Thursday, July 11, 2013

Humility, Self-Worth and a Pledge

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

8 comments:

  1. as to someone that has had your work in her hands and on her body I can say with great authority that your work is fantastic ! When the package was open I said Wow ! what a talent ! Its hard being a crafter or artist and not feeling that way about our work. I'm always looking at mine thinking the same way you do. It could be better, look at his work, so much nicer ! We are learning but we need to be more positive with our selves while doing it. You work is amazing and I stick by that ! Keep the self talk to the good side. :-)

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    1. Thanks so much, Lisa! I'm so glad you like your pretties. :) I'm hoping this post will inspire others to try to be more positive about their work. After all, if we don't have confidence about our work, how can we project the confidence to our clients? :)

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  2. I must say that I love the level of simplicity in your designs. They are just the right amount for my taste. I love to look at some of the super extreme beading, but when I bead, it must be something that I can imagine someone I know wearing.
    Keep up the great work. You are doing wonderful for such a new designer.

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    1. Thank you, Bethel! Yes, if I do a large piece it's just for show. I once sold a large collar and it was used in a parade as part of a costume! I was tickled pink... but for everyday wear, I have to have simple, no-frills stuff. It's not like I'm going to balls and galas, hah! I gear my work toward the everyday woman.

      I'm so glad you like my tutorials! Thank you so much! :)

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  3. Just breathe and don't compare! I find myself drooling over others' designs and feeling like I could never accomplish that... push through it you will surprise yourself!

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    1. Eliza, you're a wonder with beads! :) Thanks!

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  4. I am going to take your advice as well! For me, I am at a turning point in my life (probably more like a mid-life crisis ... LOL) and I just started beading about 3 months ago, but I love it, and I love learning new things! I hope to be able to create my own designs, some day!
    I wish you the best of luck! :)

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    1. It's so exciting to learn new things and try new methods! I wish you all the luck in the world and thank you very much! :) It gets better and better and there's always something new just around the corner to learn.

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