The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak. - Hans Hofmann
I have an awful tough time letting go of things. So, with much difficulty I decided recently it was time for me to leave the gallery where I've been renting a space for 2 years now. For me, it is more than an business decision. I was welcomed there and developed friendships there. Plus, I just hate to give in. I'm not sure if it's being too proud to give up or the optimism that things are just about to get better.
A couple of years ago, walking up Main Street in Greenville, I noticed a handwritten sign advertising a new gallery and calling for artists. I was in a small co-op gallery in the next town over, but I went ahead and signed up for this one, thinking I could juggle both, and continue shows and festivals.
It turned out to be more than I wanted to handle, considering I also work a full time M-F job, and the co-op required me to work a day or two a month. I knew I had to leave. However, I never actually had to take any action, because the co-op decided to close. Presto...an easy way out!
In the past few months, I started to think that it was time for me to simplify again. Tax time revealed to me that I had only broken even at the gallery this year. Broken even...well at least I wasn't in the proverbial hole! But, that caused me to reevaluate the situation, and led to my ultimate decision.
I don't blame the gallery for my lack of success. My attention has been other places. I really didn't have time to get by there often enough to "flip" my work. I think my space became a little stale, and possibly a bit dusty from time to time. I believe the traffic in the gallery had fallen off too. That tends to happen after time, and the current economic reality is that people have less money to spend on things that aren't complete necessities.
Finally yesterday, after mulling for way too long and after several false starts, I composed an email ending my time at the gallery. It didn't turn out to be as difficult as I expected it to be. They graciously accepted my decision and even left the door open for me to come back at a later time. So, I will be moving out before the end of March.
I posted earlier in the year about simplification in my creative work. This decision really is more about simplifying life than anything else. I could have continued breaking even (not the worst outcome ever), but I would rather invest my limited time, energies and cash towards other things in the coming days. I am thankful for the friends I've made, for the experience I've gained, and that I could leave on a positive note.