This is not the post I'd hoped to be writing today. That one would've said something like "whoo-hoo! I'm in!" I was hoping to tell you how I was one of the five semi-finalists chosen by Cloth Paper Scissors in their Artisan Search. But I can't tell you that, the winners were announced today and I was not one of the semi-finalists chosen. So I debated writing a post at all. It'd be so easy to pretend nothing happened and hope you all forget how excited I was to enter and how much I wanted to win.
But tonight (I'm writing this on Monday night) I was thinking about this and it seemed a bit like I'd be hiding something from you and I'm really committed to being authentic about my journey with you. The whole journey. So here it is- I spent a lot of today feeling pretty disappointed. I'd wanted to be selected. I wanted to win. I didn't. I even re-read the list of semi finalists over a few times just to be sure I hadn't overlooked my name. But nope- not there. :)
I think it's easy when you're looking on to think that the people who are successful in our field are more talented then we are, to think that they have something we don't, that they're charmed and we're not. I know I've thought this in the past and if I had been chosen then I wouldn't have this opportunity to speak authentically and tell you that it's not true. Although I may seem like I have it all together (or maybe I don't LOL) because I have a book coming out, or have my own style, or whatever else looks good to you and you feel you don't have, I don't possess anything special. I'm not more talented than you. I'm not leading a charmed life, or are luckier than anyone else.
But I dare to try. To be brave, to risk failure, to put myself in a place where my self esteem could be shaken. A few years ago I wouldn't have tried at all. I'd have thought about it and then felt like it would have been too great a risk. What if I tried and failed? What if I put my very best out there to be judged and it wasn't good enough? It's easy to extrapolate that I'm no good, that I wasn't talented enough, that my work isn't good enough, but it's not true. That's not what "not being selected" means. It means that there were dozens of amazing artists all competing for the same title and the tough reality is that only five were chosen in each category. So I pick myself up, admit I'm disappointed and move on. I think I read somewhere that the people we think of as successful in their field have also usually failed more than anyone else in their field. They risk more, they lose more, they win more. It's important to go on.
So tonight I've decided to make the best of this situation and use it as an excuse to encourage you. I want you to know that if you decide to put yourself "out there" then there will be times that you won't get that article accepted, or that first book proposal might not pass, or no one will buy what you think is your very best work. None of these situations mean you're a bad artist, or not talented enough, or are dumb for even thinking you might be good enough. No one else thinks that of you either. Me- I'd probably just admire you for trying.
I know it's asking a lot but I'd like to know what you really think about this subject. So please please please leave a comment. :)