Inspiration vs Intimidation
A comment made by a friend (purple girl), got me to thinking about the fine line between inspiration and intimidation, and how much of our own feelings of self worth we bring to that table.
I know I've looked at other artists' work and felt both inspired and intimidated at times, but I also know that sometimes the work that intimidates me today will push me to reach higher in my own work tomorrow.
I've been an artist for a very long time (although I did not have the courage to use that word about myself for many years), and I've been working/playing with beads for almost 20 years now, so I don't often see work that intimidates me with it's fantastic technique or amazing workmanship. What I look for now is a connection between the heart/soul, head/mind and hands in a piece....that's what inspires me and makes me strive to make the work of my hands connect to a deep place in my heart and soul.
And when I see that connection, in my work or others', it makes this world a bit brighter and feels like maybe another tiny dark corner is now lighter.
I also realize that it's been a very long time since I've been intimidated by another artist's work, and that probably has less to do with how much my technique has improved, as much as it has to do with how much deeper connection I feel to my own work.
But having said all that, I also remember (very clearly) my early days and how lacking my own work felt and how magical the work of others' seemed. I often wondered how they did what they did and was so delighted when they were willing to share their process and the steps they took to get to that finished piece.
I think that's one of the biggest benefits for so many of us doing both the bjp and the tif challenge....we get to see the process behind the magic and (I hope) realize that it's a magic we're all capable of making.
One day, one step, one idea at a time, we all learn from each other and we all travel just a little bit further along the creative road we've chosen to take.
And just for fun....here is my first bead embroidered piece and my last finished bjp piece. I look at the little one and see so many mistakes, but I also see the work of a mature artist, since I had been doing beadwork for about 10 years before I felt the need to take up that particular technique. And the reason? Look at the two small carnelian colored art deco cabs in the middle...they have no holes and the only way I could used them, without obscuring their lovely shape, was to glue them down and bead around them. And that sure opened up a whole new world for me!