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Saturday, I did a short class/demo at the Nampa Farmer’s Market. I was nervous and forgot a bunch of things I wanted to say. To top that off, I brought way more things to display than was reasonable. Fortunately, I get another chance in November. I learned a lot today about what to do and say and what not to. It actually went pretty well and was well received.

Giving the demo with do many gourds

Giving the demo with do many gourds

I was also extremely privileged to have members of the Idaho Gourd Society there to back me up. Each person who came, set up a table, demonstrated a skill, and brought some of their work to display.

Beautiful masks

Beautiful masks

I was flummoxed. I was floored. All of my insecurities as an artist came to the surface. Their work is exquisite. My skill level and products don’t even come close to matching up. I went through a whole range of emotions. Mostly, it was embarrassment and shame. Here I was putting my gourd work out for the world and letting people buy them. And yet, in my mind’s eye at that moment, I produced an inferior product and had the nerve to flaunt it.

chip carving at its finest.

chip carving at its finest.

The Day before, I sanded, wood burned, finished, and put together 2 thunder drums to have at the market to replace the 2 I sold last week and had the nerve to feel pleased. One member of the gourd society was there finishing up a thunder drum that she covered with pointillism. It was so beautiful. Mine were okay but just couldn’t compare.

Pointillism - Each dot is put on one at a time.

Pointillism – Each dot is put on one at a time.

Looking back, I think that probably many people go through this type of thought process, a feeling of insecurity when they compare their work to another’s. Am I rationalizing?

I had to sit down and have a stern talk with myself. I had to remind myself to accept me for who I am and not want to be anyone else. My work is lovely and something that many people would and do want to own. Plus, my nature is to make many.

I also had to remind myself about something else. I have this deep gut reaction whenever I see or hear about something priced so high that the ordinary person can’t afford it. Even though I admire expensive art, it isn’t in me to produce it. I have a strong need to make lots of things and an even stronger need to make lovely things that people can actually afford.

I love wood burning.

I love wood burning.

So, no, I don’t produce exquisite one of a kind gourd art worth hundreds of dollars. I produce lovely gourd art that is affordable for many.

I thankfully find, at least this moment, that I can admire the fabulous art other artists and also be okay that mine doesn’t have to match their level of fabulous. I will continue to make many of my own style pieces and get them into the hands of the general public. I also accept that there is much I can learn from their expertise.

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