Thursday, April 17, 2014

This week in my garden ~ and thoughts on apologizing for our art

"The expert in anything was once a beginner."
{author unknown}

Lately I have been doing a lot of thinking about how we apologize and/or make excuses for our skills and compare them to others. Today I'd like to share an experience I had recently that made me stop and take notice.
I was thinking about my mom and how she could never put together a scrapbook (or any other handmade item) for me without a whole lot of fretting and apologizing because her pages (or whatever) were nothing like mine. Ugh - that used to drive me nuts! No amount of reassurance or gushing could help her get past that.


I recently had an opportunity to look through a scrapbook Mom made for us and I hope she was watching from up above and saw that I cried when I looked at it; that I held it close when I was done and felt so grateful that she’d taken the time to make that for us. {See, Mom? It was/is perfect!} Her scrapbook doesn’t look like something Ali Edwards put together but why would I want it to? I want it to look like my mom’s style – I want it to look exactly the way she made it.


I’m currently enrolled in an online sketchbook class and have really been put to the test when it comes to enjoying the process without comparing myself to others. I am a beginner when it comes to sketching still life, and oh-my-gosh you guys should see some of the amazing art that my classmates are posting! At the beginning of the class I cringed at the thought of posting any of my drawings in that forum. And when I did post a photo of my sketch, I felt the need to remind everyone that I was “just a beginner” and I made excuses for my art.


I have realized that this sketchbook class has bigger lessons for me than putting pen to paper. Perhaps the bigger lesson for me is the reminder that everyone starts somewhere – we are all at different skill levels based on our own personal experience, practice, talents, desire, and commitment. My drawings don’t look like anyone else’s because {hello!} they aren’t supposed to! If they looked like someone else’s they wouldn’t be mine.
 

So today’s post is just a little reminder to never apologize for what you’ve created. Create from your heart and soul and honor it because it’s part of you. Don’t dishonor it by pointing out your own perceived flaws or shortcomings. If you are giving that creation as a gift, the thing the recipient will appreciate the most is that it has your unique touch!







The best thing about your creations is the gift that
is you - flaws and shortcomings and love and all.
I say there's no need to ever apologize for that!

17 comments:

helena said...

yes, yes ,yes - well said and a great reminder that every expert was a beginner once and to appreciate our unique work

Fiona@Staring at the Sea said...

You're absolutely right, but I still do it! "Comparison is the thief of joy." I can't remember who said that, but it's so very true.

Deb @ PaperTurtle said...

Yes, I love that quote too, Fiona. It was penned by Theodore Roosevelt, the 26th President of the United States. :o)

Lunch Lady Jan said...

What a wonderful and touching post. You're so right, of course, but we are very bad at accepting compliments as well.
It's approaching two years since my beloved mum left us - I think about her each day.
Hugs, LLJ xxxx

Audrey said...

You are so right, Deb ~ I find that applies a lot to blogging and photography for blogging. I'm guilty of it....but that feeling does rob some of the joy of blogging in the first place. Talking about your Mom's scrapbook gave me chills. So precious! Hope you're well!!! XOXOXOXOXOXOXO

Abi said...

What wise wise words Deb. I do this far too much, it was comparison that brought me away from traditional scrapbooking. It's good to be reminded that the heart of what we do is to enjoy creating.

cate behind the purple door said...

We are always our own worst critic, especially women. I liken it to the quote that floats around in relation to social media - don't compare your now to someone's highlight reel (or something of that order)

scrappyjacky said...

That really is a great reminder to us all....we are all our own worst critics.

Annes kleine Nähstube said...

Thank you so much for this....

Jo said...

I totally agree with this post, out artwork is part of us and that's what it should reflect x

Sian said...

Well Amen to that! One of my favourite ever quotes is maya Angelou's "I did then what I knew how to do, now I know better I do better"

Gail said...

What a wonderful post Deb. I'm bookmarking it to come back to again and your garden pictures interspersed through it were great - love the little sprinkler one.

Karen said...

I really needed to read this post! I'm working on some lettering and sketching projects and feeling just like you were! What online class are you taking? Fiona's quote is going in my quote book!

Sinead said...

Deb, I could not agree with you more. I always compare myself to others and sometimes apologise for what I've created, though I know that creating in itself should be about joy and personal satisfaction, not comparison! Thank you for this reminder today xxx

Margaret said...

I know the feeling. I do this all the time. I have to remember to focus on the joy that comes from the process.

Maria Ontiveros said...

Great thoughts Deb, and I would love to see a peek inside your sketchbook.
Rinda

S said...

I like your snaps and the quote is fabulous - must remember that.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...