I’ve been in a very reflective mood all day and perhaps I often get into these moods because I’m working alone most of the time. I think many of us might be in the same boat when it comes to freelancing and independent folks working from home. With no one around to chit chat with, it’s easy to get lost in your own thoughts and even easier for them to go sour as well. We humans are social animals after all!
Sometimes I find myself going down a negative path and cascading into dark thoughts like a waterfall who can’t help itself. I’m an optimist at heart, but it doesn’t mean I don’t think about and subsequently get bothered by sad things. I was especially stuck today on my timid behavior when it comes to sharing my work. I’m definitely proud of what I do, no matter how small it might seem to others. I do my own little victory dance when a project is complete and I get that satisfied, happy and calming feeling.
However, sharing or rather, showcasing my work can be really difficult for me still. First, I thought about how I didn’t want to impose on those close to me, to feel obliged to compliment. They wouldn’t want to hurt my feelings and it made me think of childhood times. Parents always love what their kids create and stick it on the fridge…it’s almost praise overload sometimes. Second, I don’t expect everyone to like my style or what I do in general. Some people just don’t like cute designs or patterns or art stuff…it’s just not their thing or they don’t understand it. On my blog I seem to have less trouble, since it’s just there for those to peruse. I thought how much more becoming it would be if people just noticed your stuff and liked it rather than you having to shove it in front of their faces.
I guess that is why creative types don’t like marketing very much. It’s a lot easier probably to do it for someone else, I’m sure. It’s hard to toot your own horn, so to speak. Then I thought, hey, if I don’t jump for joy and want to shove my work in front of everyone does that mean I don’t have enough passion? Aren’t we supposed to be ecstatic to share our work and help bring people into the beautiful world of art and design?
Oh, lots of self doubt starts pouring into my mind and I knew that I’m just not confident enough. Even when I know the truth, I still get random swirls of thoughts in my mind. I’m just starting out in my creative journey and when I don’t actually make a living from it and don’t receive any recognition, sometimes it’s hard to take yourself seriously. Or at least, it’s difficult to present yourself in the same way because I feel like I haven’t earned it. Plus I don’t want to come off as snobby – I’m an artiste – type of thing! What does the word artist mean anyway? That it is your profession? That you have technical skills like artisans of the past? As someone who had just a little taste of art school, I have to say I’m still intimidated by many aspects of the art world…artist…Art with a capital A! I find it so uncomfortable to have to define and label everything.
All these excuses and thoughts…I know I have to remind myself that I can only keep doing what I enjoy and hope to find my audience and place in this big, wild world. Perhaps I don’t need to be able to define Art with a capital A or even call myself an artist if I don’t feel like it. They are just words and labels in our language anyway. If I truly connect with my work – emotions from the heart and soul – do I really need anything else to be satisfied? Well, next step is to get some other folks besides me of course! I know I still have a ways to go, but I do have control over what I think of myself and how I feel. I have the power to go do a happy dance to cheer myself up, if nothing else! Will I still be doubtful and scared sometimes? Probably…but it sure helps to have a happy dance…sigh.