This was the first message I read when I woke up this morning:
Dear, dear Jane ……
…I’m going to take this chance to let you know how successful you have been!!!! While I haven’t posted to the Supplies Me class (no time for photos and posting yet) …. I have been practicing madly. I am simply THRILLED with my results. I don’t know if I can express the “gift” you have given to me.
I had an actual shift in my thinking, drawing, being.
I somehow know deep in my heart I can draw the faces I’ve so long yearned to do. Now I don’t struggle and cringe when I sit down to draw (practice), I do it with wonder, openness and joy. You have given that to me and I sincerely thank you.
I’m actually beginning to “see” the proportions and make adjustments as I go along. Best, best of all ….. I’m pleasing myself and it means the world to me. (I will try to get with the program and upload some work …. but there are just so many things to do and commitments I’ve already made …..)
You my dear, dear girl have a gift. I watch your interactions with the students and simply marvel at your kindness, encouragement and gentle corrections. You somehow always seem to find the right phrase to nudge and encourage people. It’s no wonder good things come to you as you just continually project them onto others.
I am sooooo looking forward to diving into the sea with you and Teesha. Another whole new world for me to visit, learn to see and then conquer!!! What fun! …
I get a lot of love letters like this.
Does making such a difference in another person’s life give me an inflated head?
Well, I do feel like I am floating at least a foot of the ground…but I think a heart-felt message like this puts
wings on my ankles.
The reason I felt moved to post this particular message is because Susie mentions not uploading her work in the classroom. And I just wanted to say that is totally OK! I just wanted to talk about this.
My classrooms are busy and there is always work being posted. But I know just how many people don’t upload their work. Way , way, way more than those that do! Mainly due to shyness but general busyness and lack of perceived technical prowess can take their toll too.
Don’t give yourself a hard time about it.
I am encouraging and rah-rah-cheerleader in the hopes that a few backflips and cartwheels will embolden my students to share their work.
It takes a whole lot more energy for me to do this – so why bother bolstering people?
Why try and rattle the shyness cage?
Well my friend, I know for a cold, hard fact, that sharing our work is a major step along the creative path. But until you are at that point inside yourself it seems totally and utterly impossible. Sharing your work with strangers takes a colossal leap of faith. And to up the challenge, the faith has to be placed in yourself. It’s a big deal!
So at the end of the day, I must leave it up to the individual. I am certainly not the Teacher breathing down your neck tapping fingers on the desk and handing out detentions for late homework! All I can do is provide a rainbow-arched taking off ramp and a star-strewn safety net. So don’t give yourself a hard time or have self-doubts about not uploading, or taking your time. It’s all ok.
But (… uh-oh – here comes my inner cheerleader…) when you share your work, and start getting comments and encouragement… well the butterflies that have been caged in your stomach are able to break free and roam. It’s an illuminating moment.
Do I sound evangelical at the moment? Probably. But this stuff lights me up! Every time someone uploads their work in my classrooms and Facebook groups, I am giving a little “hell yeah! Rock on baby! Get on with your bad arty self!”.
If you are doing an online workshop and sharing your work – delight and relish in the work of your fellow students. Encourage and embolden them with your comments. It’s as good for your inner health as their creative spirit! Let the self prescribed ‘lurkers’ feel welcome and what a wonderful experience awaits them.
If you are doing an online workshop and not yet sharing… well I am not going to pressure you to get ‘involved’, but I will be there to applaud you when you make that huge leap!
p.s. Before you ask, what I used in the Artwork: Panpastels, Montana Paint Pens in Malachite green and Make-up