Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Confessions of an Embarrassed Fool or Lessons Learned

Venus Flytrap  copyright Susan Nash 2010
 Have you ever  received the prospectus for an upcoming show, and thought to yourself, " this is the perfect venue for my work", but, not had any work available to submit??

 This happened to me very recently. The show was totally based around a botanical theme, and was to be held at a conservatory. My work of late has been very much organic and botanical in nature. It would be, in my estimation, a perfect fit. The problem ( if you want to call it a problem), was that all my work was being displayed in other shows! Specifically, my solo show at the Zanesville Museum of Art, and The Best of 2010.

 What would you do??

 Well, here is what I did, and I do not recommend it. I had maybe 2 weeks to create a piece for submission. So, I got to work, and very quickly put together a piece in time to take photos and submit it.

 The good news is that I realized it was a hurry-up job...it was done to fit the theme, not created from that place inside me that wants to create.  In plain English, it did not feel authentic. So, I did not enter it. The decision felt right.

 The bad news is that I decided to keep working on the piece and try tweaking it into something that felt right. I thought I got it to that point. But when I saw it hanging recently in another show, it jumped out at me as not being good. It still didn't feel right. So now, I feel a little embarrassed, even stupid for allowing this piece to have been sent out into the world depicting my work. Yuck.

 The lesson I am taking from this is that I should ALWAYS make work that comes from my heart; that is totally authentic to me. NOT try to fit a theme, or catch a specific jurors eye. Just make the work that is my personal soul work.

  Have any of YOU, dear friends and bloggers, felt this silly and annoyed? I am somehow deeply embarrassed that my name is hanging by this piece for the world to see.
I did create it, but I am not overly proud of it.
Lesson Learned.


  1. Susan, I read your post via my FB friendship with Erica Carter and I totally agree with you. It IS hard to resist the temptation to a enter show when you know your work is "perfect" for the venue . . . I just missed the deadline for a call for submissions for a book . . . at first, I tried to work something up . . . but my heart wasn't in it.

    Thanks for sharing.

  2. Your work is beautiful ! Stay true to YOU my Friend. I know my work sometimes don't always turn out how just how I want but I "Try" to stay true to ME, I have always found my best is as you say that that comes from the special place inside us, not for others, money or a judge. I have trouble w/themes I think they hold us back & add such limits.Teresa

  3. I have several like that...trying to rush and not having my heart into it. As I've always said...stay true to your heart.

  4. I kinda, really already knew to always be authentic. Isn't it weird how easy it is to slip-up and forget?
    Thanks for the comments, and thank you Maude for taking the time to sort of find me and read it.

  5. Good for you for fessing up and upholding to your true standards. Fifty people might say applause applause but if your heart says...'coulda, woulda, shoulda been better than that' then that's the voice to follow.
    Bravo brave you for sharing an important lesson that we all must learn multiple times.

  6. I can identify! I have to be in the mood and be in the creative part of my brain before I can even start to think about a piece of artwork.

  7. Well....let me count the ways I have betrayed my soul to "fit" a theme and create a work...:O). Remain true to your inner voice and stay fast in your journey...you can rush the "spark" just because we want it. Imagine and Live in Peace, Mary Helen Fernandez Stewart

  8. i'm sorry you're not proud of your piece, but it's a great lesson that we all have to learn at least once!

  9. Wise decision, Susan. Integrity is a rare commodity these days, but you have it in spades. Your work is lovely -- but, as for all of us, it has to come from the heart in order for the quality to be there. And hey -- such a problem!