My first ISGB convention was a roller coaster ride of awe & amazement with a brain overload from the abundance of creativity there. Mix that with a heavy dose of envy of others’ talents, peppered with a tinge of jealousy that they were so far advanced from the pithily beginning place I was waddling in at the moment…I felt defeated!
Bead Making Pitfalls: Have you been there?
Rubbing shoulders with the greats of the glass industry can bring out all your inferiority issues. It’s like being in a candy store and craving everything your eyes light upon! It’s easy to fantasized big, imaging you could make every beautiful bead you drooled over. It’s natural to want it ALL!
Can you relate?
I know my coming from an artistic background and a successful selling career as a painter, I had high expectations for myself. What about you? It’s easy to get frustrated that you haven’t created such miraculous beads if you’ve put in long hours behind the torch. And we all want instant perfection… NOW! Needless to say, it’s natural to leave over-stimulated and totally intimidated from a bead show.
Driving home, I wailed to my husband about how horrible my beads were, feeling totally defeated. But truthfully, we’re all on a learning curve.
Comparison is the thief of Joy in Bead Making!
President Theodore Roosevelt famously noted that, “Comparison is the thief of joy”. Whenever we start comparing ourselves to the good fortunes & talents of others, we are doomed to unhappiness.
How true I found that to be. And it was all my fault! Instead of being thankful for having my eyes open to exciting, new possibilities in glass making, I focused on my lacks. And the more I waddled in my self pity, the more oblivious I became aware of others’ creative abundance that danced around me.
For many artists, the sting of jealousy hurts when others do better than they in competitions or sales. The self doubts & lack of self worth poisons our thoughts. Sadly, these feelings are guaranteed to disconnect us from our own bubbling spring of creativity.
Psychotherapist Diana Pitaru warned, “To create art requires a certain level of introspection and self-connection and when you feel envious and jealous, these capabilities vanish.” (Psychcentral.com)
Simply put, jealousy hurts our artwork. It literately blocks us from connecting with our creative spirit!
Similarly, rejection of our artwork is like a stab in our heart. Emotional hurts, envy, jealously… making art can be an emotional trauma ground.
“We feel justified in our envy and jealousy because we take our art very personally and often over-identify with the end results of our craft. The finished product is often the high point through the suffering, anger, frustration, and instability that the creative process can be filled with. And it makes sense, you take pride in the creative outcome because you see the positive things about yourself that otherwise would elude you. You put your entire self-worth into it and then if someone, more or less directly, expresses disagreement, you get hurt; that is, your ego gets hurt.”
Sounds like a vicious cycle?
Why does it seem we are glutton for pain as artists?
And how do we jump off this carousel of fragile egos and petty jealousies?
There’s no easy answer.
But here’s 5 suggestions that can help guide your way in bead making:
It helps to focus on our achievements. Things that you are truly “thankful” for. There will always be artists farther along the path than you. But there are others just beginning, way behind you. Remind yourself daily to be thankful for your art, your personal voice and the unique way you can bring joy to others!
Learn to enjoy the process. The Joy really is in the journey. Slowing down to just enjoy doing & being with your art. Stop hurrying to conquer that next challenge or technique. Being in the ‘flow’ is like communing with Divinity. It’s OK to just relish ‘being’. What a blessing that we have been gifted this ability!
Treat failure like a friend. It hurts because of the way you are viewing it. See it as an opportunity to hone in on your weaknesses. Embrace it as a learning lesson that guides & propels you straighter down your path.
This was a hard life lesson to learn for me. When I entered the glass scene, there was a hysterical frenzy of fear going on. It was hard opening up and sharing. (But that’s another story!)
Slowly, I’ve learned to give & help others. When you do, the strangest thing happens. It fills you with a self worth, a confidence, and feelings of overflowing Love & Joy! (It feels really, really fantastic!)
It’s scary ’cause you’re opening your heart and vulnerabilities to others. But you’re practicing non-judgement & unconditional love, which makes you a better person & the place a better world.
Get Out of Your Box
Try new things! You’ll know you’re there because you’ll feel uncomfortable, clumsy, and will surly fail! Our natural instincts fight against us taking chances ’cause it wants to protect us from hurt. (Don’t touch the hot stove.) But without stepping out we don’t move closer to who we are meant to be! Pushing ourselves by trying new things challenges your thinking & expands your expectations of yourself.
We’re Not Here to Play it Safe
None of Us Will Make it Out of this Life Alive!
We are here to explore life, find what thrills us, feel how good love can feel, embrace & conquer our fears. It’s called growing, & we’re doing the same thing that every other living being, plant, & animal that’s here is doing.
Being an artist and feeling the surge of life force pulsing through your body is exhilarating! Expressing the wonder of who you are deep down is a magnificent ability. Sharing with others this magical light is the greatest gift of all.
Stop comparing yourself to everyone else! Put blinders on and focus, explore & strive to unearthen your gift. Help others find their gift and know we are all special in our own way! It’s a wonderful journey and we’re all in this together!
(Got a tip for overcoming jealousy or rejection with your art? Share in the comments below!)
Happy Torching! 🙂
P.S. Want to know how I made this hydrangeas in the pendant? I used the exact hydrangea I taught in Tutorial 104…Hydrangeas. (<Check it out here) I also used head pins I taught how to make in one of my previous blog posts.
I’m almost through!! I’m working on the necklace part now. I wire weaved the leaves. I added hydrangea bud head pins plus a flower head pin. Then I added sterling silver balls to look like buds.
I’ll patina everything when I’m finished.
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