This has been a challenging assignment. I’ve written lots, thought it was clear then decided it wasn’t. This will probably continue for a while yet. But here are some things I’ve been thinking and writing about.
- My committee includes people I care about and want to please. My mother - who has passed away now. She had no trouble telling me what she liked or didn’t like. I long ago gave myself permission to be different from her, to pursue my own interests and style. And she even liked some of the things I did! My father, who I would say was much more artistic than my mother, is not on my committee. I think he had a better understanding of where art and creativity came from.
- My committee also contains people whose work I admire and whom I feel I would not measure up to. I feel as though they would notice all the little imperfections. But I know that not only would they likely not notice, most of them would be happy to point out their own set of similar imperfections and agree that the overall effect is more important.
- My committee includes people that I think are very good at things that I’m not as good at. But when I go deeper into this I realize that maybe they just care about things that I don’t care as much about. I am quite particular about the things I do care about and I’ve realized that I if I make anything artistic with someone else in mind - if I try to make what I think they may like - I don’t like it much myself and so I judge it to be “not good”.
- My committee is really just me and my insecurity about putting my work “out there” for others to “judge” - really they’re not judging - they’re just liking it or not and we can’t all like the same things.
There have been critics in my life and their criticism never made me want to improve or change. Instead the Rebel comes out and marches me away from them. Of course this has sometimes meant abandoning whatever it was they were trying to teach me and doing something else instead, tossing out a path of learning along with the critic! But sometimes I just choose another teacher. I remind myself that this is something I do because I love it, and I stick with those who allow it to be enjoyable.