Sunday, October 22, 2006

Confidence (or how to grow some)




These are pictures of artwork that I find absolutely stunning. The *person who created these recently joined Imagination Tribe and has shared many of her fears and insecurities about her own art. I'm displaying these to show that talent and skill level have NO connection to our confidence level.

Her art speaks volumes. It is what I aspire to as an artist. Yet she deals with the same fears and grapples with the same insecurities that I (and so many others) do.
Many of us are acting as bulwarks against generations of fear perpetuated, against wholeness robbed. We are saying "no more" and plunging into the life of a creative regardless of the outcome. We are telling the universe that we BELIEVE, that we are worthy. We are trying to be a buffer for our children, so they can lay claim to their own gifts without the weight of second guessing themselves.

There is an article on this very topic, that this person posted yesterday. It brought me to tears because it speaks directly to my own journey:
"Just Like a Goddess" is a must-read in my opinion.

The only way to rid ourselves of these negative messages, is to ignore them. We choose the voices we will hear. I choose the voices of my sisters. I choose the voices of strong, beautiful women that create art or writing or cooking or whatever is in their hearts to create, with confidence and strength. I choose my gifts today. I choose the creative life. I choose to let joy be my guide, not fear.

*All artwork by Laura Bowman

13 comments:

laura said...

i am honored that you placed my work here. and your compliments are not taken lightly...they are taken to heart...all the way to the core.

i'm glad you posted that link to the article. i think every woman who hears the cry to be creative should read it. too many of us hide and wait, hide and wait. it is time to come on out and play!!

Ren said...

Come out and play for SURE!!
Have you ever read any of Sark's books? I especially adore the one titled "Succulent, Wild Woman".

the Contrary Goddess said...

ok guys, you know me, always the spoilsport, but I don't think there is a person on earth who isn't "creative" or "a creative".

I also think the only way to get rid of the insecurity voice is to simply not need external validation. Do what you'd do on a mountain with no one looking. Someone does not have to look to make it wonderful.

Or to make you wonderful. Which you are La. (and probably you too Wren, I just don't know you as well)

Ren said...

Well.....I agree and disagree.:)
I think we are all born ultimately creative. I think we are creative geniuses. I think most people are robbed of the ability to trust their creative selves though, and many never reclaim those gifts. I see it all the time.

And this is where we come to community. Many are born into families that are less than ideal, or have messages given their whole lives that take away that inner trust. At some point in your life, you choose who you are surrounded by and I choose to be surrounded by strong and creative people, so to nourish that in myself.

If our community mattered not, then we wouldn't be humans. Community does matter in my world...not as a method of validating myself (I'm pretty confident these days) but as a way to nourish my creative self and help me grow.

There is also a need for aloneness and time away from other humans to tap that river of creative ideas.....writing, art, all of it comes from deep within. It's about embracing it all.

And when we've been so damaged that we don't trust our own abilities, choosing a positive group of people to heal with is invaluable. That's why my creativity classes did so well. The goal is to help people excavate that which is within.....community can do that.

Ren said...

~~Someone does not have to look to make it wonderful.~~

I agree. That's where we get to "art for art's sake"...but not everyone can start there.

Tina said...

Thank you so much for sharing Laura's artwork and the story! I needed a "pick me up", so I decided to visit your blog. I knew I picked the right spot. :-)

I read about the Barenaked Family, viewed some BEAUTIFUL artwork and became further inspired to keep moving forward on my creative journey in which I have just embarked.

I am one of those people who were wounded along the way. I gave up my music and my interest in art as a child/young teen. I didn't start trying anything again until I was led to the Imagination Tribe recently at the age of 35. This means that it's been a good 20 years since I've fed my creative self!

Now, I am like a child. Everything is new and wondrous. I am learning to try again. I am discovering that everyone starts somewhere, and no one is a master of anything at their first attempt.

Yesterday, I mailed my 4X6 piece of art for the Day of the Dead trade. It is from a beginner. That is good, because everyone starts somewhere, and I started!

Tina said...

Thank you so much for sharing Laura's artwork and the story! I needed a "pick me up", so I decided to visit your blog. I knew I picked the right spot. :-)

I read about the Barenaked Family, viewed some BEAUTIFUL artwork and became further inspired to keep moving forward on my creative journey in which I have just embarked.

I am one of those people who were wounded along the way. I gave up my music and my interest in art as a child/young teen. I didn't start trying anything again until I was led to the Imagination Tribe recently at the age of 35. This means that it's been a good 20 years since I've fed my creative self!

Now, I am like a child. Everything is new and wondrous. I am learning to try again. I am discovering that everyone starts somewhere, and no one is a master of anything at their first attempt.

Yesterday, I mailed my 4X6 piece of art for the Day of the Dead trade. It is from a beginner. That is good, because everyone starts somewhere, and I started!

the Contrary Goddess said...

Community does matter -- as to what we can GIVE, not at all as to what we can get, because as long as we're there to get, we're skewed, out of whack, and not ourselves.

And we're all, every single one of us, "damaged" in some way (and La knows how deep my damage can be at times). But I hatehatehate the victimhoodology of seeing it only in that way -- ooooh I was hurt. You know, right now, this second, we can give ourselves what we need, what we want . . . or not. There is no was, no will be, just right now. It isn't up to someone else, and it isn't anyone's fault, even your own.

But I am radically in to self-responsibility. There is no savior, and nothing to be saved from.

And I also promise, I'm shutting up now! Much love!

laura said...

wow, so much activity. i guess if i want this sort of comment page on my blog i need to get at something that makes people edgy...i'm just kidding...i have no need or desire for that.

i have said before "we are all artists" yadda yadda yadda. but i think for some people it is a very deep place inside of us. being compelled to create is completely different than simply being creative. and it is when your desire is so strong, and the voices so insistent for you to create that you take the path to becoming what we call an "artist" in the widely understood sense of the word.

i'm not making sense...i'm just trying to express that it isn't so simple to just say "we are all creative beings" and call it done. and it isn't so easy to just pick yourself up and be "responsible" about our "damage". tell that to the person sexually abused for years, or beaten or worse! it just isn't that easy. when i was a teenager i was so naive as to tell my mom to just try to be happy and she would be. it is not that simple.

doing art for art's sake is something that doing the ATCs has allowed me to do (to scotty's great relief). i still have ups and downs with it, but the fact that i'm doing something that isn't just going to sit in my room and collect dust (it will collect dust in someone else's!!)is a big deal.

well, i've promised to take sadie to the park...bye ladies

Ren said...

Ok, I've got to weigh in again....:)

If all of us can give ourselves everything we need in any given moment then why would we ever need other humans? Nope, I disagree. We're herd creatures. We NEED each other, all of us to varying degrees.

I happen to be strongly community driven, which is why I would not enjoy a lifestyle that had me living far away from town or far away from a group of people I connect with on a regular basis, other than immediate family.

Yes, ideally people come into community with a strong sense of what they have to offer, what they can give, but community is about getting too. I wouldn't be a part of a community in which I was only giving, I'm obviously drawn to community because I want/need that community. Nothing wrong with that.

What would be the motivation to join any community if you weren't getting something out of it? Even if it's just human contact? Obviously there has to be a good flow of give and take, that's what I've got with the people I've chosen to surround myself with.

I started Imagination Tribe out of a very deep desire to create that which I did NOT have as I searched my soul and healed old wounds in regards to creative expression. I envisioned a group of women, all at different places in their journey encouraging and supporting each other.

That's exactly what has happened and the growth that I witness in myself and others in our "tribe" regularly, assures me that community is a GREAT way to assist the inner creative genius.

Humans come together to discuss, ponder, support, nourish, encourage and CONNECT with each other. That's what I like to give, that's what I like to get. Yin and Yang. Flow. Spirit connections. It's all good.

Danielle said...

Community is about relationships, and releationships, imo, are about give and take, not about all or only giving. That kind of relationship isn't sustainable long-term, imo.

I'm all about giving, but if I'm not also getting filled up in return—and giving is a big part of what I gain (i.e. what fills me) from relationships—I'll have nothing left to give. Wells need to be replenished. Gaia needs to be nourished and replenished or she becomes sterile and barren.

All give and no take throws the universe out of balance. My best relationships, those that excite me and fulfill me and sustain me, are those that are relatively equal measures of give and take. The people who speak to my soul do so precisely because they have something to offer me and because they accept my gifts in return.

I'd want to examine very carefully the mindset and voices that told me I should only give and was wrong for wanting to take. I want to give everything I have to this life while at the same time taking all I can get.

Amanda said...

I also love Laura's work, thanks for sharing. I am so inspired by this post. I get really down on myself and want to hide sometimes, I hid my work for so long that I stopped doing anything creative. I was like the woman in the story I thought it was pretentious, who am I to make art and why bother when it will be going into a dark closet.
I have been reborn into creativity recently and have found it to be scarey and theraputic to put it out there on my blog. I am much happier person when I create, I need to create and share it. The sharing part is essential for me, I give my soul on a piece of paper and in return I get alot of inspiration. Community is very important to me, I need to know I am not alone in my ideas.

laura said...

thanks amanda! i love getting your emails.

i see your work and i think "why can't i do stuff like that" but we aren't meant to do what others do. i always have to remind myself that what i do is me, what others do is them. i get into comparing and i start to feel like everything i touch is crap.

still it is hard to quiet those voices that tell me i'm not good enough. but i'm learning to create in spite of the voices and that is a big deal for me...a real big step.