‘No I don’t like it. I just don’t think it’s any good. It’s not my style.’
‘You will always have a place in your heart for art.’
‘You better lead this team, being the best artist in the class.’
‘You are so creative!’
‘I want you to read your story and show your book illustrations to the grade 1 classes.’
‘What is that supposed to be?’
Comments… hurtful, slighting, empowering, praiseful, complimentary, insulting.
You remember the hurtful ones more, but I do remember some of the ones that really made a positive impact for me. All these years later. It’s funny how some things stick with you and play on repeat in your head.
You remember how you felt with each negative remark or compliment. And then you realize that these comments are other people’s opinion. They don’t have to dictate how you create. It took me a while to realize that. I remember always feeling self conscious when anyone can see the work in progress. As if the progress isn’t enough to show anyone. It’s not impressive. Other people maybe don’t have the visual sense that you do to imagine what it could be, perhaps. So I have always loathed when people could see the piece I was working on.
A friend and I were talking about recalling memories from our youth or as far back as could be remembered. Realizing comments made so long ago shaped the path along the way. As an example, wondering why I felt so self conscious about the unfinished products and then thinking back to moments of feeling hurt but also getting the ‘real praise’ with the impact of the finished piece.
As I am getting older – (and today – September 8th, I am 38!), I have gotten more comfortable or more unapologetic about what I want to create. As a follow up to last weeks blog post, I now know that this brings me joy, so why not go for it? I played too small for too long.
People will always have comments. I can think back and recall all the good, bad and everything in between, but in the end, what does it matter anyway? it just matters what I enjoy making and what my instincts guide me to create.
Getting older has it’s advantages 😉