Sunday, April 04, 2010

Finding Peace...

Today was a good day. It was almost perfect if you don't count the comment on the other post. But in its own way, it was a reminder of how blessed and fortunate I am. I am lucky to have the support and encouragement of so many people. I feel lifted up by this. I am able to do what I do – living a truly creative life, because of people out there in the world who believe in me and my work. I'm not rich in money, but I truly feel rich in the spirit.

One of my blog readers ended up tracking down the anonymous comment leaver. Nothing is ever really anonymous on the internet anymore. IP addresses are embedded and a gossamer trail of cookies is left behind. It stings what was written, but ultimately... that's not what hurt so much. What hurt the most was that it was left anonymously, like an edict or some kind of judgement.

The blog for me is about communication and opening dialogues. That's why I'm here. It's about building community through sharing. Sure, sometimes criticism is hard to hear, but there are ways to say anything. When I used to teach portfolio to young artists trying to get into art school, that's one of the first things we talked about. It was about giving constructive criticism. Not only is it respectful, but it teaches you how to root your reactions into words and to also learn from what you're trying to say. Sometimes all the lessons are right in front of you and you are the best teacher. Even if someone can't find the exact "right" words, perhaps there's an image, sound... or even smell. Dialogues can be comprised of more than just words.

Sure, I was disappointed at first, but I listened to the words... really listened... and there is truth to some of the comment. As an artist, I am self-absorbed. The work that I make is a reflection and a product of how I see the world. I am deeply rooted in the seat of my personal experiences. This blog is a slice of my thoughts, feelings, words and images. It is the quintessential expression of being self-absorbed. I'd like to think that I am sharing and that others out there appreciate what and how I share it, just as I appreciate so many of you out in the blogosphere.

Maybe I am a little paranoid, but my experiences have not taught me to react otherwise. Also, I do feel blessed and instead of just letting people walk all over me and take advantage of my work, I will fight to the death my right to make my artwork and live by it. I gave up so many years in service to something other than my Muse... and I wouldn't go back to that ever. I will fight for my blessings. I will fight for my passion. I will fight for my work.

My heart right now is no longer filled with hurt, but with gratitude for all that I am blessed with.


Pepita said...

I am impressed by your insight.

In my experience persons with a more than average talent (athletes, artists, performers etc.) are always more talented in "self absorption" too:-) You'd have to be to be able to totally focus on what it is you are good at. Some people turn into pure selfish people because of that. I do not see that with you. You seem more of a philosopher wanting to share your thoughts.

As to the "anonymous" feature; can't you disable it or state that anonymous comments will not be accepted?

Jeannie said...

It was left anomymously because they are a coward. Don't let a comment throw you off track and change your creative process.

I would have been hurt to.
I must have missed the post though.

As a "decorated" former tri-athlete and marathon runner I know the only way to stay focused and be the best was to be self-absorbed. Nothing trumped my training...not family, friends..nothing. I had the support of family and friends to push through, keeping me from getting distracted. I could not have done it without them.

I have no regrets and I would not have done anything different.

Just know you will always have the support of your friends here to keep you focused...and self-absorbed!

Davinia said...

I agree with Jeanie and Pepita, you have to be a little self absorbed or it would be impossible to focus on what you are creating. Some of us have a heap of distractions (family, work etc.) that allow us little time for self absorption and we crave it. I just don't understand peoples venom though. Yours is the second post I've seen in the last two days that has been quite vicious and I just don't get it. Keep creating Andrew and inspiring us, I always look forward to your posts.

Jeannie said...

Andrew, One more thing. I for one consider it a privilege to see your art work and designs posted on your blog for FREE.

I hope to see your face and name on a billboard one day here in Mpls and St.Paul with the date of your exhibit on it in one of our prestigious galleries.

I will be there with my face and hands pressed up against the glass waiting to get in.

Alice said...

I suppose there is always something to learn in every conversation, discussion, or comment. But to say that you shouldn't care about people stealing your ideas is unfounded. I wonder how they would feel if the shoe were on the other foot.

I admire the fact that you found something positive in the comment....

TesoriTrovati said...

I appreciate you Andrew. And I find it petty and cowardly to leave such a comment to someone, but more so because it is anonymous. If you can't say it with your name attached to it you shouldn't say it at all. People are so uncivil these days.
I am glad that you have put it all in perspective.
Enjoy the day.

Gaea said...

Great post! It is nice to have an open and constructive dialog. It's also good to step outside of our own heads and see things from a different point of view. Maybe this will be a reminder for us all to think before we speak. Many harsh comments are rooted in jealousy and fear. Maybe they just need a hug and someone to tell them they are OK, if they can not say it to themselves or have anyone to say it to them.

Diana P./Vintage Blue said...

It's YOUR work and if you intended for people to use it in their work and resell it it would be available for purchase in the collage section of the Arts & Crafts store. Posting something on your blog does not give people the right to use it for themselves unless you say they can. I'm amazed at some people's attitudes when it comes to using other's artwork.

Rebecca said...

I'm so glad you've been able to turn such a hurtful and ignorant comment into something positive - that really is a gift.

Margot Potter said...

I didn't see the comment yet, but I can tell you from my personal experience with you that you are not self absorbed. You share your ideas, your art, your thoughts and your feelings freely on this blog on a regular basis. By doing that you are showing other people that it is possible to live a creative life and to do what you love and have the money follow. That's an incredibly generous gift.

Those who can't see that are probably filled with a lot of self doubt and loathing and jealousy that stems from fear. Perhaps they'll find the peace that comes from knowing that we're all self absorbed to a certain degree and that's how it should be. One can't make great art if they can't explore the recesses of their psyche.

A great artist dives in deep and then shares the discovery with others and that is what you do every single day. Keep on fighting the good fight.


Margot Potter said...

And to follow now that I did read that comment, you have every right to create limits to what you're willing to share. The reason 'this group' keeps talking about intellectual property theft is because we have to educate the people who can't seem to understand that stealing someone's work for profit is theft.


Barbara Bechtel said...

oh my.

I love your blog Andrew. You are insightful and honest, and if you are at all self-absorbed, which I don't think you are, I'm pretty sure that is YOUR prerogative since it's YOUR blog. ;)

And I don't even think that comment fell in the realm of constructive criticism.