So, sometimes in life, you are handed an opportunity that you just cannot pass up. Or you get a calling that is so resonant and true that it would be inconceivable not to follow it. Except, the more you think about it, the more you start spinning stories in your head about how this isn’t the right time, you need more training, you’re just not ready, and the more likely it becomes that you will pass up that opportunity, that you will choose not to follow that calling which is so resonant and true. 

And I tell you this, because this is what almost happened to me. 

For a good few years now, I have been imagining a gallery show of my photography. I’ve been feeling in my body just how amazing that would be. And how audacious! So, when an invitation to show my photography in an art gallery dropped into my inbox, my first response was, of course, yes! 

But that was before the stories began. Those stories in which I told myself that this wasn’t the right time, that I needed more training, and that I just wasn’t ready. Fortunately, before I let these stories of not-readiness destroy my dream-in-the-making, I contacted Tanya. 

Tanya helped me to see that my readiness was rooted in my own decision to be so. And from there, we assembled my cast, we met my critics, we took action, we bolstered my authority thesis, and then we celebrated. And through that process, I claimed my readiness, said yes to this amazing opportunity of a solo gallery show, and stepped into my starring role of professional artist. 

Now don’t get me wrong, the learning curve from here to opening night was intense - everything from printing digital images, to arranging shipping, to arranging the prints on the walls, to naming and pricing the individual photographs, to writing an artist statement, and more. But when I stood in that gallery after everyone had left, and the empty wine glasses sat in the sink, and the streetlights shone in through the windows illuminating my art on the walls, I knew that, all along, I’d been ready. That it had all rested on my decision be so. 

And it was Tanya that helped me to decide. She helped me to decide to be ready. And for that, I will be forever grateful. 

Amy Palko
PhD, Professional Artist