14 August 2016

The Fear of Enough

Just about two years ago, I started learning Calligraphy from Anne Elser in a class at work. I've always loved words. I've always loved art and design, but I never thought of myself as an artist.

Full disclosure, my very first email address was creativeclare@aol.com. I was slightly embarrassed by that for years, but a look at the Instagram usernames of creativeclare pulls dozens of results. I should've stuck with my guns and started by brand as a 12-year-old. I find it very interesting that the parts of ourselves we most enjoy are the parts that have been there all along. 

Anne's class (and my constant exposure to fabulous artists who don't consider themselves artists) flipped this script on me. Writing with a pot of ink and a dip pen became meditative and soothing. I wrote words and sentences and names that made me feel joy in a way that looked pretty, too.

Still, it's something I've enjoyed for myself. I haven't been ready to share a lot of my work because I don't think it's good enough. But you know what? Other people think it's wonderful. They're blown away at the simple strokes and compound lines. I see uneven spaces, a shake in my hand during the upstroke.

Why do we become our own worst critics? Why do we let our insecurities about not being the best keep us from showing the world what we can do? Why can't we just embrace that we are enough?

A long-time friend is getting married in November and I'm addressing 81 envelopes for her big day. It's a honor I'm not taking lightly and I want her to be happy with the results. But even more, I want to be happy with the results. I worked maticulously on each one, spending about 10 minutes on each envelope. Around envelope 15, I realized I couldn't make every. single. envelope. perfect. I would be able to look back and critique each one and I had to let it go. But for the wedding guest, that card will bring a smile and maybe a bit of joy.

Time's going by too fast to risk holding back our talents for fear, certainly for fear of it not being good enough. 

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