I had an artist/friend/acquaintance come in my studio yesterday and tell me how wonderful I am, how inspiring I am. How I just don’t let anything get in the way – am unstoppable, and she admires that in me. My heart skipped a beat. I wondered how she drew theses conclusions about me. I rarely talk about myself unless prompted, and don’t really air my accomplishments to anyone but my family, and a handful of friends, most, if not all are non-artists.
First of all, it is so weird how others perceive you. I have people, other artists, tell me kind things like that about me or my art all the time – but I never really pay attention to them. I have always had a hard time taking a compliment. I needed it yesterday though. It is weird when people think I am super successful and an inspirational role model. I don’t even know what I am doing half the time, and struggle some months just to pay the rent like everyone else.
I can be my own worst enemy. I try not to have bad thoughts, or make self-deprecating statements about myself – I really try and think positive thoughts and exude good energy – but yes, insecure thoughts creep in from time to time, sometimes I doubt myself, and suspect I am not really functioning at 85% or even 65% of my potential! I guess everyone has their own private pity party everyone in a while.
Secondly, I have encountered a few people that I have supported and rallied for over the years, but once they found themselves to have what they thought to be a marginal amount of success, they just chewed me up and spit me right out once they got what they needed from me, or achieved (or thought they have achieved) what they needed to in life. People will walk right on over you as they rise the ladder. It is sad, and a real eye opener. Recently, I have seen more and more of this occur among other artists because we are in a recession. It is a dog eat dog world (or “doggie dog world,” as we say in my house.) I guess it is “just business.” Many artists are hurting financially, and their friends become their competition. In turn, I, myself, am trying to be more business minded, and market myself more. I won’t be trampled. I am trying to look out for myself more, to put myself first, without thinking I am being completely self-centered, and self- serving. It is hard.
So it is nice to see that there are still decent people out there. Nice artists. People who are not just in “it” for themselves. People who don’t just ride coattails. People who are thankful, and actually appreciate all that you do/have done for them. Anyway, if you have a mentor, another artist, business associate, or even a friend/family member that is a big cheerleader, always rallying for you – one that has supported you and really helped out over the years – tell them! You never know when you will make their day.