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Full of Ourselves

Painter Helen Ferguson Crawford posted this little cartoon on Facebook the other day.  I can really see why it would appeal to any artist and many women.



It seems like their is always a bit of a thin line between self promotion and being full of ourselves.  I suspect the line moves for each person so it's really hard to know where it is and how not to cross it.

Artists do things like go to school for many years plus do residencies and workshops and whatever else it takes to get really good at what we do.  Some people spend as much time learning to be an artist as someone else spends to be doctor or lawyer without the possibility of as great an income.  And then when they finally feel really good about what they've done they shout to the world about it only to hear the reply "that woman is full of herself."

Sometimes I'll start talking with a customer in my booth and say "I really love that pot."  Some people take it as a complement to their taste but some people give me a look that says "how dare you love something that you created yourself."  My grandmother would have been one of those people.  She believed we are supposed to be humble, not proud, don't toot your own horn or people will think you're an ass hole.  Actually, I just love the piece without any hidden agenda.

How do we tell other people that we made something and it brings us joy and we want to share that joy with them without sounding like we are full of ourselves?  How do we show our strength and our beauty without pissing someone off?  Or is the answer really that nobody would actually think a big, strong, beautiful tree is really an ass hole and a person that has similar characteristics to that tree is not an ass hole either.

Check out the gallery page - Future Relics Gallery by Lori Buff

Comments

  1. I have made pieces that I really really loved and I shouted it out to the world, I don't care. That's the great thing about turning 50. I have found, I really don't care what people think about what I am doing, I remember going to Mark Hewitts kiln opening when I was very new to pottery, and believe me he was really tooting that horn and everyone was swooning. Like most things, it's ok when a man does it!

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    1. Ha, yes Tracey, the give-a-eh!t level definitely drops as we get older and wiser, realizing how little some things matter.

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  2. Sometimes it may be the way we say how we love what we made, I've mentioned to folks how I was inspired by travel or something in nature to make a pot or described the process of how I made a pot or how I'd tried for a long time to achieve a certain look or effect, in those circumstances it seems to be taken as conversation rather than bragging, then again, if we don't love what we make then why would others? I can also remember saying I really hate to sell that piece or saying I'll miss it when it sells but glad it has a good home.

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    1. Hi Linda, I often have those same conversations with a customer and we both seem to enjoy it, only one has ever said "we just got here, we aren't ready to make a purchase." SLAP. I recently told a customer that I was going to miss a piece, as you have, and he started becoming reluctant to buy it. I am glad it's now with someone so thoughtful and sensitive.

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    2. hopefully they're don't become too reluctant to buy it. Ha.

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  3. I find I often wait until they have their wallet out and then tell them how happy I am that they love the piece as much as I do.

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    1. That's good advice Michèle. The thing is, we have to tell people that our art is great so they want to come see it and take their wallets out.

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