if i knew what i was doing…

…perhaps this sort of thing wouldn’t happen.

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I bled for this. It should have worked better.

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Lauren Anderson, creativity coach, soon to be therapist, and my best friend for life (no lie – 33 years and counting, assuming we got along well as newborns) commissioned a piece of art from me to support her wonderful, inspirational interview series, The Working Artist, a monthly event happening at the Windup Space in Baltimore, MD. (Local? Catch the next event during Artscape on Saturday, July 19th. Doors at 4p. Go for inspiration, motivation, networking, and generally getting in touch with some of the amazing happenings in this town that is overflowing with creative culture. Watch Lauren’s blog for further details.)

It is because I attended her first event that I found the nerve to accept this commission. I have some artistic skill, but I almost never use it. I’m afraid of criticism. I’m not trained. I think everyone is better than me. Why try? That’s how I felt about it before I went to the event. That has changed. I know now that I can’t let my fears stop me from doing something that I love. Even if it’s just for myself. I have to accept the fact that I won’t be the best. There’s no such thing. I can’t make something that will be universally loved.  Some people will get it and lots of people just won’t. They’ll hate it. They’ll art-snob all over my technique. Admittedly, I have none. But when I listened to Lauren interviewing people whose art form is their true passion, I had an epiphany. It boils down to “Fuck all that, I’ll do what I want”.

So, this is my 2nd woodcut ever and it didn’t quite work out on the first try. Also, I stabbed myself twice. The second one felt like it hit bone in my thumb. Really, I don’t know what the hell I’m doing. Gloves, you idiot! In spite of all that, I’m not ashamed to say I like it, I’m proud of it, I bled for it, and I’m not giving up on it.

3 thoughts on “if i knew what i was doing…

  1. Dude, this is so on point. I’ve been trying to get back into writing lately, and it’s hard. It’s a lot easier to make excuses, to let my fear of criticism and my anxieties get the better of me. But, the thing is, there’s no reason anyone else has to even see it. It can just be for me, or I can post it up, it doesn’t matter, as long as I’m just writing something. I still harbor a little dream(/delusion) of having my fiction published in some form somewhere, but that’s not the point of it. I do it because I love it, and I feel so much better about myself and more fulfilled when I’m writing. Thanks for the reminder. 🙂

  2. You’re welcome! It’s all thanks to Lauren, and I think it was Danielle who addressed this in a very direct way in her interview segment. She was talking a lot about how what she does isn’t for everyone and some people are just going to fucking hate it, and you have to accept that, and keep doing it, because you can’t imagine doing anything else.

    I’m looking forward to new stories from you!

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