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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.