Friday, April 27, 2012

Creative Courage

I have decided that today is the last day of the month. My calender disagrees with me, but I don't care. Actually, I made my calender, so I am smarter than it and what I say goes. Woops, I just turned into my mother for a second.

You know, I had this deal to list at least 2 things a day and blog daily for the rest of the month, starting on the 15th. I've been slowly getting more lackadaisical about sticking to that and now I'm just over it. I think that the only thing I accomplished was making the few readers we have totally bored of me. So, instead of acknowledging the fact that I said I'd do something and I didn't, I'm just going to re-write the structure of the Gregorian calender and knock the next 3 days out of existence. Art Bead Scene usually does their blog hop for their monthly challenge on the last day of the month, but for whatever reason they did this month's today, so that makes me feel more justified somehow. Oh- I will have to make one exception, though. I always do the Honey Bijou Hive post on the last day of the month, and in that case, the last day will be the 30th. BECAUSE I SAID SO!

I listed this bead in the shop last night and it hadn't gotten one single view. Would somebody please click on this picture and restore my self esteem? Thanks.

Medallion Shaped Doodlebead- Purple and Yellow
Speaking of my self-esteem-or perhaps my "creative courage" might be a better term- it's really all over the map lately because I feel like I'm coming into a stronger definition of my personal jewelry making style, and with that comes some scary stuff. In everything creative I've ever done, people have urged me to go down a path toward more marketable things...to be a people-pleaser. Hey, I like making money and I like pleasing people, but any attempt to do this falls flat because my heart and soul and guts and sweat and tears aren't in it. There are zillions of artists out there and the only way to stand out among them is to do something that really resonates with people. And since I can't wow all the people all the time, I'll focus on wowing myself. If I love it, the chances are someone else will, too. And those people will find me. I may alienate some potential customers in the process, but in the long term I will find the folks who will treasure my work as much as I do, and keep coming back for more. I'm finally starting to see people coming back to the shop instead of popping in one time for that random thing that I listed thinking, "Well, I'd never wear this, but someone else might like it". From now on those items will get torn apart and reworked until I love them and can list them confidently.

Here are the things that I often have to remind myself when I'm in the middle of creative projects. They're applicable for all the different things I do- painting, drawing, graphic design, jewelry design, and hair & makeup styling- so I bet you can apply them to your craft as well.

My Creative Courage Credo
  • I do not need permission to experiment with materials in new ways. This is called "being inventive" not "doing it wrong". If it functions better or looks better upside-down or backwards, it's totally valid to do it that way.
  • I can and should take other people's opinions into consideration. However, I should never forget that in my work, my own creative voice is the most important one.
  • My worst critic is my own internal naysayer. He's the little fellow (I imagine he looks like Rumpelstiltskin for some reason) in my head that says, "That looks stupid! What's the point of this again? Why'd you put that there?". He's not allowed in my workspace.
  • I'm allowed to change my mind on whether or not a piece is finished. If I think of a way to improve on something 5 years after I decided it was done, it's OK to pick it up again and re-work it. That's how good things become great things.
  • No masterpiece gets made without having some awkward stages during the process. If something is looking like poop, that just means it's not done yet.




9 comments:

  1. You tell that calendar who is boss! For the records, today at work i kept looking at the calendar and thinking, ugh, there is one more weekday!?! I think months should always start on a monday.

    In other news, i not only clicked on your cute bead, i tweeted and pin it. cause i'm just an over achiever like that.

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    1. Thank you! I so appreciate anything that gets my work seen by some new eyes.

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  2. I hate to tell you, but I clicked and got "Not Found."

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  3. That post really resonates with me. I haven't started a blog (yet?) because I envision an audience of none...plus the hassle of sitting at the screen instead of doing other things. I do enjoy your writing about your creative processes, but I have to say that "rule" about writing frequently is nonsense; write when you have something to say or show. As for your credo, it would seem to me from what I see of your work that you actually have the courage to follow it. I think your work is very inventive! I would disagree with one thing, though (and I hope you won't mind my saying so): Sometimes what we make IS poop. I think we have to get over that whole "masterpiece" image. Okay, I already went over my two-cents' worth.

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    1. My problem is that I always have something to say or show- I'm just too lazy to do it :P

      Totally get what you're saying about the "masterpiece" image. I didn't mean to imply that every piece is or should be something spectacular. I was just meaning to say not to give up if the work goes through an unattractive stage because that's a normal part of the process.

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  4. Me too. I had to click the link right under the photo. Isn't there a way to make a photo clickable back to our Etsy shops????? There must be but I have yet to figure it out. I think Fanciful's photos go to her shop. I should ask her.

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  5. Thanks everyone for letting me know the photo link wasn't working. I can't seem to fix it. I don't know why sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. Anyway- the caption below the photo does work as a link.

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    1. I tried to fix it for you but I can't edit posts you make.

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  6. Oh wait- now it works. Had to edit it in HTML mode.

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