Tuesday, November 4, 2014

LOST AND FOUND...

I am sure I am not the first person this has happened to...I lost my voice,  not my literal speaking voice, my creative one.  I lost the voice that imagines and makes art, the one that stings together thoughts and turns them into words, the one that directs my minds eye to see, feel, hear, taste, touch, and create in my own tactile unique way.  I fell victim to the voices of advice from others. While advice is a wonderful thing that can spark a new direction or reroute a train of thought onto a broader path but it can also get into your head and derail you.  Advice is meant to be guidance or a recommendation but it is ultimately up to me to decide if that is best for me. 

While trying to decide a direction to take I thought I would educate myself in a few areas to help get my bearings.  I took a couple courses that seemed a good fit and started making a plan.  I consulted a few professionals who gave me great advice.  What was supposed to encourage and energize me became information overload and I let myself feel like I could never be a success or reach my goals if I did not do it the way that was pointed out.  Labels were being bandied about, things like "marketing" "target audience/customer" "branding" "tag line" "platform" "social media presence" "finding your voice" "reigning in content" ...etc. that literally stifled my creativity.
In the midst of trying to connect with other like minded creative types I decided to check out a local art group.  It felt more like an interview than a gathering.  I failed the interview...after questions about what I make, what my art pedigree was, if I had had any gallery showings, did I teach, blah, blah, blah, I received a sniff of disapproval as I overheard a cluster of members snarking that I was one of those "Outsider" artists.  In their eyes being self taught equals untrained and untalented.  Also, this group was made of primarily painters (oil and water colorist), they did not understand my art and I left feeling no desire to further our relationship.

I cannot say exactly when or what happened but I literally could not get past my self doubt.  I could not compose a thought to write.  I would sit in my studio for hours and just look around, no creative spark or idea.  I would try to putter with this or that but my heart was not in it.  I tried focusing on my blog by sprucing it up and mostly sat on the "create a new post" page watching a blinking cursor in a white block of space.  I thought maybe I could focus on social media more, pitiful attempt on my part, its just not my thing.  I took my camera on field trips and it never left the shelter of its bag.  I was stifled and stagnant, my voice was simply gone, until I read these words...
"...Do not let your splendor be dormant, show your colors...." {Cherie Haas}

With Autumn right outside my cottage windows color is ablaze in hues of red, yellow, brown, green, and orange against a stunning backdrop of a water blue sky, I am in awe of natures show of color.  I am in wonder at natures ability to stay true to its self, its seasons, its times, its talents, and its treasures to be found in each stage of times turning.  Nature does not hide who or what it is with its energized lush blooming spring moments, nor does it change its slow and lazy summer days followed by a burst of showy color each autumn just before it slips into its barren quite winters.  It keeps a steady rhythm of doing what it is meant to do how and when it is meant to do it and it never doubts its plan or purpose. 

I am reminded of Matthew 5:15, you don't light a lamp then put it under a basket...I had snuffed out my own light with doubt and trying to be who I am not.  I may not have a big successful huge voice because I am not following "the rules" to success and I am perfectly okay with that because starting today I will be true to myself, my abilities and talents, finding my own steady rhythm of expressing my artistic voice.  With this little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine, no longer dormant.  Like autumn, I will show my colors.
I encourage you all to unleash your splendor and show your colors, reflect and emit your own unique light!

blessings,
Sandy

Wow, that was a lot of words, I think I got my voice back :)  

17 comments:

Jill Cooper said...

Sandy, what a wonderful post. You are one of the most creative people I know. What do those la de dahs know anyway! Outsider art is the BEST kind there is. How difficult that must have been for you. I created primitive for years and most people didn't understand it. It's like that in all things in life though - and you HAVE to be true to yourself and what is best for YOU! Hugs!

Createology said...

Oh My Dear...Congratulations for not conforming to other's idea of "creative". Your art is amazing and I admire you for seeing your own colors that you will share with us once again. Amen my friend. Creative Bliss is within our own souls...not found in a class or group or "brand". Create On Dear...

amy of four corners design said...

wow...I could write so much in response...your post rings so true...but I am in the middle of writing my own post...almost about the same topic...so I will return when I finish...and let you know how in tune we are...thanks!

Karen B. said...

Dear Sandy,
I am so sorry to hear you lost your voice. It happened to me to when I lost my blog and followers. I am hoping I am on my way and I pray you will get there too again. It might take a little time but it will come. One thing you should for sure do is stay true to yourself. Only you know what is right for you. Like you said advice is good but in the end you have to be right with things and nobody else. For the 'creative' people you met and that gave you a hard time .. they mean nothing because they don't know who you really are and what you do as we all do. You are an amazing artist. I hope things will turn out the way you wish them too.
Many hugs,
Karen B. ~ Todolwen

Vee said...

Best news I've heard so far today! Let your light shine because it is a mighty pretty, bright one, my friend.

suziqu's thread works said...

Such a revealing and honest post Sandy. I don't think you realize how even your writing is an art in expressing yourself the way you do is unique even if you don't pick a medium yet - it will soon come - give it time! It cannot be forced.

Keep being true to yourself as you are a unique self taught artist and that is why we love what you create!
x Suzy

bobbie said...

"To thy own self be true" ~

I'm so sorry you had to deal with such negativity and cruelty ~ but perhaps the 'silver lining' of it is your return your true calling.

Stay on your own path; cultivate your own joy; be guided by your OWN light.

Love & hugs ~

bobbie

Magpie's Mumblings said...

Creativity, like people themselves, is unique unto each person. If we all created exactly the same thing and in a way that is 'accepted' by the disapproving sniffers, life would be pretty darned boring. It's one of our human foibles that we allow self doubt to grow in our minds and, unfortunately, there are many people out there who seem to thrive on putting others down (most likely to make themselves feel better). I'm so glad you are listening to your own true voice. Continue to plug your ears and sing!

Lorrie said...

Your words hold the sense of turning a corner, of realizing your wonderful uniqueness and embracing that rather than conforming to this world's idea. Hey, there's a verse in Romans like that....

Blessed Serendipity said...

I loved your post. I think being called an "outsider artist" is quite a compliment. YOU my dear, color outside the lines. YOU are unique and YOU are not afraid to celebrate your unique creative self. What an inspiration you are to me. Thank you!

xo Danielle

KittyAnnArt said...

This is such good news to read Sandy. I'd just *found* your blog when you put out the call for possible taglines to use, I was, and still am, enchanted by your art, glad you will continue in your own way, it's the BEST way! I'll leave with one of my very favorite quotes of all time, I have a print of it framed and hanging by my desk. "If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music he hears, however measured or far away." Henry David Thoreau

Beth Leintz said...

Oh I do get confused by phrases like branding, platform & target audience. Its much easier to just do what I like and spend my time with other folks, like you, that have similiar styles and "get it".

Dorthe said...

Oh dear Sandy,
Know ,you are loved for exatly what you are and how you create, -and just go on being yourself, and not a not a collection of various titles and lists of what you have studied. Your art is exatly not a product of what you learned from " expensive " educations, but coming from your heart and mind, so beautifully.
I know it will be back, very soon, and that you again will enjoy creating from your heart.
Hugs from Dorthe

maggiegracecreates said...

that was a wonderful, encouraging post. I am so sorry that the Artists were not encouraging and caused that doubt demon to rear his head. I used your cuff tutorial to make a bottle sleeve and I LOVE it - so when asked again if you teach, your answer is YES - why Yes I do. Much love my friend.

maggiegracecreates said...

that was a wonderful, encouraging post. I am so sorry that the Artists were not encouraging and caused that doubt demon to rear his head. I used your cuff tutorial to make a bottle sleeve and I LOVE it - so when asked again if you teach, your answer is YES - why Yes I do. Much love my friend.

Desires of the Heart said...

My dear sweet Sandy,,..........as the song says, "LET IT GO"!!!!LET IT GO!! You have been given a wonderful gift and you must not keep it from the world it was meant to bless. It matters not whether the "professionals" like it or accept. Create for the sheer joy of creating!! God will do the rest. I so agree with Suzy....your writings alone are such a beautiful tapestry of words woven together and bless us all. You have more fans than you know, so don't be fooled into thinking otherwise. I watch everyday to see if there is a later creation from your hands and soul and I know there are many others also. You have had so much to deal with of late, give yourself license to just be yourself, not conforming to others ideas of art. You and God will work it out, I know. Thank you for sharing your heart....we all have these feelings sometimes that we don't "fit", but in the end conformity pours cold water on creativity. So, let your little light shine!! Blessings, Linda

kimber said...

Oh Sandy, I am so happy that you are an "outsider" and not so stifled by rules of "proper training in the arts". You are a free spirit with a voice of your own and I am so thrilled to own a piece of your magnificent art. Your words have always inspired me to find the beauty in the "everyday". Thank you for sharing your journey through your blog. Thank you for being you!

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