There are a lot of aspects to being an artist–but one of the more fun aspects for me, besides being called the Turtle Lady artist, is to be able to share your work and see how people react to it. I think art fulfills a need. A very basic one. And our connection to it is an emotional one. Just walk into anyone’s home, office or personal space and you can tell quite a bit about them by what they choose to surround themselves with. Art is a connection to others.
Sharing that connection
To be able to share your work with others is to share that emotional connection. I recently had the wonderful opportunity to participate in a fund raising event called “The White Shirt Night”. The evening consists of people who pay good money to a very good cause (in this case, HPS (Helping People Succeed–www.hpsfl.org) and then have items of clothing, linens, and whatever they want, drawn on by about a dozen artists with Sharpies. This year was my second opportunity to participate and for almost 4 hours you draw…and you draw…and you draw. Non-stop. One of the attendees took these photos of me drawing a turtle on a t-shirt for her son–who like me, also happens to love sea turtles. We talked turtles. We talked about her son. We talked about several things. We shared a connection.
To help the attendees select some artwork, each artist has a board hung on display showing 4 examples of their work and subject matter and essentially the supporters select something that they want. Again, that connection thing. Something that means something to them or a loved one. There were local scenes, flip flops and beach umbrellas, flora and fauna, mermaids, you name it!
I lost count of how many sea turtles I actually drew for folks, (along with a few conch shells and cowboys for those with a love of both the sea and the land, whom I say wear “Saltwater Spurs”–like me-lol) but I know one thing for sure. Every single one of them left my table and the event with art work they felt a connection with. Many were people who attend regularly and just treasure what they leave with. Some stood in line for close to an hour to get that sketch they wanted.
It’s a Win-Win
Generally, people who attend fund raisers do so to help support a cause they believe in. This event, the concept of it anyway, I was told was originally thought up by an artist wanting to help. It has grown in popularity. Being privileged to be a part of it, I totally see why. Money is raised for a wonderful cause. The restaurant where it was hosted gets to show their menu to new customers. Attendees leave with something they value. And as an artist, I personally feel validated and valued for my contribution. I know the other artists felt the same way. You made those connections.