Amanda Jolley

Studio Joy

Being real, been redirected

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.
luscious origami charms with vintage clip on earring bauble speaking truth with vintage pin turned bauble the key to her heart stories of her life with vintage earring bauble because she loves the juggler and a sense of humor

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.


11 Comments on “Being real, been redirected”

  1. OH how I love you, Amanda! And OH how I can relate to all the feelings that encompass your reaction! I’m so sorry this happened, I KNOW you are NOT a fraud, and I’m proud of you for finding a silver lining.

  2. Okay, as I’ve thought about this more I am a bit confused. If you solder jewelry, there comes a time when there really is nothing new under the sun. Things will be repeated whether you’ve seen the idea before or not. I don’t know what else to say, save that I’ve got a train of thought going here….

  3. Your creativity always inspires me, and your honesty in this post does as well. Thank you for sharing your learning process.

  4. I’m not an artist, at all, so maybe I just don’t get it, but I’ve never understood why copying a class, not that you did, but even if you had why would that matter? I mean, if someone teaches a class on say, watercolors, using a specific type of canvas, and then another teacher does the same class on watercolors using a certain type of canvas, well……….I guess I don’t see the big deal. If I’m a student, and there’s a choice of two classes offering the same technique, I’m going to choose the one with the artist who I admire the most. Maybe it’s just my competitive side in me, but I think competition is good and it makes us stretch and strive to be our best. Now, if you had copied the other artist’s artwork? That would be another story. But teaching a similar class using the same technique and the same medium? Ugh, I don’t get how that’s a big deal. So the first person to teach a class has dibs on it forever, and noone who ever ran across the class can teach the same thing? Again, I’m not an artist, but I am a teacher at heart, so I probably just don’t get it. Hugs to you Amanda.

  5. Amanda, you are one of the kindest, most honest people I have handled this situation with uncommon grace and humility. Be true to yourself and hold your head high sister. Big hugs, Nikki

  6. Hey Amanda. I love your sharing and vulnerability as well as your humbleness through this ordeal. I recently viewed a video on You tube about how we are subconsciously taking in things around us as ideas, and there comes a time when some of that will be expressed in our own ideas. Teaching a class on soldering is like taking in apprentices and teaching them a skill. The artistic expression is different. I torch solder jewelry, that is a skill, what I do with it is the artistic expression that should be protected. But even then, I don’t feel I have a right to hoard this expression and call what God has given as my own. I don’t think that as artists we consciously do things to copy. Our sub-conscious mind is constantly processing images that we’ve seen in our environment and that comes out in our art as well. Main point is that there is a difference in skill and artistic expression. I’m not sure that you can copyright “teaching”. If so, none of us would learn anything.

    Love that you use your creative time as a worship time for God. I do the exact same thing. I hope I’m not copying you. :o)

  7. I have been following your blog since first meeting you on HSB. I have loved watching you develop as an artist. I believe you are truly talented. I am not an artist. I am a teacher. I taught pathophysiology. And, when I taught, I passed on what I had learned from others. It seems to me that if you paid for a class to learn a skill you have bought that skill. You can use it to create and recreate. Perhaps, “You’re pledging to respect the artist or instructor who worked hard to provide art or instruction for you…” is mutual. The instructor should be clear about what you are paying for. Can you use the skill to make something you sell? Can you teach that skill to others? And, perhaps to decrease the chance of inadvertently offending another artist, you could ask for permission and credit your instructor when you pass along your knowledge.

  8. Amanda,
    I read so few blogs anymore because they just make me feel depressed and stressed because they’re doing things that I wish I could do. But I ALWAYS read your blog (even if I don’t comment). You make me think and I always feel my life has been enriched by what you share. Thank you for being brave enough to write about your emotions/thoughts.

  9. Amanda, this is well written & so transparent of you to share a very personal journey. What is so wonderful in your writing it is that you are encouraging and teaching others of us who might not be so transparent with our fears and inward battles.
    If someone has a special technique that they have created or a signature style, then I believe it is wrong to pass it off as our own and to not give credit to the designer (including her permission.) On the other hand, I have known artists who crushed their own artistry by great fear of others profiting off the artist’s technique after teaching it.
    Your humble and gracious attitude is a wonderful testimony. We are gifted by our Creator and does it not bring Him glory when we share what He has given us. May you be blessed many times over, Dear Sister.

  10. So I was playing around and crocheted a dishcloth and wrote up a pattern for it. I have never seen said dishcloth, but that does not mean it hasn’t been done! Believe it or not, this same thing happens in crochet circles, so I am a little afeared to share my pattern and take credit for it! We’ll see…

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