Last Friday, in Dumbo, Brooklyn I showed my newest artwork at Rabbithole Projects. This space is breathtaking and unique, a true diamond in the rough right in the middle of the beautiful neighborhood of Dumbo (it's an acronym: Down Under Manhattan Bridge, I didn't know until we moved here either, no worries).
I was so excited to share my work, to talk to new people about projects and ideas, to visit with some of my oldest and dearest friends, to bring my parents and daughter to the event and to meet new faces. But, the most powerful part of this show (aside from my parents getting there in time to be super-grandparents, Thank you Mom and Dad, I love you!), was the collaboration that occurred, thanks to the Rising Tide Society.
Allow me to tell a little story to you all today:
I moved to Brooklyn / NYC in May 2015 with my family and literally started over, completely. I was a high school teacher in Maryland prior to moving, but after months of deliberating, thinking, planning and agonizing, we decided that it was the perfect time to take the plunge towards full-time-artist-life. I had been working part-time as an artist, pursuing what I thought was a career that could never possibly happen and also loving art as my favorite hobby. (It still is, but I digress.) Everything was new, and I was scared out of my mind.
Almost simultaneously, I found out about these meetings (while still living in Maryland) called "Tuesdays Together", where local creatives could talk about struggles and successes, share ideas, and basically hang out and work together while drinking coffee, so my interest was piqued. When I showed up to my first meeting in Annapolis, I was literally 10 days away from moving away and a nervous wreck, but I made some new friends. When I arrived in NYC, I told myself, "Megan, you have to go to one of these meetings in Brooklyn and just see what happens. You just never know."
Here's how it went...
I left our new apartment and hopped on the train that I had ridden maybe 8 times towards a destination I had never seen in a neighborhood I had never visited to meet up with a group of people that I didn't know. I wanted to crawl into my little hermit crab shell and run home to watch "Gossip Girl" on Netflix. But, I got there, a little late and sweating. We met at Berg'n, a trendy food hall in Brooklyn, where I met 4 of the coolest and kindest people in the world that night: a florist (Rachel, of Taproot Flowers), a wedding & event planner (Ashley Peraino), a makeup artist (Mollie Parks), and a business strategist for creatives (Nevica Vazquez). We chatted for over 2 hours about EVERYTHING involved in following a dream, how to make it a reality, how to get home on the train, how to actually make money, and what to order from the food hall. We had the best time. 5 strangers, just talking.
Several months have passed now and our group has met on the 2nd Tuesday of each month: new members have joined us, we have shared our dreams and hopes, shed a couple of tears, planned Christmas parties and art shows, tried out new restaurants, formed friendships, and helped one another through the life of a business person.
This is powerful stuff disguised as "ordinary", guys.
Fast forward (or rewind?) back to Friday night. At the art show, everyone in our Tuesdays Together group was invited to come out - artists brought their artwork, photographers hung their photos, florists brought beautiful bouquets, bloggers baked delicious treats, painters brought amazing paintings, other photographers took breathtaking photos, others just showed up looking fabulous with friends to support the night and IT WAS INCREDIBLE (and some came an hour early to help hang artwork and watch me spazz out and chug diet coke while setting up the show). So incredible that it has now taken me days to process all of the love. And I am still teary-eyed while typing this.
I thought when I sought out to do this that I would have to fight, alone, and compete to get what I wanted. I never ever imagined that I would make some of the greatest friends along the way and that becoming an artist would actually be happy, filled with love and hope, positive role models and sweet, encouraging text messages.
So, thank you to the Rising Tide Society.
Thank you to the Tuesdays Together NYC group. Thank you to the founders, Natalie, Huey, Krista and Davey. Thank you to those who support artists and dreamers; you have no idea the impact that a text or just showing up to a little art show can have on a person, thank you. So, when you think, should I show up? Do it. You just never know.
And just in case you wanted to see some photos of the event, here they are, courtesy of Brooklyn Rising Tide Society member and extremely talented photographer Eileen Meny.