There is a woman in my enameling class who is an amazing artist. I'm a decent intermediate enamelist, but she is incredible, a true artist. When I come up with a design idea, I make a rough sketch in my notebook and then get to work on my creation. However, her notebook is filled with detailed, colorful sketches of her pieces that are so beautiful, they're works of art in of themselves.
This week, we were discussing our jewelry pieces and I asked if she ever sells her stuff. "Actually, I don't," she said. "My pieces are too time-consuming to make and besides, I don't really like to part with them."
She went on to say that she sometimes makes jewelry for her friends, but other than that, she mainly keeps her work for herself.
This surprised me because she could probably get a few hundred bucks for each of her necklaces. She could even submit them to a gallery, if she so desired. If she put her name out there, she could easily become a well-known artist/jewelry designer. But she just has no desire to do this. She's happy making jewelry for herself and doesn't care if she isn't known around the world.
I'm writing about this woman because I truly admire her and wish that I could be more like her when it comes to making my own things. While I do write because I enjoy it and make jewelry because it's fun, I also want the "success" that comes with sharing my work. But what exactly is success? Does it mean that my novel is a best-seller or that I sell a certain number of jewelry pieces in a certain amount of time?
The truth is, I haven't quite figured this out yet because I always want more. I'm not raking it in when it comes to selling my work online, but my book and jewelry are selling fairly steadily. Most people seem to enjoy my work? Shouldn't I be satisfied, especially since I'm getting to do things that I like to do? I'm not always as I always hunger for something bigger, but I'm trying to take a step back. I'm trying to live more in the moment and concentrate on how much I love making jewelry or how much I like writing my latest novel. I can't worry too much about reviews or how many units are being sold because it's taking some of the joy out of my work. I wish I could be more like my classmate who wears her pieces with pride -- and doesn't give a damn what the rest of us think.
I don't know if I'll ever fully share her mindset, but I can try to find a happy medium. So I'm going to continue creating and sharing, and will appreciate any feedback that I receive. I'm just not going to let my moods be governed by other people's thoughts -- and will try to keep in mind that I'm ultimately doing these activities for my own enjoyment.
Please read and review REVENGE OF A BAND GEEK GONE BAD.