This picture has absolutely nothing to do with tonight’s theme but I liked it so I added it. Besides, I have been woefully lax in my photo taking, mostly due to the weather. It’s hard to take pictures in snow, rain, ice, high winds and freeeeeezing temperatures. So you will have to live with a picture of a goat. It’s a very nice goat, inquisitive, loving, and, like all goats, kinda funny looking.
I’m getting distracted from my thoughts here…not a rare occurrence in my life. Let me get back on track.
Oh yeah. esteemed and accomplished. These adjectives were said about me this past week. Me. Really?
It seems to me that all artists struggle with feeling appreciated. I know I do. I also know that no matter what other people say about me, I am going to filter it through my “aw shucks” filter. I think this has something to do with my mother who did her darnedest to make sure that none of her children would get a swelled head. That’s not to say she didn’t support us or go Oooooh Aaaaaah over everything and anything we accomplished. But the message was that we were to stay humble through it all.
If the message doesn’t go through this first filter, then it will definitely go through the “I’m not worthy” one. You probably know that one. Add the two together and you’ve got a recipe for disbelief at positive feedback. (Just as an aside, I am even worse at hearing negative feedback.)
So you can imagine my reaction to hearing someone call me an esteemed artist on Thursday and then getting an e-mail describing me as an accomplished artist on Saturday. The funny thing is…I am kinda starting to believe it. Now that my mother is no longer among us living folk, I don’t have to play it down in order to be the good daughter. And while I don’t think it will go to my head, I actually kind of feel, well, proud to have been described with these words. I can feel the struggle within me even as I write these words. It is uncouth to acknowledge that one i talented or smart or beautiful or…I guess my mom taught me well.
What I want to do is keep these words at the forefront of my thoughts, especially when I start to doubt myself (often) and worry that I’m not working hard enough (even more often). I can easily come up with a zillion excuses as to why someone should not like my work, or not be inspired by what I do. I will spare you the list.
I guess my point is that people see what they want to. I know what happens “backstage” and I know how much personal work I still have to do in order to be an esteemed and accomplished artist in my own mind. I also know that the esteemed artists that I look up to may very well feel the same way that I do. Esteem comes from outside. Confidence comes from within. I’m working on bringing the two closer together.
If you have been reading this without knowing what I do, take a moment to see my website and make your own decision…