Monday, October 18, 2010

How time flies...

Cayenne 2010
 In preparation for the ‘Out of the Woods’ Howl-O-Ween fundraiser, I found myself standing in the dining room of Kathy Woods, founder of ‘Out of the Woods’. Kathy has two paintings of her dog Cayenne; one that she commissioned in 2008 as the first art I ever sold and one that I painted for her as a gift this year.
Cayenne 2008. Photography skills? What photography skills? Add that to the list of improvements since 2008!
This was the first time I found myself standing in a room with one of the early paintings and a new one, and it was… a little painful. Rather than admiring how far I have come as an artist over the last 2 years, I started mentally picking apart the first painting. I like the background well enough but the dog made me want to come back with an armload of paints and brushes when nobody is around.

The experience reminded me of a discussion I heard repeatedly in college prior to changing my major from art to psychology…

You are a “real” artist when…

…you have sold something.

…you have something hanging in a gallery.

…you make a living off your art.

Setting the imaginary “real artist” bar so high probably discourages a lot of amazingly creative people from exploring their talents and that is a real shame.

It all makes me cringe. I credit conversations like that, along with the general lack of bravery and confidence I had at that point in my life for my 15 year absence of almost all creativity. I was scared and hard on myself. I was not brave.

Is there some sort of repository somewhere full to the rafters of uncreated creative ideas, hidden away by their originators because they are not brave or are too hard on themselves, or worry what others think? If I knew where it was, I would go and rescue each neglected idea and walk it back to the person who came up with it, holding its hand as we crossed the street. I would reintroduce them and make them some tea and a snack to share while they reacquaint themselves.

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