Know Your Strengths and Your Weaknesses

In regards to talent, I’m pretty sure I will never be Michelangelo.  Perhaps, had I lived his life, I might have been but I didn’t.  I lived my life.  I use my talents, my knowledge, and my experiences.  And I’m ok with that.  Most days.  And I know I’m not Michelangelo.  Most days.  

So, know your talent and work within it.  Use what you have, and use it now.  Let go of what you think you should have, should be, should do.  Today, do what you do well and do it better.

In your spare time, you can still keep trying to be Michelangelo, if you like.  You might master it someday, but today’s not that day.  Today is the day to be you.  

Service and Design

Purchasing art is so much more than taste, price and hue, especially when commissioning a project.  It's concept to completion.  The art must fit the design.  It must fit the space, and it must colorfully coordinate.  And that's just the basics.

Hopefully, your search for art began with finding a professional, and I don't use that word lightly. Whether you've chosen an interior designer, architect, artist rep or the artist herself, she should listen, advise, and complete, just like any profession.

This week, I had the opportunity to work with a team of professionals; architect, designer and gallery.  With tablet in hand, the architect/designer listened to the building owner and designed on the spot, creating digital renderings for the visual aids.  

The artwork style and color must match the proposed ambience and decor.  The size and proposed hanging came down to the inch.  No detail went unnoticed.  

Ignore Most

Thankfully, I was born with the ability to ignore most…somewhat.  I’ve had to ignore my parents, and their outdated ideologies from basically day one.  I’ve spent my life pretty much feeling like not just the outsider, but the outsider people are so desperately trying to push into a game she doesn’t want to play. 

Having to go it alone, I’ve made mistakes.  Some I’m still learning to let go.  But I’m not going to lie, I like my view and I like the game I’m playing.

Hopefully, you’ll have people in your corner fighting for you and not against you.  However, even if you do, more than likely, you, too, are going to encounter not just critics, but people who will dismiss you even after you’ve achieved success.  You will never win trying to prove yourself to them, because you’re not playing their game.  So, stop trying.  

This, I confess, took me a long time to understand.  I thought sooner or later those naysayers would come on board.  Some have.  Some haven’t.  Then I remembered, the person easiest to change is me. 

So, you’ll just have to ignore the critics.  It’s not easy, and I can’t tell you how to do it.  All I can do is guide you back to believing in yourSelf, your talents, your gut.  Take stock of what you have to offer and ignore most everything else, except of course, constructive criticism.  Give that some thought.

I promise you’ll like the view.  Unless, of course, you want the naysayer’s life, then ignore me and yourSelf and do exactly what they do.

Just a note…there’s an old Hindu saying that goes like this, “If we all swept off our own front porch, the world would be a better place.”  

Inspiration is Still in the Air

I love Fall.  Sweaters.  Boots.  Pumpkin lattes.  The colors…chocolate, orange, scarlet.  

The fireplace I had as a child I spoke of earlier, it was accessorized with pellets that turned the flame from orange and scarlet to blue and green.  I was mesmerized by those colors.  All of them.  And I turn to those memories for color combinations over and over again.  As I said, don’t count anything out.  You never know where you will find inspiration or what you will call on for inspiration.  Stay alert.  

Now, I those pellets are sold as campfire enhancers called Cosmic Flames.  Perhaps, I’ll get some for my next camping episode, or bonfire.  It is bonfire time.    

Inspiration is in the Air

Pumpkins.  Pumpkin lattes.  Bonfires.  Fires in general.

Fires.  As a child, we had a wood burning fireplace.  I grew up in the country in an all electric home.  A fireplace was necessary supplemental heating.  My parents partitioned off the house, keeping the kitchen and family room at 70º with the help of the fireplace, while the living room, dinning room and bedrooms were kept at 55º.  Quilts.  Lots and lots of quilts.  

Keeping the fire going through the night every night was the goal.  But during the times we lost electricity, and there were many, sometimes for days and days, keeping the fire going was vital.  But that took effort.  Wood.  All through the day.  All through the night.  Not a task for the lazy.

Not sure my parents slept during those power outages.  Without electricity, we only had the fire for heat.  The bedroom temperatures dropped well below 55º.  So, we all piled in the living room by the fire.  Quilts.  Lots and lots and lots of quilts.  I loved those days.  I loved those quilts.  

Quilts.  They are still useful to me today.  Though not in the same way.  I like the patterns.  They're a great source of inspiration when designing.  Don’t count anything out.  You never know where you will find inspiration.  

Moving Through

Aside from just pushing through artist’s block, music has always been useful to getting me back into the groove.  I grew up with a father who loved Louie Armstrong, Dinah Washington and Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass Band.  

As a child, I would sit and not just listen to those LPs but comb through the stacks of vinyl and their jackets, mesmerized with a world I did not know, yet longed to.  Listening to the lyrics and imagining what those singing were feeling.  

One of my favorite memories is listening to my dad reminisce about the time he snuck into a Louie Armstrong concert and watched the whole performance from backstage left.  His eyes would light up and he would grin as if he was the cat that ate the canary.  I’m not sure if he was looking favorably back on his ingenuity, ornerinous, or the sounds of Satchmo.  Since I am my father’s daughter, I would suspect it was all the above.

Today, I still use my dad’s music but I’ve added a whole list of new artists to help get me back into the groove and sooth my soul.  And today, it’s not a stack of smelly, worn out albums but a playlist a mile long.  And today, it’s not a tv/stereo console combo; it’s an IPOD.  Fortunately and unfortunately.  

If you’re interested in some of the music I use for a little inspiration, you can stream it here:

 

 

Artist Block

Yep, it's the same as writer's block, but instead of staring at a blank piece of paper, it's a blank canvas, glaring at you, daring you to create.  And just like a writer working through their own clogged, foggy moment, you paint.  Yet, nothing you paint is appealing or even appalling.  

Still you paint, and paint, and paint until there's nothing but brown.  Your reds, blues, and greens have all merged to create exactly what you are feeling, a whole lot of meh.  You start again, and again, and again...until. Alas, you see it.  That something.  

That something that takes you to your next something and it begins to form.  Layer on top of layer, it, that once blank white canvas, has transformed into what it was meant to be and you, little ole you, won.

Right now, I have both.  Writer’s and Artist’s block.  And that’s a big ol’ sigh.