Recently I met a new artist in the virtual world of Second Life. He is amazingly talented but lacks confidence. He’s desperate to break into the art scene, but doesn’t know how to promote himself. I remember what that’s like. When I first started making fractals, I was so inexperienced I was afraid to show them to anyone. (And frankly I should have been. Looking at my early work makes me cringe.) Then I met my friend Bau, who took a chance on me.
Before I knew it I had a display in a gallery. I was so excited. I was so nervous. I was so proud of myself. Bau had to teach me how to display my work and set it up for sale. I was that green.
Since then my confidence has gown and I’ve shown my work in dozens of virtual galleries. I also have a (woefully out of date) website, and I sell my work in the real world in the form of posters, mugs, greeting cards, ornaments, ties and puzzles on zazzle.com.
None of that would have happened without Bau giving me my first break, and I’ve never forgotten that. Since then, I’ve done the best I could to pay it forward by helping a few artists get their start, and as soon as I met this guy and discovered how talented he was, I knew I’d like to help him.
To make a long story short, I got the most amazing and influential artist in all of Second Life to check out his work. This was no mean feat. It took me years to get a display in her gallery. I didn’t really feel like a successful artist in Second Life until I got a display there.
Well, you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink, as the saying goes. This guy was so rude to my friend that I was mortified. So here I handed him an opportunity on a silver platter, and he handed me back the platter with poo poo all over it. I have to admit it. I went off on him. I mean, I really lost it.
I don’t take these types of things lightly. If my trust with that gallery is broken, the next time I want to help an artist, she might hesitate. And that’s SO unfair for the next person.
The next day I get an e-mail from this guy saying, among other things, that I needed to apologize to him, that I’m a harsh and angry person, I’m crazy, and I need to check my ego.
I hate being misunderstood. I hate doing an over-the-top amazingly wonderful thing and then getting hostility in return. I stewed on it for a day, and realized that OF COURSE he’d think I’m a harsh and angry person, because I was, indeed, harsh and angry with him, and since the world apparently revolves around him, he naturally must think that this incident was a demonstration of my overall demeanor despite all my previous kindness.
But you know what I hate the most? Seeing such an amazing opportunity go to waste. I’m on the ragged edge, financially and emotionally and spiritually, so I would LOVE to get a break like this, especially if it were related to employment, housing or romance. It could be the difference between my keeping a roof over my head or sleeping in my car, the difference between a life filled with love or a lifetime of loneliness. So if anyone were to give me a chance right now, even one tiny little break, I’d grab it with both hands and run with it, and I’d be grateful for life.
So that guy will be waiting an awfully long time for an apology from this harsh, angry person. And it turns out he’s decided to not display in any gallery, proving that if things don’t go your way, you should take your marbles and run home like a little girl.
Come on. Give me a break.
Even this cat knows the guy screwed up.
[Image credit: disruptingdinnerparties.com]