Friday, May 13, 2016

Thoughts from my hotel room...

I'm on the road this week, it's the middle of the night, but I had this thought that I wanted to share...

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.

12 comments:

Debbie Olson said...

[Is the choir singing three stanzas of an invitation song? They should be!] I wholeheartedly agree. . . VIEWING creativity just doesn't bring the same satisfaction as actually CREATING. In my opinion, it usually contributes to dissatisfaction: "I don't have what this person has" or "I'm not as talented as this person" or "I don't have the time to create that this person does." While ALL of those things may be somewhat true, getting stuck in them is not healthy nor helpful. GO. MAKE. STUFF. Thanks, Marianne!

Charlotte said...

Well, I must say that just once someone else was up in the middle of the night thinking about crafting!!!! I was once that 13 yr old girl, you know the one that thought whatever she did it wouldn't be good enough... Then I married and descovered crafts and told painting and have never been so happy. Sooooooo wishing I had been able to use those years in-between but ever so happy that I think I have caught up with the rest of the world. Thanks so much to all of you that take the time and patience to teach all the young kids, In years to come a good number of them will become Artists just like you!
God bless and have a great day.... Get some sleep you are going to need it. And thanks for making my day!! :-D Charlotte Bullock

Charlotte said...

Well, I must say that just once someone else was up in the middle of the night thinking about crafting!!!! I was once that 13 yr old girl, you know the one that thought whatever she did it wouldn't be good enough... Then I married and descovered crafts and tole painting and have never been so happy. Sooooooo wishing I had been able to use those years in-between but ever so happy that I think I have caught up with the rest of the world. Thanks so much to all of you that take the time and patience to teach all the young kids, In years to come a good number of them will become Artists just like you!
God bless and have a great day.... Get some sleep you are going to need it. And thanks for making my day!! :-D Charlotte Bullock ๐Ÿ˜

Tami B. said...

Wonderful post!

Jan Castle said...

Thanks Marianne for the pep talk.....sometimes we need to be reminded!!!! You are a jewel!
Paper Hugs,
Jan

Bandon, Oregon said...

Wonderful Post! Thank You so much for getting up in the middle of the night and putting those words to paper. I Love you forever!! I have had those moments growing up (and still from time to time) and I am so thankful for Teachers that encouraged their students.

As a mom, my kids always had art supplies around. When my daughter first enter kindergarten and I was a helper, I saw so many children frustrated with painting and cutting things out. I chatted with the teacher, who was also a friend, and we were able to get "real" scissors that cut paper. Better paint brushes that didn't fold over and stay there and so on... it didn't cost a lot of money, but oh the difference it made for the children.

Thank you Marianne for all your encouragement.
Faith

Roxy Timmons said...

Wow did you take me back in time.... I remember painting on beer bottles that I found when I was nine... And I still love to create.. Mothers and Teachers that inspire to fly are a true Treasure.. Thank you for sharing such caring encouraging words...

Granbeads said...

You hit a home run with this post, Marianne, so much so that I just had to repost on my Facebook timeline in it's entirety. (See that posting at Marcia Colby Truslow.) This is a life lesson that everyone can learn from. Being close to all seven of my teenage grandchildren I can see so clearly what negativity about one's self can do to these precious beings. All of us suffer unimaginable hurts from unthinking criticism but when that gets translated to the person attacking his or her own self, then it can become a crippling attitude. I know this well, suffering from this my entire life until age 55 when prescription drugs lifted me out of depression and into a world of of feeling grateful and blessed. My mother taught me to do wonderful knitting and sewing skills at a young age and I crafted, painted, drew, needlepointed and stitched for many years. All were enjoyed immensely all my life. However, at age 77 I have returned to the world of coloring with enormous enthusiasm. All who see my work compliment me on my use of color. I am always blown away by these compliments but can well see how your article spoke to me about my own experiences with art and the importance of it for all. Thank you so much!

Shopgirl said...

Hi, I just came across your blog and this is the first one I read. When I was 13 years old myself and also a budding artist sometimes I felt that when I walked into an art store and tried to buy art supplies that the store owner was doubtful of my abilities and as my parents would not buy me art supplies I had to work for my money and they wouldn't even go in an art store with me, they were both serious business people. One time I went into and art store near where I live for the first time and I didn't bring my money as I was planning on just looking that day, anyway, as I was looking I came across an old woman who was looking at the oil paints and she started talking to me about her granddaughter liking art as she did when she was young, it was her granddaughters birthday soon so she was there to get something nice for her, after our conversation ended I started heading home but the lady caught up with me and said, "I noticed you were looking at these markers," and she brought out some copic ciao markers, "you remind me a lot of myself when I was your age and I believe no matter your age you should pursue your passion!" And that's what I did I now own my own art store and sell some of my artworks locally. I still remember this day clearly and I just want to say if you ever come across a chance like this take it, don't waste it๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ™๐Ÿผ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ

Rose Falcone said...

Thank you for the encouraging post! I am one of those people for whom the next step up the stairs is often a struggle. What helps me to keep going day after day is looking forward to my next drawing or painting project. As I learn and study art, it is fascinating to watch my work evolve and mature knowing everything I do is as unique as a snowflake twirling around in a blizzard.

Adriana Benitez said...

Cannot thank you enough for writing this post. I don't know how many times I have walked away from my craft table lately because my project "doesn't compare" to some of the gorgeous things I have seen online. I forget it doesn't have to. It's mine and it comes from the heart and I can only do my best and enjoy the process AND enjoy sharing something made with love. Blessings!

Lisa M. Henry said...
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