Funny how some things go full circle. Several years back I was making a name for myself in the Scrapbooking industry. Publications, design teams, even had my hand in a couple successful business. All of which is gone today. Something happened during my divorce that propelled me so far away from all of it I didn't think it would ever be a part of my life again. And yet, here I am. Stacks of patterned paper scattered all over my studio, boxes of embellishments lined up across the floor, a few completed albums and layouts (less the photos), and a sense of something old becoming new again.
My very first published layout. It was a happy day.
I spent part of the day going through an old box of layouts that never made it into albums. I haven't been able to even crack the lid on that box without wanting to throw up since the divorce. But yesterday was finally different. It was a box full of wonderful memories and a box full of potential. I was really a lot better than I thought. I didn't give myself nearly enough credit. There was something in that box I could be proud of. A long history of hard work and a lot of heart.
Why do we down play our talents and abilities? And why does it take years after, when no one else is looking, to feel good about what we did and what we accomplished? Why do we have to be so damn critical of ourselves all the time? I'm not even going to give it enough thought to answer those questions. In the end the answers don't really matter. The point is to STOP DOING IT. Which is now a goal of mine.
I can inspect every element of my artwork with a critical eye. Pick it to pieces and think of a million reasons why I don't like it, why someone else won't like it, why it's not worthy of being seen by the world. But I refuse to do that anymore. I understand now that while it may not be perfect, chances are it's probably better than what I really think it is. One lesson I fought so hard to learn when I was scrapbooking for publication was "even if you hate it, submit it anyway". I had layouts published that I thought were awful and should never see the light of day. The art world isn't really that much different. And posting items that are less than my favorite isn't a big thing for me anymore. It's just the whole not being able to see what is really there until way after the fact. It's time to let go of the ridiculous expectations I put on myself and let the love of just creating fully take over. It's time to stop over analyzing every single thing I create and just enjoy the ride.
I have started scrapbooking again. Not for myself yet. I've been making albums and layouts to sell. And I have to be honest and say there is a bit of a sting when my scrapbooking creations are running out the door and my artwork is moving along at a turtle's pace. That's another place I need to check my attitude. I cannot take for granted what I am good at, I will be grateful to have that talent and be able to use it to help my family financially. In the end it's all creation anyway. And I do still love scrapbooking. It's like that best friend from when you were a kid that you lost track of and ironically run into again after 20 years. The relationship changes with the years, but the impact it had on your life never does.
I look back now so grateful for the experience I had with the whole Scrapbooking shabang. I made some awesome friends, achieved things I didn't think I deserved or was even capable of, my business mind grew, my creativity grew, and it opened up the wonderful world of art and mixed media. And the little light bulb in my head goes off......maybe it's time to play match maker with my art and scrapbooking. :) It may be a beautiful marriage.