I am simultaneously excited and wearied to be releasing a print of one of my most popular paintings, exploring new ways of sharing my work with a broader audience and learning to become more accommodating without compromising integrity. So it should be a joyous occasion, right? Except, I still have to promote and sell it. (Ugh!)

Regardless of my experience as a salesperson, I don’t think I’ll ever develop a comfort with the idea of selling myself. I absolutely loathe having to reverse the lens. It’s not that I don’t think I’m a bad@ss, but that I’ve never sought the limelight nor cared for the attention. I don’t even have to be liked. I simply want to be received for what I am, as an expression of a restless spirit that doesn’t know where it belongs. (There, I’ve said it.)

I know I play the proud and confident role well. And people generally like seeing others pursue a passion, because it’s not easy. But I almost don’t even think it was ever a choice for me. I’ve just always believed that we should have the right and freedom to express what nature has divined in us individually (for better or for worse). So I simply can’t help but embody what I am.

Yet, at the end of the day, like it or not, we still have to pay to play, no matter one’s path in Life. There is no escaping having to do what we have to do (to make money), so that we can do what we “want” to do (to comfortably be). And so… here I am, in my own clumsy manner, doing my part to keep the lights on, a roof over my head, and food on the table.

“The career I have chosen is full of opportunity. But it is also fraught with heartbreak and despair. And the bodies of those who have failed, if they were piled one atop another, would cast its shadow down upon all the pyramids of the earth.” ~ Og Mandino

That’s a lot of pressure, and a daunting image to overcome at times. And so I breathe… and find myself in the wake of dashed hope, only to leap again without wings… summoning wind and water; summoning the ache of fire, and all the things that exist without form… yearning to learn their secrets as I dissolve in a panic. “Is that mountain only a molehill?” I ask and then retreat, losing myself in the tangle of a myriad Being where nothing makes sense and nothing matters; except, that it does… which brings me back full-circle to the topic at hand.

Self-Promotion… (sigh)

Perhaps the most difficult part of promoting one’s self, specifically as an artist, is learning to find a healthy compromise between the creative side of the brain (who wants to experience and express) and the voice of reason (who wants to maintain the illusion of control). It’s a balancing act that seems self-defeating when we are conscious of all our different needs, not just as physical beings, but as a species that has discovered an intellect and spirituality. Indulging in one almost necessarily subdues the others, as it seeks to be defined. It is a conflict that resonates throughout all of history, when those very same  forces (which are both complimentary and contradictory) become personified and polarized outside the self, like a projected awareness that is looking back at us. The whole world takes on different meaning that way. And at this moment, I feel caught in that back-and-forth, like a pendulum that is never at rest, though I long to comprehend it’s sweeping movement, hoping to someday adopt its tranquil and hypnotic rhythm.

I’m not there yet. So my clumsy efforts will have to suffice, on my way to learning how to grace the stage without being noticed.

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“The Gemini In Me” copyright 2011, Michael Torres ~ All Rights Reserved