As artists we all try to be at the very least original in our work, to be unique in what we put out there in to the world. It is a well-earned journey. Most of us, once we have reached that pinnacle, have been copied or even blatantly ripped off...and still...there is a deeper tugging that I would like to talk about.
To do this, I would like to share with you a story about being true...true to your heart...true to what is in it. This is my story and my hope is that it brings some kind of understanding to you to help you be comfortable in where you stand...to be confident enough within your own self to reach out to others.
I would like to share this short beautiful film with you before going on...
With A Piece Of Chalk
I find that once you are out there and established within your own work, there will be many critiques who know better than you. It can be lonely standing there holding your own ground...your own gift.
Many years ago, I was asked to be part of a teaching event for dolls. Each teacher was given a theme in which to create their teaching piece. I, big surprise, was given Asia...Hurray for that was my first thought. I decided to create a cat doll~Meow Meow Neko. Neko meaning cat in Japanese. Meow Meow- well- cute huh!?!
I also wanted to incorporate a simple but interesting body to put together and bring in the elegant Japanese simplicity of line in the costuming.
And then spring-boarding off of that into detail.
A new eye technique...
add in vintage pieces in her lace head piece and obi...
and finally a flavor of kimono hime style with the eyelet petticoat...
I took thoughtful time to create this doll. She went together beautifully- a true gift from the Divine.
I presented it to the powers that be. The response was...to say the least...unexpected. They were not at all comfortable with a cat as a class.
I was asked if I could design another head- a human head- so presuming that if the students were not happy with the cat they could have a choice of doing a human head...oh boy...I was caught off guard and took a day to think about it.
My answer came back to them- No. I stood firm in my design decision. Reasoning being; If I changed out the head- it wouldn't be Meow Meow!...???... The entire body would have to be re-designed, in other words I would have to design a whole different doll! I will take the chance- put it on me if the class was not a go. I take responsibility for my designs and my work.
The class was a go - in fact it sold out. And to date, Meow Meow has been hands down my best selling pattern- and I am talking by hundreds!
So what is my lesson- be true. My design was true and my motivation was love- as solid as a rock.
And because of that I have been able to reach out to hundreds and hundreds of people to share my gift with them through teaching and patterns.
I listened to my trueness even though there are moments in time I am still standing there by myself.
It is when we listen that we can reach our full potential no matter what the world hands us...