Look at this canvas I created as a sample for my Mixed media Canvas Classes...I am loving the mixed media these days!!
Today was a better day...I did what I always do when my creativity is in a funk...I WENT SHOPPING!!
There is nothing like wandering the halls of a craft store to spark my creativity. I don't know about you, but "OLD SCHOOL" craft supplies like felt, pipe cleaners, glitter, rhinestones, beads, even fun foam make me giddy! It's like I am five years old and I am creating my crafts along side the likes of my childhood hero "Mr Dress Up".
My other favourite "get out of a FUNK" activity...MAGAZINES!!! Today I picked up my second (next to Canadian Scrapbooker magazine of course) favourite read...Somerset Studio. Having already read my CS cover to cover several times. I didn't realize it but there was a fabulous article about Kelly Rea Roberts in it. If you follow my blog you know she was the instructor in my Flying Lessons. I love her!
Reading along, a line in the article stood out to me...not remembering the exact words here at 10:45 pm...it went something like this: She was talking about selling her images ( she is a fabulous artist) to be on products and what that meant to her authenticity. She goes on to talk about how she only works with people she has a genuine connection with!!!..... HALLELUJAH!!
I can't tell you how liberating it is to hear someone you admire mirror your own belief. In fact I have been seeing this message mirrored by a few professional crafters that I admire. Stacy Julian recently wrote about her own struggles with staying authentic in our industry.
I can't tell you how often I wonder if my choice not to be on a design team (other then Canadian Scrapbooker) is the correct one. I have learned through trial and many errors that you can not serve many masters...and you can't be fake. Two things that I think one can easily be lured into in this industry.
It is easy to be lured with the buckets of free product in exchange for a positive exclamation. It is easy to join the competition for who can be on the most design teams at one time. I am not passing judgement on design teams or free product (HECK NO!!!)...I just struggle with how authentic I can be when having to meet commitments and let product placement come before creativity.
Don't get me wrong...I believe and instructor/designers job in the scrapbooking/papercrafting industry is to educate the consumer so the consumer will spend, because with out spending, let's face it we will not have an industry.
It is sort of an age old predicament...How do you balance truth and consumerism? My only answer is to be authentic.
I would never lie and say something is fabulous unless I think so.
I chose who I work with...even if that means I will never get certain jobs,
and I make sure that those I chose to work with have the same belief and integrity that I want to have in my life.
I know some people will laugh at me and think I am naive for believing this. Yet, I need only go as far as my friend Cathy Allen to see what these beliefs look like in action. If I have half the career she has had I will be a lucky lady!