Young at Heart, Art Minted Challenge Prizes!
When I was going to select the photos for the Young at Heart Minted challenge for Pottery Barn Kids and PB Teen I was really anxious and stressed, I didn’t know why, maybe I had waited for this moment for a long time, maybe it meant a lot to me, this was the challenge for me. I have made photos meant to decorate kids’, babies’ and teens’ rooms for eight years so I had to swim through this huge portfolio to pick only 30 photos that represented 8 years of work, without being repetitive or that the photos had already run their course; it wasn’t easy, neither the selection nor all those years of work, but it has been very fun!
I’m very excited because I didn’t really believe in contests; I spent many years without sending a single photo to any photo challenge. The way I discovered Minted was by simply googling “nursery art” and there it was in the first hits; I needed to get my art beyond the normal marketplace I sell my photos in, and I’m achieving it. At first it was tiresome for me because the only way to get to sell in Minted is by winning in one of their challenges so they would get the winner on sale (and also let you self-launch art in their platform), so I let it sit for a while. Then, I went to Paris for the first time, took a truckload of photos which I had to move more, more than they move in my shop, it was an obligation for me, so I went back to Minted and sent all the first photos from Paris I edited and I got an Editor’s pick award. Then I took part in another Minted art challenge in which I took bigger risks and submitted photos that were really important for me and much more artistic and unique from my portfolio, even if I knew it meant letting them have them as limited/exclusive editions, and there I got a bigger win, eight Editor's pick.
In this last challenge I ended up earning the 6th place amongst 5229 submissions, and another two photos got selected for sale in Pottery Barn, and other four for Minted. I mean, selling three photos at Pottery Barn! I’s like selling at West Elm or somewhere like that, yes, it’s not a gallery, it’s not an exhibition, but it is a big upscale north American home decor retail store, it’s commercial and artistic, that’s what I do. And it’s me, the unknown photographer. And it’s Minted who believed in my photography.
There’s a lesson in all this, a lesson told over and over again in a million books and coaches: you have to take risks, get out of your comfort zone, be uncomfortable, be exposed to stress and anxiety, be open to lose, and lose hard, embarrass yourself, take risks. It’s so easy to fall in comfort when you’ve been working in the same things for a lot of years. I won’t say I made it, that I took enough risks because they are never enough. And I would like to thank my beloved husband Sebastian because he always moves me out of my comfort zone and I should listen to him more, because he was the one who took me to this park where a lot of kids let go hundreds of colorful helium balloons; because he was the one who bought this pink-colored vinyl record and this turntable, because he took me to Tigre to the most beautiful amusement park in the world (and I’m not exaggerating here), and because he’s been with me in my adventures in the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta and in Paris and New York, in Buenos Aires, because he took me to the Navy Pier in Chicago and because he has held these balloons in his hand while I took photos. I love you my dear.