Thank you so much everyone for your input on yesterday's post. I am seeing things today in a completely different light (literally and figuratively). Bare with me while I ramble on this afternoon... until the kids' buses get here anyway. I think yesterday's slide show shoot at the studio caused a slight identity crisis in me and I decided that the reason I was seeking so much validation (here, twitter, and facebook) was that *I* didn't actually like any of those shots. Yeah, that is right, deep down I think those shots all sucked.
You see, part of me feels like I have absolutely no freaking clue what I want to do with my "creative" life. Right, I just went from which picture do you like best to oh my stars what do I want to do with my life! I said it caused an identity crisis!! Do I want to write books, do I want to teach, do I want to do art shows? What the heck do I want to do? And for the past 5 or 6 years, I have been dabbling in all three of those, and then some if you count the forays into mixed media that I do too. Yesterday, I was knee deep in my "I-want-to-do-art-shows" mentality and that, my friends, is a place that strikes fear in heart. I instantly don't feel good enough. Putting myself out there to quite literally be judged and decided to be worthy or not worthy for inclusion in an elite community of fine craft artists leads to an inane amount of insecurity. So, what do I do? I put on a weird mask, in the form of black backgrounds and reflective surfaces, I stop being *myself*, and I try to conform to a standard that is quite possibly unreachable.
I can hear a voice in my head right now. It is that of a very good friend of mine (and I am sure she will recognize herself right away). She is asking me "what is it that makes you feel fear about shows", "where is the fear coming from" and "what about you feels like it isn't enough"? She is so good at making me stop to think about that I am doing without thinking. Meaning, I am letting myself feel and act without thinking about it. I need to stop and think about what I am thinking. (my stars, that is heady) Such a good friend, even when we are having a conversation in my head that she isn't privy to. To the voice in my head, I think... the answers to those questions would take too many sentences to write, but in my heart I can *feel* the answers. Do you ever have that happen? Where you don't need any words to tell the answer to something... it doesn't need to be articulated... you just know it through and through? It is something I will try to put into words for you at some point, but for now... let's just stick to the slide pictures thing.
I started to settle into a different place mentally last night. I spent the evening helping another friend (not the voice inside my head one) get her blog set up (I'll share it soon!)and we were chatting about the slides. I told her how in my gut, I really wanted to shoot the pieces on my usual white backgrounds, but so few people do that and what if it blinds the jurors that look at slide after slide that is set to a dark background... She was totally on board with white and encouraged me to go for it. SO, I did...
This will be one of the slides I use to apply to shows in 2011. I still don't know for sure what the answers to those first questions I asked myself are... the ones about what I want to do with my creative life. But I do know this... if I am going to enter art shows, I want to know I was accepted (or denied) being true to myself and my work. And I am feeling OH so good in that decision. I am also going to apply the same thinking to a booth redesign too! I want to simplify and streamline my displays, make them more *me*, and in doing so take some of the pressure to make-so-much-stuff-to-fill-my-current-set-up off. It is really invigorating. And I can't wait to share more of my path down this more thoughtful approach with all of you... thank you readers, for being here with me.