When we last checked in on our heroine, she was debating creating a piece of art for a local competition, on a Sunday afternoon no less. The DAY BEFORE IT WAS DUE. Even though she had been accepted to participated WEEKS ago.
I hemmed and hawed and then decided LATE that afternoon that I would do it. The requirements were that we use recyclable items, so I decided to make butterflies out of paper towel rolls. I decided that as with most good art, I’d tell a story on the canvas. So, I created the dark grey boring-looking butterfly at the bottom right corner. And then I created various layers with different designs – each row getting a little more zippier. And finally a fully be-dazzled butterfly at the top. I called it “Becoming Who You Are” and in the description I included with my entry I explained that we become who we are by trying different things on in life – evolving until we’re pretty comfortable in our skin.
It took several hours to make – I was up waaaaay into the night. But it was so much fun seeing my idea come to life.
Still, when I was finished I wasn’t sure I was going to enter it into the competition. I kept thinking how amateur it looked, how it was probably more crafty than fine-art, my butterfly bodies and antennae looked like black blobs, and so on and so on.
I got up after only just a few hours sleep to ask my husband to help me with prepping it for hanging – I had to use eyelets and wire and needed another set of hands. The whole time I was telling him I wasn’t going to enter it. We’ll have new art for the house! we said. I’ll put it in my office! I said.
I texted one of my besties (hi M!) and she quickly wrote back: SUBMIT IT! Fine art is an interpretation, right? I think it’s beautiful! Do it! Nothing to lose!
Nothing to lose was right. Except my humility if I bring it in and they laugh at me? Would they laugh at me?
Then I got serious with myself. Why did I go to all the trouble to seek out and get involved in my art community if I wasn’t going to follow through?
So, I took it. And I was nervous and shaky and yet I still had fun talking to the gals who accepted my piece. Okay, maybe I’d be alright.
AND THEN, they suggested I take a peek at the current exhibit. As I started to walk around and look at the various art pieces, the voice got louder in my head: “Oh nooooo. You don’t have a chance, lady. THIS is real art.”
When I got back in my car I decided to turn off that voice. Instead I thought about how it’s only been A YEAR since I started pursuing arts and crafts. A year. Do I really expect that I have enough talent and skill to just walk in and right away be entered into a show? No. I have a long way to go, a lot to learn. And that suddenly made me very excited – to think of all the various mediums that I have to research and choose from. To learn, to play, to create….and yes, to even mess up. It’s going to be a blast.
I won’t lie, though. When I saw the list of artists accepted into the show and my name wasn’t on it, I did feel a little crush of sadness. That’s to be expected.
But instead of being sad over it I’m choosing to look forward to all the fun I’m going to have learning and exploring. And how proud I am for at least trying. If I hadn’t, I would never know and I hate just WONDERING what would have happened.
I also learned in this experience that I really love art, and I love making pretty things. And that my friends is an awesome feeling.