Disregard or no response makes me want to stop trying.
Ridicule or derision causes visceral nausea, tears, incontinence and the protective, instinctive roll of a potato bug, armadillo or hedgehog.
There was a time when you could easily manipulate me with words. Unhealthy; If you approve of me, I'm OK and will let you....
A good coach of any sort is able to pull the best out of me with words. Healthy; I'll die trying if you believe in me and appreciate the effort.
Almost fifty is nice. That need for approval went to nip at some younger person's heals. Giving encouragement away, giving what I want and need most, is something to spend the rest of my life refining. When I think of finishing well, this defines it because the ripples go so far.
These pictures are from around 1980 ~ I was twenty and younger. They are in a sense exhuming a grave, as they have been shuffled around through about 20 different household moves. I forget about them. They surface once in a while but there is a stink, or some pain surrounding them that I don't relish examining by opening. This is it ~ all there is.
Today was the day. As I scanned them, I looked deep inside. There has been a surprise inside, a present much more significant than merely the Cracker Jacks kind.
Without any classes, training or instruction of any kind, I created these. Some are copies of famous artists, some are copies of a card or picture I loved, and some are original. I had no idea how to use pen and ink, charcoal or pencil. Vulnerable to expose that faces, eyes, and perspective eluded me completely!
The smell and feel of toothed paper and a sharp, soft leaded pencil comes back even now with these words, and I feel such pleasure.
Bashful as I was, if I showed my drawings to anyone it was probably a close friend or family member. The response to me taking this huge risk was mostly kind and under whelmed. [yawn]
Never mean, just disinterested. I translated that lack of enthusiasm and apathy as; me and my drawings were dumb, not very good and embarrassing. I began to agree and stopped drawing altogether. Being creative is a must, not an option for me, but I deliberately killed the urge and desire to draw.
Compared with my aunt, uncle and grandmother, it seemed natural. Art like this was normal in our family, so what? They were each incredible self taught artists who splashed in their personal puddle, but never exposed/sold their art much. My uncle tried to for a short time, to make a living at his genius, but took his life too soon for anyone to see it. I'm sure he, like Van Gogh, never knew what he had was so valuable.
I'm coming full circle here. I could cry and whimper that nobody took an interest in helping me develop this gift. Or, I can ask myself why isn't there a pile of pages, years and years worth...... anyways?
Being intrinsically motivated is easier now - I don't need the external encouragement so much; the thing, whatever that is, is it's own reward.
If you know of a person who has unique gifts and talents, please encourage them; listen and look at their offerings. Anyone who risks the adventure of being artistic is worth admiring. There is nothing more fun than noticing and seeing the work of artists and letting them know you appreciate it. It's how we kindle each other, blow the coals into flame.
When we create, we give pleasure to our Creator. This I know.