summer break, and some unexpected opportunities popping up.

Remember the Jim Carrey movie "Yes Man"? I only remember a little about it, but the premise is that his character believes they must say "Yes" to everything. I don't necessarily believe in saying "Yes!" to all opportunities, but sometimes you're presented with a good opportunity at what feels like a wrong time.

A few weeks ago I received a text from my friend Shannon. She had just stepped into a new position coordinating artwork for a large wall space in Kenmore, WA. The space usually features 1 to 2 artists, but no artists had been scheduled for this summer. She knew it was short notice, but thought I might have enough work lying around my studio to fill the space.

When I received her text on June 10, the month of July was 3 weeks away and my 4-year old only had 4 days left of school. But I did a quick inventory to see what...

  • framed pieces I would want to use as is. (6)
  • pieces I needed to unframe, so I could reuse the frame for something else. (7)
  • other frames in my garage not currently being put to use. (6)
  • pieces that would require purchasing a new frame. (2)

I decided I could get it done, but it meant most of my (decreasing) kid-free time for the next 3 weeks would be focused on framing, 180 degrees from how I thought I'd be spending my days.

Thankfully, I managed to get everything unframed, re-framed, paper-backed, wired, labeled, and packed up just before I left to chaperone a trip with my son's music group last week. I am grateful for the childcare assistance from my parents and the support of my husband otherwise, I'd have been framing in the middle of the night.

I don't know if or how many sales may come from it, but it feels good knowing 21 pieces will be out in the world for people to see and not sitting in my studio for the next few months.

Now before you assume that the moral of this story is about ALWAYS saying "Yes!" to new opportunities, I also recently decided to pull back on my in-person workshops. Even canceling one for this summer, because I need more time over the next couple of months to focus on other exciting projects.

I think it's about what makes sense for you at that moment, and sometimes that could be "Yes", but it also might be "Sorry, not right now." I didn't have much work booked for exhibits this summer, so it made sense for me to prioritize an opportunity to get these pieces hung over other work.

Spoiler alert! At the end of "Yes Man" Jim Carrey's learns that it's really about being open to possibilities, not living in a permanent state of "Yes" (or "No").

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