Hi, all! As most of you know by now, I'm relatively new to the design world. I've been beading for a few years now and teaching for several years, but I only began creating tutorials in late February and early March this year. In that time things have gone so well! Things have far surpassed my expectations and I'm very humbled and proud. I've gotten to know new students and befriend returning clients. I've met wonderful designers and reconnected with people that I hero-worship and I'm feeling truly blessed and grateful.
I felt the need to show a picture. :)
I have some new projects in the works and I've begun to approach bead vendors and manufacturers because there are some beads that I'm just passionate about (you all know of my obsession for Super Duos, but I'm also obsessed with Preciosa seed beads and druks-especially 3mm). I've been beading long enough to know what I love to work with and what I don't particularly care for. I do my little part to push the bead obsession on to you, my beady pals. Anywho, big things, they are a-coming! :)
The drawbacks of meeting and knowing fantastic designers, for me, are self-effacement and negative self-worth. I see wonderful, beautiful works by my friends and I truly feel not worthy. Lately, I've been thinking a lot about this phenomenon. I've always thought negatively about braggarts and egotistical people so I try my best to stay humble. However, when is humility... too humble? Somehow, for me, humility sort of ends up morphing into a negative self-image.
I can chatter with people and say, "Oh, this month's sales were great!" or, "Good things are happening!" and later I'll feel like I was bragging. I need to distinguish "bragging" from "pride". I should feel proud for accomplishing goals without feeling shame for that pride.
When I see the gorgeous works of others, I'm so proud of them and proud for them! It makes me happy when people create wonderful works of art (beadwork IS art!). However, at the same time I get this niggling thought in the back of my head that I'll never be this good, I'll never be this creative, I'll never think up designs like that! If I compare my work to other artists' work, my self-esteem takes a nose-dive. I truly don't see my work as all that special.
I don't think I'm alone in this but I have to steer away from this sort of thinking. A wise person recently told me, "Don't judge yourself against others...it tends to have a negative effect." She's right! I have another friend who is always ready with supportive words of encouragement and she says I've got talent. :) (being my friend is a lot of work, no? Hah!) Another friend told me, "Apples and oranges." So true!
You really can't compare your work to someone else's. That's sort of the beauty of bead work: Every artist is different. I haven't ever met two beaders that shared the exact same style or aesthetic. We are all unique and so is our art. So, it's like comparing apples to oranges. Yes, Beader A did a fantastic, phenomenal, huge collar with lots of gorgeous, complex stitching. But if you're like me and prefer to bead simple, no-frills bead work, you can't really compare us.
So, I'm making a pledge to follow my friend's advice: "Have faith in your designs and just keep learning." I'm going to NOT compare my work to other beaders' works (OK, OK, I'm seriously going to try!). I'm going to work on my confidence and keep on keeping on! You can't truly be a success without a great sense of self-worth. Sure, my work may be simple for some tastes; it's also really great for those who like that sort of thing. :)
So, that's my pep talk! :) I know I can't be the only beader with confidence issues. I urge you to take the pledge, too! ~Val