Sunday, 2 October 2011

Much ADO about stuff.

Recently ADO - Art Dolls Only advertised for new members. (Go on - poke around their blog - it's awesome!)
Their membership is closed to new members for most of the year, and I managed to finagle a place during the latest (very short) open period.
I'm extremely excited to be part of this group of amazing artists. And I expect it to be very good for me.

You see - despite doing arty things for my hobbies and sanity projects, (and my Day-Job), for pretty much my entire life - I don't always feel like I have a right to call myself an artist. Sometimes I feel like a big fraud.

Now, I know that this is my Depression/Anxiety talking. I know that.

I'm a skilled draughtsperson, and I have a good eye for colour, composition and whatnot. I sculpt well, and I can sew, and knit, and I can paint and I've taught life-drawing classes and ALL KINDS OF STUFF. I'm good enough at some of these things that I am paid to show other people how to do them.

But still, there's a voice in my head that whispers "Fraud". Sometimes it yells.

I've been thinking about this a lot recently. The Day-Job involves teaching aspiring artists, and the single biggest problem that the students I work with have to overcome isn't how to draw well. Drawing is easy.
It's believing that the work you are producing is worth showing people. That your worth as a person isn't tied up with how people receive the things you make. It's why students who have done almost all the required work miss deadlines. Or don't show their Tutor. Or don't submit stuff for group critiques.

It's why I have a drawer full of incomplete dolls, and why it takes me ages to work up the courage to list finished ones for sale. (My Etsy store sat empty for almost two years after I opened it.) It's why I go weeks without updating this blog (and avoiding it because I feel guilty about not updating only makes things worse).
Why, if I get a nice comment about my dolls I crash emotionally - I often end up in tears later in the day.

I know not to do this - that is restrictive and not good for me. I advise students about how to deal with and stop this behaviour all the time.
But still...

Now, the above isn't a whiny "lavish attention on and love meeeee", I'm just getting so sick of letting my stupid malfunctioning brain chemicals get the upper-hand on my behaviour. Joining ADO is something that I think will help force me to face these issues far more definitively.
It's all been a bit heavy - sorry.

So, um yeah.
~OH NO! what's that over there?!?~
^ That's what we in the business call a smoooooth deflection.

Here's a colourful dragon sketch I did on Monday:

I used every colour of watercolour-pencil I have!
And some paperdolls that I made in February. (See what I mean? My gods, FEBRUARY. Why have I not shown them?)

Steampunky!              Sassy!                Stroppy!

Gosh, I do go on.
I'll have to try to be a bit more concise and up-lifting tomorrow. :D

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