The Skinnies and Baubles class went wonderfully yesterday. I am always so inspired by the unique stories that each person’s jewelry tells. Now if I only would learn the art of photography, I might one day be able to show some good pictures of the class and their finished work.
I am also very pleased to announce that one of my encaustic pieces, Public School Series #5, was juried into the River Market Regional Exhibition. Thrilling for me.
So many good things are happening here at Hidden Art Studio, but I must share that these past couple weeks have been one of frank reflection. Since I was confronted with copying another artist’s class, I have had difficulty doing anything in my studio. This whole interchange really shut me down for a bit. I am so thankful to have learned the skills needed to process through difficult emotions, so that I did not just bury these powerful feelings.
- fear that I would forever be labeled a fraud in the creative community
- fear that others would believe that I would really intend to copy someone else’s class
- fear that I didn’t really belong in the creative community at all
- fear that none of my work was original, that I really was an all-encompassing fraud
- fear that no matter how careful I was, this would happen again
- fear that I would not regain a sense of belonging
- fear that I if did put myself out there again, I would be rejected
- I can’t do anything original.
- I’m a copycat and don’t even know it. Loser.
- How could I be so stupid
- Everything I create is crap anyway.
- I should just quit pretending I’m an artist.
- If being creative makes me feel this way, it’s not worth it.
The thought that someone else would believe I would copy a class really affected my sense of belonging in a creative tribe that was supposed to be safe. (I want to be clear that the artist that confronted me held to the highest of integrity and professionalism. She did not make me feel the way I did, but rather I was reacting to my own insecurities, fears created from other experiences throughout my life.) To add to the pain, a ripple in the blogosphere dealing with the copyright issues occurred in the following weeks after my apology, my apology which received more hits from new viewers in one day than in my whole years of blogging. I understand that I am not the sole focus for the copyright posts that spattered the creative community. I am hopeful that it was not me alone that prompted the Artists for Respect pledge, but each time I would run into another blog post about copying in the creative community, I felt like I got punched in the gut.
Thankfully I have a gracious God who allowed me to face the fears and weed out the lies as I was feeling them. One by one I would give them to Him and in return He would give me truth.
- I cannot control how others feel or what they believe about me. I can only be my true self, truly.
- My tribe is much smaller and more personal than I had imagined.
- Not all artists think the same way. They do not all operate on the same plane of creativity that I do, therefore I will never fit with everyone.
- My creative moments are a time of worship for me. My worship is not a fraud. My work is not a copy.
- I always have a place where I belong, where others are glad to be with me.
- I can handle rejection when God is with me for I will never truly be alone.
- I have no guarantees that something like this will not happen again. I can either live cautiously or live care-free. My choice.
- I am a creative being. God put a desire in me to create. If I squelch that, I will not be honoring my true self.
- I will most likely be hurt again. I can endure painful feelings and allow God to put them into perspective.
- My heart of hearts is to share what I learn with others, to inspire others, to spark the creative within.
This whole experience has been one of growth for me. I am strangely glad that it happened. This year I have been very focused on my business plan, making goals, looking at the long term. In doing so, my true goals got a little off track. I was just beginning to head in the wrong direction. Now I am reminded about who I am, why I do what I do, and how I can share with others. My goals need to be in total alignment with this. Although outwardly the classes I teach and the art I create may not appear any different, inwardly I have been redirected.