Friday, August 14

Confessional - A Part of The Journey

I could start by telling you a slew of excuses. 
I could tell stories about me as a child. I could tell you I've always struggled fitting in. 
I could blame it on my situation.
I could tell you how I've never really felt like I was an artist.
I could tell you that for most of my life I equated success with money.
I could chalk it up to me being self taught.
I could bring up a million more things that played into the beginning years of my work.

But I won't. 
I need to own this.
Because it's my fault.
It's was my responsibility.
It was my decisions and ultimately my actions.

My misstep, correction missteps, are many.
Small choices that seemed insignificant at the time, but grew into something unmanageable.

It started years ago, when I first ever desired to be a maker.
To be a maker full time.
To live and breath this work. 
I wanted so bad to be "successful."

I looked up to so many amazingly talented artists and wondered how in the world I would ever get there. 
Or if I was even capable of getting there. 

I read everything there was to read on how to make a shop successful. 
I thought I was doing all the right things.
I saw the formula so many Etsy sellers followed, and I tried to follow it.

Good pictures.
Accurate listing descriptions.
Strict policies.
Business licenses.
Calculating profit margins.
Marketing strategies.

But even more than that.
I worked hard on developing a brand that was popular.
And that would sell.

Because ultimately that's where my heart was.
To be "successful."

Somewhere along the way that person that desired to be a maker, to be an artist got lost.
The business side of things took over. 
And the money, the "success" became so much more important.

I was so tangled up in a web that I couldn't see out. 
I celebrated the number of sales.
Carefully tracked every follower.
Tried to figure out how and why people viewed or purchased my pieces.

I made unforgivable and disrespectful choices.
Disrespectful to the art, the artists, and to you.

I found myself sitting at my bench not asking myself what I wanted to make or what the material called me to make, but instead what would sell. 

At first I was proud of the work. I felt instant gratification and it fed the greed monster inside me.
I wanted to sell more, be more well known, and I wanted more than anything for my work to be desired.

Overtime I felt my creative spirit shrivel. I felt stuck and stifled.
I knew something had to change, but I was so scared.
So scared I wasn't capable of being that good.

I wanted my art to be loved, but it was at the cost of making stuff that wasn't authentic.
And it was wrong.

I woke up one day, and took a long look in the mirror and didn't recognize myself. 
I was ashamed.
I don't want to ever see that person again.

I'm fighting back.
I've seen my mistakes.
I'm owning them.
And I'm moving past it. 
I'm putting the art first no matter the cost.

This beginning, it was rocky, but it's just part of my story.
I believe my ending is true and pure. 

At the end of  my career I want to be able to look back on my work and be proud.
I want to be a leader and not a follower.
I want to be respectful and respected.
I want to give to this community not take from it.

I realize to do all those things take brave choices.
Takes courage and vulnerability.

So I'm here, completely open, exposed and vulnerable.

I'm asking for your forgiveness.
and maybe one day, I'll be an artist.

♥ Carin



pencilfox said...

there is nothing for *me* to forgive, here....

i love your work, and i find it to be rather unique.
raw and unique and honest to *who* you are as a person.

i proudly wear your pieces.
i love them all.

and i give you my love and some hugs....

keep your chin up, dear girl.
one foot in front of the other.
you have "product" for which you can be proud to name "jonesing4jewlery"....


Cat said...

I see your open heart, and see an artist. You have pieces that move spirits, celebrate that. Move forward, but be gentle on yourself. (and happy 10 year anniversary!!!)