Amanda Jolley

Reflection on pattern and abstraction of the subconscious

Why do I do it?

I was wondering this question, why do I do it?, earlier this week. The “it” would be teaching classes from my home, but the pondering grew even larger to art in general. Wouldn’t my life just be easier if I just covered the basics of partnering in my husband’s business and homeschooling those teens of ours, and dropped all this crazy art mess?

This all came from the feeling of failure. I had an Intro to Soldering class scheduled for Sat (yesterday). A couple weeks ago I thought my soldering class was almost to capacity, but by Tuesday of this past week I only had two people that had registered by prepaying. While the class did fill back up to a nice size before Saturday, I think this experience was good for me to truly take inventory of the value of the classes.

My motive for teaching classes:

  • to cover the costs of art supplies for the teaching I do at Veronica’s Voice without affecting the family budget
  • to cover costs of classes and workshops that I take myself so that I continue to have fresh ideas and techniques to teach at Veronica’s Voice
  • the joy I receive from sharing something I love with others

But I really don’t like to be on the roller coaster of class registration. I have found that if a person does not prepay for class, there is an 90% chance that the person will not make it to class. This statistic includes my friends and acquaintances.

I truly understand when things come up and the plans made need to shift. A good set of priorities is a must. But I also believe that often times we do desire to do something, but don’t make the actual commitment to do that thing. We just throw that desire out there and if it works great, but if things get hectic it’s the first thing to go. I know I’ve done this. Usually when my desire lacks the commitment to make it happen, I succumb to the activities that easily fill its place, the this and that.

My favorite book addresses the issue of making vows:

But let your statement be, ‘Yes yes’ or ‘No, no’; anything beyond these is of evil. Matt. 5:37

A vow or oath is simply a solemn promise, pledge, or personal commitment.

After this latest roller coaster ride, I really want to change this about myself because I don’t like the feeling when it happens to me. Next time I desire to do something, I will either make the commitment and follow through, or be silent. And I already know this will be difficult. There is something within me that wants to please others, so I’d rather say “yes” and back out later, than be noncommittal.

And to close this topic, for those of you who were not able to make it to class, I want you to know that I do understand. This post is not shooting an arrow at you, but is rather about me just recording the learning process of my own life.

Class photos from yesterday:

I am so incredibly inspired to see others in creative mode. Personalities really shine through in the jewelry and art journals that come from the classes. Each piece tells a personal story. After class was over and I was cleaning up, I reflected on all the reasons why I truly love to teach. It’s worth the roller coaster.

And now to the reasons I could not give up art:

  • when I do not make time in my life to do creative things, I wilt
  • it has become impossible for me to separate art from living and breathing
  • even if I stopped producing anything artistic, my mind would still process shadows, colors and images through an artistic lens
  • God made me to be creative. I would be going against His design to try to not be what He made me to be

amanda ∞

9 Comments on “Why do I do it?”

  1. I definitely need to work on following through when I say I will do something. I hate feeling like a flake, especially when it comes to my family and friends.

    I love the pieces that were created in your class. I started thinking the other day that I should beg you to teach me how to solder when we’re at Artfest. I would even pay you to teach me. I’ve wanted to learn for almost a year now, I have the tools and the supplies, but I’m afraid I’ll set the house on fire or burn my eye out if I try to do it by myself. What do you think?


  2. I am grateful you continued on… I know it can be discouraging and yet, think of all those people who are blessed by and with your teaching. Hang in there.

  3. I’m sorry about the frustration you’ve been feeling.

    Do you think you could require people to pay a deposit when they sign up (maybe something they wouldn’t get back if they don’t show or some kind of fee for not showing?) Life can be so busy, but I know when I’ve paid for something, I’m far more likely to get my butt over there! 🙂

    Love the work that came from the class!! beautiful!

  4. I am so encouraged by your posts and by your blog. I am also a homeschooling mom and trying to decide about how art fits into my/our life. And yet every time I think maybe it is NOT something I am supposed to do then something “creates itself” in my mind and I have to make it. Sadly though there is not much market for what I am creating and so then my worries/wonders/ponderings begin again. I’m glad your class filled back up and that you are seeing that this is part of who God made you to be. It seems that He is showing you the path… now walk you in it. (Wish I could remember what the verse is where that comes from.)
    Blessings, Kim

  5. Oh Amanda, we are so definitely of the same personality! I too struggle with balancing my ‘normal life’ with my creative, artistic life. The balancing act is exhausting and I struggle with whether I am good enough and if the balancing act is worth it, but I lived several years without it and became numb to so much of life around because my artistic side is the key component of who God made me and I can’t worship him or be who I am without it. Keep up the creativity and art in whatever form God lays on your heart and thanks for the encouragement! We Idealists are so easily discouraged! 🙂

  6. First – you jewelry is so beautiful and unique/individually made. I’ve been looking at your pictures for sometime, but yesterday seeing it in person…just BEAUTIFUL and inspiring to look at! Second, I need to work on this myself. Sometimes I feel I’ve committed in so many directions and the real issue is I don’t prioritize. I say yes because I really want to do them – before I ask myself SHOULD I do this. Money often shuts down so many plans – but God knows those issues and I guess the thing is – maybe I said yes for entirely the wrong reason. Thank you for such a thought provoking post. I do hope we can make it to the journaling class but I won’t say YES until I know we have the money! Love you!! –Suzanne

  7. We do have a lot in common. Same feelings here at times. I have such a goldren-retriever personality, wanting to please all the time, that sometimes it gets in the way of my real purpose.

    I have found that I use much of my art and creativity as my time for worshipping God. I like to read scripture and interpret that through art or jewelry. Or sometimes I’ll create something that reminds me of a scripture verse. I’m usually feeling connected to God after the creative energy has been expended.

    I love your soldered pieces. I do watercolor work and have been putting small paintings in pre-made frames, but would love to learn how to solder so that I can encase them and better protect them.

  8. well i love your reasons for not giving up art. i didnt go into detail or anything, but plan to soon but i HAVE NOT been very creative for a couple months with being sick and then feeling unmotivated because of that…. but i’m feeling much better and have REALLY needed to get back into the flow of creating somthing. i tell people all the time that God is a creative God and he created us in His image, meaning we are creative beings.
    i love the jewelry…. beatiful.
    i also understand feeling like you want to do all the different things you do in order to help do somthing important like attending the ladies at Veronica’s Voice. what a blessing you are to them, i’m sure.
    i’ve missed coming here and seeing what your up to

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