Once upon a time . . .
I learned not to judge by appearance. God looketh on the heart and so should I. This includes the heart of a matter. Sometimes guidance comes in reprehensible-looking packages, so I’ve learned that even when I don’t like a particular word or expression, if my eyes can stomach the content (despite a flaw or two), then I can learn some really great lessons.
Such was the case yesterday. Below find a quote from one Mandy Jordan, a fellow art-journalist. (I have edited slightly. The quote has not lost its meaning.)
“the thing about journaling is that it is supposed to be personal. if you find yourself comparing your journal pages to others’, if you worry that you’re using material you “shouldn’t” or whatever, stop. I might even suggest you not join a group like this or otherwise make your journal open to public scrutiny if it makes you feel like you’re trying to fit in or compete or whatever. I used to read books on journaling techniques and take workshops and subscribe to magazines until I realized that as inspiring as it was, it was ultimately a muse-killer. I had to walk way from all that and go back to basics, to not [caring] what my journal looked like and if I was “doing it right” before I could find my voice again. I hope this does not offend. I just hear myself in your questions.”
After reading this I wondered if I would have the strength to quit my online art groups. I loved what I was seeing from others. And I got such good ideas for art exploration and imitation that I wouldn’t have had otherwise.
I want to spend my creative time wisely. It’s challenging to post my latest work, but it also feels good for me–in a helpful and enjoyable way. It would be easy (though a bit of a wrench) to quit, but if it weren’t for the group I wouldn’t be doing any artwork at all. The challenge to be true to myself but also make art worth looking at is a challenge I can cope with. I don’t have to post everything. I think I’ll stick it out for now and see how I learn to deal with situations that are tickly or sticky or tough.
Spend wisely and know when to walk away.