I was giving an interview yesterday for a local paper. She asked me, now that I had won a prize in Houston, what was my next goal.

LincolnI am a firm believer in having goals. I’ve spoken before about always reaching for the next rung on the ladder. But I didn’t have an answer for her. It sounds silly to say that I’m still stunned by having won in Houston. It was 7 months ago. Surely I’ve made new plans.

I’m not sure where my brain has been on this one. I know it should be doing something, but it seems stuck. I have applied for professional juried membership into an artists organization and I’m hoping to be accepted — I’m re-entering the same shows — but what am I going to do next that is different?

I have some distant things I’ve thought about — a shot in the dark. If I tell someone, will they be more likely to come true? Or less likely?

A couple of years ago, I entered the Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition at the National Portrait Gallery in DC. I was not accepted. I was not surprised — but because I had entered, they continue to send me emails on the competition and other events at the Gallery. I was surprised to see a LOT of mixed media winners in last years competition. I want to say that last year’s top winner was made from salt. It may be time that I hang up that lack of confidence and enter again. The only way to guarantee that you will never get into a show is to never enter. (I need to keep telling myself that. It’s true but sometimes it helps to use it like a mantra.)

This week, in the process of writing this post, I did make a change. A friend of mine told me about an opportunity for exhibition with a prestigious gallery in Brooklyn, NY. If I entered, I would be unable to enter two other shows that I’ve entered in the past. I would be competing at a much higher level with other artists — this is not a quilt show. It’s about time I change¬†— reach for that next brass ring — so I sent in my application last week. The great thing about this show is that it only required that I be female — and there was no restriction on when the piece was made — so although I entered a couple of new pieces, I also entered a piece that has timed out for most quilt shows. It’s still a great piece and should still be exhibited. My mom was represented by a couple of galleries in NY at one time — so why couldn’t I also have my work shown there? If it was possible for her, it’s also possible for me.

So — this year, my exhibition list may¬†not be as long as last year but hopefully I can shake things up a little and enter some new markets. If nothing else, I’ve pulled myself out of my rut of doing the same thing that I did the year before. Change is good. Carpe diem!