By Being You, That’s How.
Going through my teenage years, otherwise known as the ‘awkward time’ for most of us, was to say the least…awkward for me. Not because I hit some odd growth spurt, or because of my horrific acne (which was crazy bad), or because I was uncomfortable around my peers… It was because I felt so ‘unteenager-like’.
What does that even mean?? Unteenager-like. Well, I didn’t mind following rules. I saw the logic in them. I liked doing homework because I liked solving problems. Never used a drug because I thought they were stupid and dulled the senses. Needless to say I wasn’t invited to many parties being the adult trapped inside a child’s body as I was. Most probably thought I was some sort of narc. I was a little too different for most people’s tastes. My mother used to (and still does) tell me that, “I didn’t fit the mold”. Those most important to me have always embraced me as I am and all that makes me different and special. It has been I who has needed the time to come around.
I Have to Admit It…
As a teenager I never thought much about what made me special. I was who I was. I did what I did. It was mostly my mom who talked about how special I was but don’t most moms say that type of thing?
Now not only as an adult, but also as an artist, what makes me different makes me that much more valuable. And…I have to admit that my mom was/is right. Which means your mom/dad/whoever told you is right as well.
What Makes You Special?
So first of all to all of those awesome people who told us we are special we should all say a very loud “thank you!” But honestly they were all a little vague probably on what exactly makes us great. So now it is time for us to fill in the blanks. Let me ask you some questions:
- Are you multi-talented? Use more than one medium?
- Paint with your mouth? Do ceramics with your feet? Draw blindfolded?
- Make your own paint? Make your own beads?
- Volunteer? Do some of your profits go to a special organization?
I could go on and on. You get the picture: maybe a personal assessment is in order.
You Don’t Have to Be a Stereotype.
All artists don’t paint. All artists aren’t crazy. All artists aren’t disorganized. All artists don’t do the same type of work.
Quite often people who aren’t artists have preconceived notions about them. Just because someone feels that as an artist you are supposed to be the physical manifestations of their personal opinions doesn’t mean that you have to comply.
Dare to Be Different. Be Yourself.
It is great when your skills, story, and passions don’t exactly match up with another artist’s or someone else’s idea of what an artist should do or be. Remember the goal isn’t to be as much like other artists as possible, it is to be you. You live in Arizona where all of the other artists are creating desert themed artworks but you really like the beach? Why not show your love for the beach? Tell stories about your summers on the beach as a kid.
You are a jeweler and everyone else seems to be making earrings because they are small and easier to sell but you like statement necklaces. Make statement necklaces. Tell people about how your pieces can complete an outfit.
Reincarnate yourself…as you.
Reincarnating oneself and becoming new person is great, but sometimes a situation is more about dropping the façade, no longer pretending to be someone you aren’t, and reincarnating…as your true self. Your true artist-self in this case.
Look at yourself a little closer and discover what’s amazing about you that you can tell others about.
If you don’t toot your own horn who will? More than likely your mom isn’t going to be at your next show telling everyone how special her baby is.