I was so sad when I found this after my demo last night:
The first demonstration I did was for a woman and two children – elementary and middle or early high school aged. Things were slow so it ended up being almost an hour instead of 15 minutes, which was fine. The younger girl took to it right away and was enthusiastic; the woman was your typical “I’m not an artist”; but the older girl was discouraged. She was an “artist”. Between perfectionism and being a girl that age, she was so hard on herself.
The tile above was hers. Midway through, she crumpled up her tile and refused to continue. Her sister and mother (or aunt, I wasn’t sure), and I of course, encouraged her to continue. Its hard to get through to someone who has there mind made up, especially when they’ve convinced themselves that they’re awful in some way.
So, this morning I straightened out her tile, and continued in the direction she was going. Here’s the result:
So many things to admire! I loved her treatment of Printemps, giving weight to some of the curves. The variant of Cadent we used, Shasta, just needed the shaping at the end of the lines. I finished up a few hanging lines, and added auras in the gaps and around the edge. Some simple shading and, poof! a lovely tile.
So many take-aways here:
- Keep going. You can refine your lines if you are not satisfied.
- Shading makes a big difference.
- It’s about the process, not the end product. I think this was her big hang-up, and I couldn’t change her mind.
- Expect the unexpected. If you have no expectations, you can’t be disappointed.
- There is no “ideal”. You are an individual, and your work is as original as a fingerprint.
I hope that you see this, red-headed girl. I hope that you can set aside your beliefs and consider what I’ve said here with an open mind. I hope that, in your pursuit of art, you learn terms like abstract, nonrepresentational, and asymmetrical.
I totally get it, by the way. I was a teenage girl, and I wouldn’t go back there for anything. I know what it’s like when compliments are hard to hear, when you believe awful things about yourself. I hope to be a person who helps build you up, not tear you down.
Ah, I’m sad. There are so many girls out there who feel this way. If you know one, please share this. Encourage them to express themselves in art, or in a journal (or in an art journal). Don’t hover, but let them know they’re not alone.