Recently I had the amazing opportunity of creating a mural for a competition hosted by Inspire9 and Colourspace. This was easily the most challenging and frightening art process that I have ever experience and I am genuinely surprised by the result! The mural reveal night, and also my first solo exhibition, was held last Friday (June 23rd). It was an overwhelming yet immensely rewarding event that I will forever remember - I'm so happy to have created something that the community appreciate and enjoy, and live to tell about it (the mural didn't kill me, as I had initially anticipated).
The mural reveal and solo show was fantastic and not only did it create hype around Inspire9, revealing the final mural design and my works on display, but also directed a lot of traffic to Inspire9, Colourspace and my own social platforms. I also posted the mural image in the Facebook group 'Like Minded Bitches Drinking Wine' and had the most amazing response! From all the exposure and marketing efforts - my following and engagement increased, I met heaps of passionate people and commission requests have been creeping in one by one :)
I'm not saying all this to brag, although I do feel incredibly proud and excited, but more so to share my experience with leaning into fear and DOING IT ANYWAY. There is so much to say about trying new things that terrify you, or things that you think you CAN'T DO. It's all bullshit btw, you so can.
I wasn't even going to enter the competition, I was sick with a fever over the weekend before the last day to enter (which was a Sunday) and I couldn't think of anything 'clever' or 'super creative', so I gave up... I've never done a mural! Who am I to enter a competition to paint a mural when I don't even paint?!? Madness. However a friend had pushed me to enter, 'just give it a go' she said, and I submitted something that wasn't perfect in execution (it was just an idea at that stage) but it was SOMETHING.... and shit, I won the thing. Not only did I win the comp, but it ended up doubling as my inaugural solo exhibition... I didn't even have plans to exhibit my work! And then also hosted a giveaway competition in partnership with Eckersleys. It all just sort of happened, and why? Because I did something outside of my comfort zone. With blind confidence and faith in the universe, I just did it anyway.
What's the worst that could happen, hey?
I want to thank everyone for coming and supporting me and my scribbles! And also all the businesses that generously sponsored the competition and the promotion of art within the Melbourne community - Inspire9, Colourspace, Eckersleys, WeTeachMe, #CorporateAdvice, Sugar, Shingleback and my Dad, Fred Vanderhaven.
I'd love to know if you've also gone through this sort of experience, where you've thrown yourself into something terrifying and had a rewarding experience - share your story in the comments below :) x