Sunday, September 9, 2012

Getting Out There

I want to talk a little bit about "Getting Out There".  This is about putting yourself out in the public view along with your craft, artwork, jewelry, whatever it is that you do.  This is not easy to do and for some, like me it is nearly impossible.  BUT, it can be done, I did.  For some of us it is really scary to put yourself out there with your work and nervously wait to see what people think of it.  This is especially true for me.  You see I have been creating jewelry for almost 3 years now.  I have given many pieces as gifts or just to give it away so that others might wear it and then even more people would see and say "hey, that is nice, where did you get it".  This has not happened for me, my friends accept the gifts and say "ooohh, how nice" yet I never see them wear it, but I do see them wear things they purchase from say, Target or some yard sale they visited.  So what happens is that you begin to wonder, "is my work any good", "why don't people like my work".  I have even stopped making jewelry for a time, thinking that "ok, it's just not going to be my thing" even though I love making jewelry and can't seem to stop doing it.  I always come back to it. 

WELL, yesterday, I vowed that I would make sure that I would attempt to engage everyone who came by in conversation. I would not care whether they liked what I displayed or not.  I like what I create and I know that there are others who will as well.  Some just said 'Hi" and kept walking.  That was ok. Some stopped to look and that gave me the opportunity to talk about whatever piece they were looking at which at times led to further conversation and sometimes not, but that was okay too.

Sharing the table with me was the scrapbooking instructor, which helped me because it gave me someone to chat with when there was no one around.  This helped me tremendously when people did stop by. Why?  Because I was already in a fairly animated discussion and it was easy to just turn it to the people who stopped by.

As a result, I signed up 2 people to 3 different classes and met some people that I would never have met, for instance.  I did not know after having lived in this area for 20 years that there is a gem and mineral society here locally that meets every month.  Now I know and I will get involved because they have classes in lapidary work and wrapping specific types of stones and even have a connection to another group that teaches glass work.  I am so going to love learning to create lampwork beads.  Plus I found out that if you take their classes, you get to use their machines for any work you may want to do.  Of course, it is limited as they are using them for their own work.  But this lady, Karen was sooooo friendly and I was so happy to meet her. 

Now I know that had I not "got out there", I would never have found out about the gem and mineral society or the glass work or that I could learn to create lampwork beads, which is something that I have always wanted to learn. 

So the moral to this story is that no matter what holds us back, we must find a way to put it aside for short periods of time to get through "a thing" and then we see that we really can and it becomes easier every time that you do it. I even had one lady who asked if I knew anything about knitting.  I told her that I did not, but I would try to help her as the stitches are similar to crochet.  I am thinking to myself, probably not, but it will keep her at the table.  So she went off to pick up a couple knitting needles and some yarn to show me where she was stuck, came back and I and the scrapbooking lady who used to knit some 30 years ago tried to help her.  Finally, I told her if she was just interested in creating afghans and other things like that, and was having a hard time trying to figure out how to handle the two needles, why not just try crochet.  I explained the difference to her and off she goes to pick up a crochet hook, comes back and very quickly I demonstrated several stitches to her and she is like "WOW" that is so much easier.  She purchases the crochet hook, the yarn and a couple pattern books.  I explained the terminology to her and told her to check back with the store as they may start having crochet classes again and if so, then I might be that instructor as well.  This ended so well for me.  She not only was grateful for the tiny crochet lesson, but she said, "I'm would like to learn to make jewelry too."  So she signed up for two classes.  Yay me.

Because I made myself "get out there" yesterday, I now know that I will not have any problems teaching my classes, which I was a bit hesitate about.  I create but was not sure that I would be able to teach.

I have to tell you "getting out there" is the best thing one can do for your art. But more than that "getting out there" is the best thing you can do for yourself.  It gives you an outlet for your thoughts, gives you ability to inspire or become inspired and realize that it is OK to be who you are.  We all have things about us we are not completely satisfied with, but yesterday taught me one thing.  There is nothing about me that I can't change if I want to but also that there is nothing about me that I want to change.  Except maybe lose a few pounds. LOL.

If you can't get out there yourself, how will anyone ever know about your art or you and what a wonderful person and artist you are?

Thanks for reading.


Cat said...

Well said indeed!!

Debbie Rodgers said...

Good article!

Yankee Burrow Creations said...

It is hard to put yourself out there...I used to do that, but I have recently discovered that lately I have become a homebody. Time to get out there again. thank's for the encouragement.