Last night, a store owner at the event I'm at made my favorite comment of the day:
"How do you manage to get those 13yr old girls coming into my store, dragging their parents, to buy them art supplies?!?"
He's not the first store to tell me that, and that makes me so happy! That 13 is a kid who sees value in creating, and has convinced their parent that making art is a core part of who they are.
Making things defines us and gives us a deep satisfaction. How do you feel when you say the words "I made that!"
I made that art, that cake, that flower arrangement, that goal, that dream, that life ambition...we celebrate and cheer, we pat each other on the back. And we learned long ago that once that was made, we move on to the next thing to make, always striving to make more.
For some people, "I made that" is much harder. I made that bed, I made that step without the use of crutches, I made it out in public for the first time in months. Celebrate!!! You might feel that those are minor things, but not to the person in those shoes.
You know what makes me sad? Giving up before trying. Deciding not to make anything because you feel that it isn't going to be amazing. Doing nothing because someone you've never met in person on the Internet can make it faster, better, prettier, or cooler than you ever could. Thinking that your best friend can make a better cake, so why should you bother, it won't be as good.
I don't know the skill of the 13yr old girl the store owner mentioned. I know my skill as a 13yr old and I see 13yr olds in my classes all the time that are way more skilled than I was at that age.
I do remember that at 13 I didn't really care what I couldn't do, I was focused on making what I could do, making what I wanted, pushing myself to make and make and make. I'd scrounge up my paper route money and bike down to the craft store for twine, beads, paints, cake stuff...whatever creative things I was experimenting with at the time.
I didn't know my future self. I didn't know I'd be typing something like this in a hotel room thousands of miles from my hometown, helping teach art techniques to store owners...not because I'm the most amazing artist ever, (I'm not). I'm here because I was the 13 year old who also felt that constantly making stuff was the coolest thing I could be doing (besides reading books) and I never told myself that I wasn't any good.
I guess my long winded conclusion is really this: Don't get hung up on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, or blogs, telling yourself you'll never be that good, so why bother trying? Everyone had to start somewhere. Be that awesome 13 year old in an art store! Celebrate everything you make!
Make what YOU want, and be proud of every bit of it....then start again, and make more.