Thursday, October 13, 2011
I received a funny kind of gift this morning that made me think all day. I debated sharing it, and finally decided, if nothing else, maybe some of you have had the same experience. It's long, so if you have a minute ...
Posting these silly faces has been a big leap for me. Heck, doing them has been a leap. So when I received my first comment this morning on my first post, I had some pent up anticipation. It said "I think your foray into funny faces is misguided." I like to think I'm a strong person, but deep down I am enormously sensitive. So my first response, one minute after trying to laugh it off, was to cry. Because, of course, it is my worst fear that this is a terrible mistake. And this confirmed it exactly.
As the day wore on I went through a series of emotions. Maybe stages of grief? At first I came up with all the reasons this person was wrong and I was right. I was angry at anonymous - I mean who did they think they were?! And how cowardly to post such a thing without a name attached! And then I became incredibly depressed - what if I have to paint apples and only applies for the rest of my life?! The whole time I felt incredibly sorry for myself.
And then, hours later, I thought, ok, so one person thinks this is stupid, and they happen to be the first one to speak up. And maybe lots of people think the same. Maybe everyone does. That doesn't change the fact that I was inspired to do this in the first place, and have wanted to for a long time. And I enjoy it.
Here's my reality. I've been doing still life almost exclusively for five years. One almost every single day. I got to the point, right before the fire, where I was drawing a blank in the studio. A BIG one. I decided I needed a break, and a hobby. So I started making jewelry, just for fun, on the side. In fact I was in the middle of a beading party with my friends when we evacuated. So in addition to everything else I lost all my jewelry making supplies.
Right after the fire everyone asked "so when are you going to start painting again?". But I didn't want to, so these questions just made me nervous. About a week later it suddenly occurred to me that I could paint something different, if only for a little while, and the first thing that popped into my head was silly faces. It's an idea I've had countless times before. I figured it would give my apple brain a break and time to get re-inspired. I was finally excited to paint again!
The reason I called this anonymous comment a gift? Because it made me think about ME for a change, and what I need. I need something new, a change of scenery. However, it also made me think about my family. Starting over is expensive, so I have to keep an income flowing in for us. So I decided to keep doing the faces, as a learning experience, for me, not for sale, but do still lifes too (as soon as I get my new heavy duty tripod and shadowbox - a couple of weeks), and maybe some other stuff as well.
I figure, the faces can only get better. And maybe someday I can sell them. I am already learning a TON! I will be happy to share what I learn and will gladly accept tips from those more experienced with this subject.
The moral of this story? Don't let the opinions of others discourage you from trying new things.