One of my artworks was selected to exhibit in the Upper Galleries of this grand building. I’m a little bit proud and actually a bit shocked. I saw the work that was being taken in and thought I didn’t have a chance.
Let me introduce you to my delightful Swedish friend, Anna:
You will agree with me when I tell you that she is delightfully cute. Delightfully. This photo was taken on my last trip to Sweden just a few months ago.
Less than three years ago, I took my first trip to Sweden to visit Anna. We had met a few years previously at a business start up conference. It was one of those rare moments in life when you meet someone for the first time and you just click. You some how know that they will be in your life for a long time. You don’t know how you know, but you know. As she lived on the other side of the country, most of our communication was through emails. Anna is brilliant in knowing what needs to be done. Full stop. She can cut right through the bullshit and see the core of the issue. And, just as important, she will tell you. I really appreciate that she is so straight with me. Sometimes you just need someone to take you by the shoulders and shake you a bit, to see what’s infront of your face and not dress up the issues with niceties.
Less than three years ago, when I was visiting Anna, I arrived feeling a bit unhappy, a bit at a loss. I couldn’t pin down what was going on, just that I was getting tired of ramming my head against the wall. I’d had a run or truly awful jobs, I was facing a move, I felt completely out of control of my life. Blah. I think at some point we’ve all been there, so I don’t mind admitting to it. As Anna and I were walking around Gotenburg, she very simply asked me ‘What was it that you dreamed of doing when you were in high school?’ Oh well, that was easy enough. I wanted to be an artist. ‘Well, what is stopping you then?’ Long pause. Longer pause. Walk up the hill. Walk down the hill. Look at the big moose behind the fence. (Was it a moose? It was very large and hairy, whatever it was). ‘Me.’
And then we made a plan. Upon my return I was to go to the art gallery that was already stocking my Gee How Quaint products and ask them if I could display artwork there. So, I booked a meeting with the gallery manager, sketched out some ideas and had that conversation. It was a bit ballsy as I didn’t even have anything created at that point, just a few rough sketches and some descriptions. A month later I was chosen to be in their curated collection, a free invitation to display my artwork for however long I liked.
Recently I read an article about what it takes to be an entreprenuer. I don’t really think of myself as such, but there is one quality that I believe I share: Bloody mindedness. It’s incredible how far that can carry you.
So thank you Anna. Thank you, Thank you for being such a dazzling, brilliant friend.
*I’ve been corrected. The work is in the Royal Scottish Academy. Right building, but I gave it the wrong name.