Even temporary art can last

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Photo by Sam Haddad on Unsplash

“There’s going to be a street art festival in October,” a friend told me. “It’s the first year we’re doing it.”

There would be paint throwing, murals, a chalk drawing competition, etc.

“You should sign up!” she said.

The chalk drawing sounded fun, except for the part where the public votes. This would be a stretch for me.

As the day approached, I became more and more nervous. But that morning, I was there. I covered the ground with color. Smiling inside with each stroke. Not caring there was chalk on my face as well.

Was it a good experience? Would I do it again? …

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Copyright © JessicaPetersonArt.com

I was afraid he could hear my heart pounding…was it going to jump out of my chest and land on the floor in front of us???

Now that would be scary…

As my teacher watched my short film, I was dying to know what he thought. I needed honest feedback. This was important. I was entering it into a film festival.

And the deadline was approaching. Gulp.

What would he say? Was I really going to do this? Would my film even be accepted??

This is why my first short film was scary, in more ways than one…

It had to be spooky 👻

Since childhood, I remember the hideous scarred face of Freddy Krueger and his bladed glove, and watching Tales from the Crypt and Fright Night countless times with my dad. Mom wasn’t home, and dad was there to kill any monsters incase they came through our tv screen. …

Especially art fairs.

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Photo credit: Pixabay

We were soaked in sweat. Exhausted from all the lifting.

And all we did was load the car.

We still had to unload everything, setup, and sit for 5 hours in 85 degrees.

“I feel crazy! Is this crazy???” I asked my mom.

She just smiled. And we went.

The tent was provided, a table, and there was no fee. At the time, I didn’t see a reason not to sign up.

But there was uncertainty. Would there be enough people? Would it rain?

Sometimes I need to experience things to learn.

Here are the reasons I absolutely hate summer fairs. …

I guess we were friends for a season.

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Photo by Roberto Nickson (@g) on Unsplash

She was going to turn 15, and I was excited.

I smiled, imagining all the fun we’d have at my friend’s birthday party. Most likely a slumber party, our favorite kind. We’d dance to the Spice Girls and watch movies all night. It would be the best.

But her birthday came, and her invitation didn’t.

I kept wondering, “What did I do?”

But it wasn’t me who was changing. It was her.

I slowly started to realize, Anna didn’t want to be friends anymore.

No, she didn’t click the Unfriend button. This was a slow drifting apart.

Somehow I think this would have hurt less if it had been on Facebook, instead of in person. Maybe not. …

We should listen to our guts more.

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Photo by Samantha Gades on Unsplash

Sometimes the best moments can change in a second.

Taking a bite of the lasagna, the pastor made an announcement.

“There’s going to be a singles event at our church.”

I nearly choked on it.

A few people seemed interested. One girl actually mentioned wanting kids someday, “I want five.”

“Just tell them that, it’s a good way to weed ’em out,” the pastor joked.

He was the only one laughing.

My gut kept trying to talk to me, but instead, I remembered what someone said,

I think you should go,” she told me. And here’s why she was wrong.

Would I stretch?

I’m an introvert — meaning, I like people, but not too many at once. And social events are such a stretch. I get exhausted being with so many people in one spot. …

Six important questions to ask

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My drawing in the gallery. © 2018 Jessica Peterson

I couldn’t believe what I was reading.

“We are happy to let you know that your work has been accepted…”

Oh my gosh, a gallery in Chicago wants to show my art!

But when I applied to this gallery, I didn’t think about all of the logistics.

I just knew I wanted to show in Chicago! To get as much exposure for my art, as possible.

But just because you’re given an opportunity, doesn’t mean it’s the right opportunity, or the right time. This was certainly a learning process for me.

So I want to share what you need to know if you want to show your art in a gallery.

What happened in my boundary-less life

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Photo by José Miguel on Unsplash

“Kiss my feet, and call me Master,” he said.

“Yes, Master,” I replied, kneeling on the floor.

And I get sick when I think about it, I kissed both of my brother’s ugly feet.

Even at age 7, I was a people pleaser. I had no idea what boundaries were, or that I needed them.

Now that I’m an adult… I’m still learning about boundaries.

So, what happens when we don’t have boundaries?

1) We don’t respect others

The coast was clear. He was gone for a while and I could sneak into his room in our basement.

I would touch the clay head that held burning incense, play the Casio keyboard, or watch his computer screen saver — the Window’s ’95 pipes. …

Three reasons I do self portraits

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“Invisible” © 2011 Jessica Peterson

After looking at my collection of self portraits, a stranger asked me, “Do you ever draw anything besides yourself?”

I froze.

I tried to think of any pictures I’ve done that were not self portraits. But I came up short. At that time, my body of work consisted of…me, myself and I.

“Um… I have a few landscapes.”

The person nodded and continued looking at my pieces.

Carly Simon’s song popped in my head, You’re So Vain. Was she singing about me?

Whenever I’m asked about this, I’m tempted to feel like I am all about myself, until I think it through. …

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“Ninety-Nine” © 2012 Jessica Peterson

I tacked my drawings to the wall. Here I go. It was time for my one-on-one critique with my instructor.

My heart beat faster as he stared at my art. His eyes landed on my favorite drawing, the colorful one of my hair. A pastel piece, covered with rainbow powder.

“This drawing is toxic,” he said, pointing right to it.

My heart sank. Out of everything I worked on, this was the piece I was looking forward to showing him. And I felt like he tore it in two, right before my eyes.

What should we do when our art is criticized? Here is how to stay positive when you get negative criticism. …

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very year I wanted to go, but it rarely ever worked out.

When I was younger, Halloween was sometimes a bummer. My friends were forever talking about going to haunted houses and corn mazes. They told stories of how awful it was, yet they survived. I just knew I was missing out. Kinda like Facebook, some days. You know what I mean.

Maybe it was never meant to be. Maybe it’s all hype.

People jumping out at you, cheesy effects, and clowns chasing you with chain saws. As great as all of that sounds…maybe it’s better to just pop in a scary movie. …


Jessica Peterson

If I’m not behind my camera, I’m probably messing with charcoal or paint. The world needs more art, so I’m doing my part. www.jessicapetersonart.com

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