Confidence & Comparison in our Work

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Posted 3/20/2013 by looser in General Stamping
 

looser
The Craft Curmudgeon

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Posted: 3/20/2013 12:30:36 PM
In the past few days I have continued to read posts in which members appear to question their work by comparing it to others here. Some even seem to say that they don't share visuals due to loss/lack-of-confidence.

Tempted as I am to do a 'pish tosh' to them (privately, of course. ), I realize that this a very real concern for lots of us who have ventured into online communities such as 2Ps.

We are confronted with such an abundance of talent that--even if we've been stamping/crafting for years--we get a bit overwhelmed. We not only see fabulous projects, but have others tossing techniques & products like a 'Super Salad'. Small wonder some of us have to deal with 'creative overload', and 'stage fright'.

'Course we also have members of our merrie band who ooze confidence & have no need to compare their stuff with others.

While I can't speak for them, I will say that this member always struggles with both confidence & comparison for his projects. God's truth!

So... Anyone up to letting their back hair down & having a great chat about this topic?


Daniel R. Boone

howdyheidi
Oh For Peas Sake

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Posted: 3/20/2013 2:29:03 PM
Although I know I am one of those who expressed this recently, I don't think I usually feel this way. Usually I am able to think rationally about it:
I know a lot of folks who post are on design teams and it may not be fair to compare myself to them...
I am still learning...
It is all a learning experience...
We all have different tastes!...
etc...

When someone shows an astounding piece of work for a challenge, and mine is obviously not to that level, I think this is when this comes out. And I think especially in swaps this might be more likely to happen as you want to be an equal contributor?

It is a good topic, and I wonder what other folks think about it.



~~Heidi~~

lylacfey
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Posted: 3/21/2013 9:54:01 AM
Sorry it is long. I tried to condense it.

I know I said it earlier this week. I do get shy about sharing my work online. I have so many lovely stamping friends who love my work and really try to gently push me lovingly into showing off my work.

I have been stamping a long time. I was not exposed to the online world. I didn't even know there were stamping magazines until I got into the stamping online world. I made up my own ideas and just went with it. I was happy and content.

It was my Mom's fault why I got into the online stamping world, lol. She bought me the mice (House Mouse). I had to have all the stamps. My friends were really pushing me into creating again. I had just lost my daughter at that time. I didn't know it then but I was in a severe depression.

I get into the online stamping world. I joined a group. I showed off one of my cards. This lady essentially said to me "Why am I showing off that card? What products did I use?" I used my Cra-z-Art color pencils and Georgia Pacific cardstock. I did use Versafine ink. I told her that. She said "Why didn't you use a Scor-Pal?"

Now, I am all horrified thinking I joined this Scor-Pal group. I don't even know what a Scor-Pal is. I felt so bad. I told everyone I was sorry I didn't realize that group was for a Scor-Pal. This lady writes back and says to me something like this "It's not a group for Scor-Pal. You didn't use one so your work is not good. You need to get better color pencils. How do you expect to be accepted in the stamping community?"

I know about constructive criticism and just mean. I am sorry I think that was just mean. At the time I didn't because I was depressed and took it completely wrong and it devastated me. I bought the Scor-Pal but couldn't figure out how to use it because I am dyslexic. Now, I feel even more dumb.

I thought it was a one time thing and I started to get over it. Then it happened again and again. I am thinking "Who are those people?" "This is just a horrid community." It was just not me. I started seeing it happen to other girls. I had a girl come to me in tears because some lady screamed at her for not using Copics.

I wish I could say it was a small majority of stampers who have done this but I would say about half do. They get so focused on a product they treat people badly over it.

Took me a long time to come to terms with it. Now, I am just mad about it. The last one I heard was from a stamper who called another stamper/artist ugly and that was only a couple of months ago.

I am ready to show off my work. My work is unique and it makes me smile. I am saving up for a nice camera to do You Tube videos especially on my frugal techniques.


www.pinterest.com/faerydreams

gardencat
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Posted: 3/21/2013 10:06:36 AM
There is such a variety of knowledge 'out there' and so many different levels of experience and talent that it is often difficult to know where we fit in, in the big pool we think of as crafting.

There are the few who are extremely talented, extremely knowledgeable over wide areas, and very engaged in full time crafting, who probably blow most of us out of the water.

Then there are those who know a little bit about a lot of things but not all that much about anything, and those who know a great deal about a small area of technique or style but are pretty uninformed anywhere else. There are full time craft people who make a living crafting and there are people busy with other things in life who only manage to carve out a few hours here and there for craft projects.

I guess what I am trying to say is that I try not to judge myself by someone else's work because we are probably all in such different places, technique, knowledge and time wise, that it just makes no sense to do that.
If I see a beautiful project it might inspire me to try to improve my level but I try not to let it make me feel inadequate.

My biggest problem comes with offering ( or sometimes asking) advice when I am unsure of the level of expertise of those in the discussion. If someone asks about a topic where I know a little ( most topics, it seems) do I volunteer the little I do know, only to find out that other people have much more knowledge and I look like a bit of a dunce coming forward with my piddling advice?

Or do I sit back and not offer what I do know, in case it is too basic and elementary to be of use or, worse still, insults the asker that I would think they would need such basic info.

Mostly as I get older, I care less about people thinking I'm a fool and so I just go ahead, let the chips fall where they may and blurt out my scant little knowledge on the chance it might be of use.

Similarly with swaps, I wouldn't want the person receiving my piece to feel that they got gipped with a sub-standard piece so, going into a swap with people who I feel may be more talented or more advanced than my level does make me a tad nervous. I'm not so relaxed yet about letting the chips fall where they may here, since I know a lot of effort goes into many of these pieces and I'd hate to be a source of disappointment to someone who worked hard and produced a lovely piece, only for them to receive something they felt was below grade. (On the other hand, maybe receiving a less then stellar piece from me might make them feel even prouder about their piece and so give them a little self-esteem boost.LOL)

As far as posting projects... I don't usually post something unless I am at least somewhat satisfied with it ( except in cases where I post as a cautionary tale of "look what a mess you get if you do this!" but in many cases I can already think of things that might have been done better or at least different. Generally I am eager to improve so, if someone posts a suggestion or criticism, in a polite way, I am usually appreciative.

I guess my biggest apprehension occurs when I have a piece I feel very happy and satisfied with and maybe, in that case, I'm just looking for a pat on the back or someone to validate my satisfaction so posting it and attracting criticism would be disappointing ( like having someone tell you your baby is ugly. ).

I guess when you look at it, all our pieces are sort of like our babies and so, exposing them to the world and comparing them to other kids (who may end up going to Harvard or running in the Olympics) can be stressful but there isn't much point trying to keep them locked up in the house forever.






howdyheidi
Oh For Peas Sake

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Posted: 3/21/2013 10:09:15 AM
OMG Lyla! Those are terrible stories! I think it is a great accomplishment to use everyday art supplies to do lovely crafts! That is just plain rudeness and meanness that you experienced and I am so sorry that it happened.

I don't belong to other message boards, so I wonder where on earth this is going on!

Although the 2p's site has been having technical issues for a while, the stamping board has always been very friendly!!

I look at crafting partially as a therapeutic thing to do. I saw a person on a class message board ask why no one ever critiqued other crafter's work, because she often saw room for improvement and didn't understand why people were complimenting the work in the comments instead. Pretty much everyone took her to school and said that this is not appropriate unless the crafter asks for it as it is not the reason that people craft and share their work.

I hope to see some of your unique crafts in the near future, Lyla!


~~Heidi~~

gardencat
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Posted: 3/21/2013 10:12:52 AM

Wow lylacfey that sounds really horrible. I wrote my last post before I read yours and I think my attitude would be different if I had experienced something like that. Don't know how someone cold be so rude about someone else's work.

howdyheidi
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Posted: 3/21/2013 10:13:15 AM
I suppose we can add that money is an issue sometimes too, as far as what supplies you can afford. An example is a silhouette. It does create easily with cut files very beautiful cuts, but it is expensive too.


~~Heidi~~

looser
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Posted: 3/21/2013 10:30:59 AM
GC. Know what 'blows me away'? The sort of well-thought posts that each of you have written so far!

Great point about the 'swap-joining' thing! That can be a tuff call for many of us. Like you, I don't want to feel that my swapped piece doesn't measure up, but... The good news is that I have never felt that any StamPea has been let down & vice-versa. Even if they/I were, we all find ways to let others know we are grateful that they took the time to follow thru.

Lyla. I've heard similar stories about folks who are rude & such. That said, however, we communicate using words in our posts & comments. I am the first to agree that it's not always easy to communicate our 'tone' That's one reason I'm glad of 'smilies'. They help a bit. While I can't guarantee that you will never get a response here that you find offensive, I hope you will favor us with some pix soon. LOL on the videos! My dial up makes viewing way too hard, but hope you have fun doing & sharing them sometime.

Heidi. Yep! Them durn people who just have to WOW us are such a nuisance! I used to shock my students by telling them that they were never going to be able to do what I do. But I followed up by explaining that I wasn't talking about talent--just that I do what I do & theirs will be what they do. Comparison is (to my mind) not a 'bad' thing unless it immobilizes. As you point out, we all reach levels in our own way & in our own time.


Daniel R. Boone

yellowcherrios
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Posted: 3/21/2013 10:49:37 AM
O that is so wrong Layla! So sorry you had to endure that! I too am only apart of Twopeas and have never experienced that here! Sound to me like you found a few groups that were not appreciative of people and art---which is too bad for them, b/c the knowledge you have shared with me about inks etc is great!!! They totally missed out on learning from and with you!

Sometimes in the past I was hesitant to show something I made b/c I didn't use a silhouette---I just cut it out by hand---and I was afraid people would just see how "unprofessional" it would look RATHER than that I made it by HAND instead of with a machine---not that I am putting down the machines--I have a Slice I enjoy using---this is just one example I am using. Same could be said with making your own BG instead of using PP, making own embellishment rather than store-bought ones, etc.

I also used to look at how much those "Like" and "Bookmarked" on the projects page--it seemed those with more professional looking cards get more of those---now I don't notice really.

There are times I would look at the gallery when I first joined Twopeas and would LOVE a card----and I was thinking at that time, that everyone hand made everything on their cards. I didn't know about all the papers, embellishments, etc you could buy. I didn't realize that some were taking what I thought were scrapbooking elements, and making cards with them. Well I figured it out after reading one description, and was ---well for lack of better word---embarressed that my cards do not look so professional. I know this may sound harsh, but I would disregard "those" cards b/c they weren't handmade. But then I thought about how that person STILL had to design the card---and THAT is sometimes the hardest part! So now I don't look so harshly on "those" cards. But I do appreciate and enjoy seeing cards that I know were totally handmade! That is why I am so glad I found this group here on Twopeas b/c we all share in that (from what I can tell)---but then we can also use some of the premade items and things made on Cricut, too.

Gardencat, I would encourage you not hesitate to share ANY info you know about something---no matter how basic; you never know if they way YOU explain it/answer the question just might be the way someone else can understand. When I read answers to things or instructions to projects, there are some things I know how to do, but I don't disregard that info b/c sometimes you can learn a tip (they may not had even seen their instructions as holding "tips" to help you or expand your knowledge with an item.

One thing I am appreciatve of from college--that I wished everyone could be "made" to do in some form or another---is that we had to listen to recitals and critique the soloist. And with one teacher you HAD to say something positive about the performance---and there were times where really all I could think of was "I like the dress she picked to wear." But the experience made it where I appreciate (I think) more of the work and efforts of others. Well also having to take a piano class---THAT really made me learn to appreciate art/performances/abilites of others!!


Melissa

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Posted: 3/21/2013 11:03:28 AM
lylacfey-I am so happy to hear you have created your own style of stamping and are happy and content with it! Sounds like a true artist to me

So very sorry you had such a terrible experience in your first online group. I have been a part of several groups over many years and found negative criticism to be the true exception. There are many groups where you can share your talents and usually it is easy to walk away if it doesn't work for you.

Generally I have found stampers to be positive, upbeat, complimentary and extremely supportive in sharing their crafty knowledge. Hope you find the place that feels like "home" to you...and of course it would be great if that is 2Peas.

Sure hope we don't have to wait too long to see your art!


...Jan
Blog: http://farnorthdesigns.blogspot.com/


SWLady
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Posted: 3/21/2013 11:42:15 AM
Well, see, here I was hesitant to post on this thread until others posted, LOL.

I belong to a few other forums but don't frequent them. When I found this forum, I immediately felt at home even though I have/had very little experience in card making and hardly any at all in stamping!

I would not stay in a place where the criticism as told by lylacfey! I have enough criticism on myself! LOL.

I still hesitate to post every project. I am always comparing myself to others and think it shows that I am inexperienced. But that is not a bad thing. I think looking back at my first few projects and comparing them now shows improvement. So that is good.

As far as swaps, I hesitate to join, again due to inexperience. But I am loving the tag swaps and I think I learn new techniques from some of these as well!

And it's y'all's fault that I am buying all these new stamps! Hahaha!



Kathy in WI


Imagination is more important than knowledge. Albert Einstein

looser
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Posted: 3/21/2013 12:05:45 PM
Melissa. LOL on the 'one positive comment'! Back when I taught a variety of craft classes I often had students whose confidence was so low it was below 'see' level. Since teacher (& sometimes fellow students) comments were often part of the class, we always had each student first tell us what they liked about their own project. It gave us a sense of how they felt & made it much easier for others to provide honest comments of their own. I remember one student in a florals class who said the only thing she liked about her arrangement was that she put the flowers in 'rightside up'. We all laughed & applauded her--then showed her how much more she had gotten 'right' &,,, How to 'fix' what didn't 'work'.

I repeat that I am thrilled with every post! No smoke being blown by me--I promise. So let me ask y'all...

What (if any) things increase your willingness to share work & ideas here on our forum? (I think its the 'best' forum, but don't tell the other Peas I said so ).

For me? While I get a good share of applause for my work & other, I like it when folks offer ideas of how they might have approached a similar piece or provide me with specific comments about its composition, etc. That said... I don't expect that level of commentary for everything I share in my gallery.

I also try (again...how it's worded is important) to make it clear that when I offer ideas for variations & such it is not a negative comment on what the poster has shared. KWIM?


Daniel R. Boone

lovepug2
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Posted: 3/21/2013 2:23:55 PM
This is such a good thread, I've enjoyed reading up on everyone's responses.

I often feel inexperienced and sometimes hesitant to show my work since I'm fairly new to stamping but this board is so welcoming that I am getting over that. I have learned so much here since I joined 2p's! There are so many techniques and styles that I want to try that I've seen displayed on other Peas work. So please no one hold back! It's so fun to learn new techniques and see others styles.

Kathy, I'm so glad you are enjoying the tag swaps! I've been learning from them too and every tag is so different and I think that anyone would be lucky to own any of the tags that have been created.

Lyla, that's so mean! Some of my favorite cards or projects that I've made where using some of my dollar bin stamps, Georgia Pacific paper and crayons or colored pencils! I think some people associate $$$$ or the newest, latest and greatest products the best. Daniel did a crayon challenge and a copy paper challenge sometime last year and the cards that were submitted were amazing! I hope you will share some of your work with us and join in on some of our swaps and challenges. I would love to see your work!


LeighAnn
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Christinmay
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Posted: 3/21/2013 8:22:01 PM
My goodness, what an intense thread - I think I'm going to have to comment on other people's posts in batches!

Firstly, Daniel, I'm surprised to hear that YOU sometimes lack confidence - you hide it well!

Geez, lylacfey, those people's awful comments actually made me LOL, they were so ludicrous (but I realise that they would have gone completely to heart for you at the time, and for that I'm angry that people would be so awful!). I sincerely hope (and believe) that you will never come across such crap on here - I've been here a year and certainly have not seen any of that.

I agree with what GC said about different levels - I don't judge my own abilities because I know I have so little free time and have other hobbies. What's the point of comparing myself to someone who is, say, retired, or who does crafty stuff as a job.

And, GC, I really just love holding something that someone else made - even if I may not technically "like" it - so I don't worry too much about being good enough for a swap. It also helps that everyone here is so warm and accepting!

Daniel, LOL, you sound like such a cool teacher.

Melissa, I'm also surprised that you, too, lacked confidence! Quite honestly, I always considered you as someone "out of my league" craft-wise. Hmmm, makes me wonder if I'm actually completely brilliant, but don't realise it (like you people!)...

Kathy, IKWYM about feeling "at home" here. And don't worry about not measuring up in swaps - I loved your January tag!

Phew! Done. Now to my thoughts...

I feel so completely comfortable here that I don't worry about sharing my work. Some of my pieces are a bit dodgy, and I say so in the comments, but it's all a learning experience... and fun!

Seeing other people's "less than perfect" pieces gives me confidence, too. If everyone just showed their outstanding ones, I probably would feel too shy to share!



Christin

lylacfey
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Posted: 3/22/2013 5:34:35 AM
Thank you all for the sweet words. That happened a few years ago in an e-mail group I was in. Luckily for the most part Message Boards I have been on everyone has been supportive and kind. I only had one Message board that the women were just absolutely horrible. That one almost made me give up on paper crafting. I won't go into it because it will upset me again. The way I look at it something has happened to these women in their real lives to be so angry they can only hurt by hurting others online. You know that safe behind your monitor motto. I took a good look at myself online. I let myself be targeted because I don't take up for myself online. In real life I do. I don't know why I was acting like that. When I am online I want to be the lady you might meet at the craft store. I don't want somebody to meet me and think "Oh she is a completely different person online." My Mom told me she always admired me for taking up for others and myself. Why I was allowing those women online to bulldoze over me?

yellowcherrios- I have a Cameo & Cricut. I buy lots of pretty things. I really love to fussy cut. I love to make my own embellishments and paper. Most of my creations are making my own fussy cuts, embellishments and papers. Fussy cutters are some of the most talented artists in the world. I have seen some work that those die cut machines will never ever be able to do.

Gardencat- Please share your knowledge. I was shy about sharing knowledge too.


www.pinterest.com/faerydreams

looser
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Posted: 3/22/2013 10:08:12 AM
Christin. Thank YOU for a wonderful post!

Far as 'hiding' any lack of confidence? Thanks for the compliment. My B.A. is in Theatre (performance & tech) & Public Address. I am also a trained demonstrator. First rule? Never let them see you sweat (too much). Like any artist, I often have confidence issues in my own work. Not usually the tech part so much as the esthetics. That said, however, I am pretty self-assured most of the time.

And thanks for the 'good teacher' comment. Yes. I am a good teacher. And I base that confidence on the number of students who have told me so. My method of teaching is based on the knowledge that no 2 people learn at the same rate or in the same way. It's up to me to find what works for them--long as they are willing to put in the effort to actually try doing the whatever--not just talk about it.

One of my greatest joys with our group is that we have so many individuals who not only share their work, but have the patience to teach us how we might emulate them in our own way.

And I love the way you put it about the 'love' & 'not like', Christin. I too have received items that are not to my 'taste', but I treasure them because the sender liked (& trusted) me enough to make it for me--as well as themselves.

One aspect of building confidence in our work (& willingness to share it) is the trust factor. Without getting all sappy about it, I trust every member I know here on our forum.


Daniel R. Boone

yellowcherrios
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Posted: 3/22/2013 1:09:46 PM
Christin you are so sweet! I thank you for the compliment and sweet words!

Lyla, thank you for the encouragement on simplicity! I know exactly about what you are talking about the art of fussy cutting --- called "paper cutting". Here is the art work of a professional paper cutter, Hina Aoyama---she has a flickr account I found of her work:
Hina Aoyama's photo stream of her work Simply amazing!

Daniel to answer your question of what makes us willing to share out work, my answer I hope does not sound selfish, but the answer I keep thinking of is b/c of everyone responding. What I mean is b/c of other Peas responding to threads/post/gallery postings, that keeps me wanting to share with y'all---I guess b/c we're all actively engaged in an idea or learning something. I really think that if no one responded to me (sorry, that makes me chuckle)---but if no one responded to me, I think I'd lose interest in posting my work. The gallery for me, is not a catalog for myself to use--at least not yet---sometimes I do look over what I have posted---but usually that's to share with someone else something.

There are a couple of questions I wanted to pose to everyone (I'll put them in blue to separate from my answers):

Does anyone feel that when (or if) they have a lack of confidence, that it's tied to doing something outside-of their-box or out of their style?

I know I sometimes feel this way when I do challenges or techniques that I haven't done or I know I have trouble with.

My other question: If you make a card/project that you really like and think you did well with, do you feel pressure to do AS WELL with the next project/card?

I have this problem if I make a great birthday card I really like how I did for someone and then the next birthday for that person I feel like I have to do just as well. Or I have to do just as well for the next event they receive a card for. I am getting better with this b/c I realize that "like" is in the eye of the beholder.



Melissa

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Posted: 3/22/2013 4:08:16 PM
My-Oh-My!
As I've aged, I've learned that some people are just MEAN! Lylacfey, I'm sorry that you've had all that negativity dumped on you. Art is not a competition, it's a process. I can safely say that the people who frequent here are some of the kindest, most open-minded, creative people that I've met collectively.
These lovely souls have always been supportive of trying new techniques and helping each other muddle through the creative ups and downs. And I am grateful to them all for creating such a positive place.

Now that I think about it, more productive ideas are shared here than any other place that I'm aware of.

And I try really, really hard not to compare work. In my opinion, it's just a bad thing. Nothing good can come of it. Instead, I try really, really hard to focus on learning from other people. Maybe I can learn from their mistakes, but more often I learn from their attempts. Good use of product; Good composition; Good color combination; there's always something good.

...oh...and we're frugal too!


Does anyone feel that when (or if) they have a lack of confidence, that it's tied to doing something outside-of their-box or out of their style?

YES! Sometimes trying new things is awesome. Sometimes it's stressful.



My other question: If you make a card/project that you really like and think you did well with, do you feel pressure to do AS WELL with the next project/card?

YES! Isn't it silly? And then I think of baseball players. They don't have to get a hit 100% of the time to be considered good. So neither do I.




Be sure to check out my blog at http://michellezerull.blogspot.com/

JessieMoon
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Posted: 3/22/2013 4:57:06 PM
Its good that this is being discussed.
Always better to discuss and learn and then move forward then to just sit quietly and feel badly.
Cheers!

lickeyan
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Posted: 3/22/2013 5:05:16 PM
I am being silent only because I appreciate so much, what has already been said. A threat thread and great responses.

I consider this to be a "be yourself" board and we are all accepting of each other and each other's talents.



lylacfey
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Posted: 3/23/2013 5:48:29 AM
yellowcherrios- Oh my gosh hinaaoyama's work is absolutely amazing. I about fell out of my chair when I opened the Flickr page. I follow a lot of paper cutting artists but I am blown away right now. Thank you for sharing.


Does anyone feel that when (or if) they have a lack of confidence, that it's tied to doing something outside-of their-box or out of their style?


No, not really and then yes too. I love to try new things and if it turns out to be a disaster that's ok because I learned something. I don't have to share it. Other times it can be frustrating because I am dyslexic. I know I can do the technique but I am just not working it out in a pattern.




If you make a card/project that you really like and think you did well with, do you feel pressure to do AS WELL with the next project/card?


No, because I know it will never turn out the same. My Mom was a professional crafter back in the 1970's & 1980's. She put a lot of pressure on herself to make the next project beautiful. She was really unhappy and mean over it. I think this is why I don't pressure myself because I saw what happened to her. She went on a skid burnout she never recovered from. I actually see a lot of that in the crafting world, especially since blogs are so relevant now. It does always make me sad when I see that happen to another artist/crafter. I stick with my motto if it failed I still tried and I learned something from it so it's not a fail to me.


www.pinterest.com/faerydreams

looser
The Craft Curmudgeon

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Posted: 3/23/2013 10:19:58 AM
LOL, Lickey! 'Least you're not 'lurking'! Good point about 'be yourself' here.

Melissa. Good Qs! Far as out-of-the-box? LOL! That's where I live in terms of confidence--even to the point of being a bit cocky about it.

Feeling pressure based on previous work? Absolutely! But... I try not to let it be the most important aspect of my work. And that is sometimes difficult.


Daniel R. Boone

simplystamping
PeaNut

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Posted: 3/23/2013 12:32:55 PM
I am sorry that others have chosen to belittle your work Lyla. We, as stampers need only compete with ourselves. Trying to better ourselves each time we put stamp to ink to paper. I would like to say to those who choose to say things that hurt, "how were your first cards"? How would you have felt if someone had been negative towards your creations? We need to lift people up, not put them down. You can always find good in something.. I know I sound like a polyanna. Keep crafting your creations Lyla and ignore the comments.


Happy Stamping and Creating
www.simplysaidwithkaren.com

Karen - Love what I'm doing, Doing what I love

gardencat
Jeepers PEApers

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Posted: 3/23/2013 10:22:23 PM
Oh heck, lylacfey I just wanted to quote your post and respond to it but I accidentally hit the "Report Potential Signature Violation" button.
I was just posting on another board that has a quote button up in that same area. Hope I haven't set the signature police on you!

What I wanted to say was that I hear you on the burnout issue.

Sometimes it is a thin line between challenging yourself, and taking the joy out of your work. Creativity, for me, requires the ability to play at things, try new things, sometimes go off in unexpected or tangential directions, all of which requires time and doesn't fit well with rigid deadlines.

The idea of a blog, that is expected to be out at a given time, time after time, kind of requires you to stifle those creative tangents and to produce something 'safe' that you know you can have ready for next Tuesday at noon, or to be willing to post a blog that you are not terribly proud of, because you followed one of those tangents that didn't work or didn't get completed within the time frame.

That can be a lot of pressure, especially if you are hoping to derive income or reputation from that blog.

I used to make and sell jewellery.

When I started, I made each piece because I had an idea or a sort of vision that I wanted to realize, or at least, because I wanted to try a new type of stone or new technique and see where it took me but, once I started selling the pieces, I began to start thinking in the back of my mind, "what do they want ?", "what has been selling?", "are these colours in fashion?.

As I started selling more and had my pieces in a store, the pressure became even higher since you need to sell enough to pay the rent and other expenses, so you start having to think that a certain design you might like to try, is just not going to be economically feasible. ( Too labour intensive to be done at a marketable price, too 'out there' to appeal to the cliental that frequents your store... etc.)

For me it began to suck a lot of the joy out of making things. I admire people who can make a living from arts and crafts, either by making things that may not be their exact vision, but give them some satisfaction and are saleable, or by sticking to their guns and making what their heart tells them too, pricing them at what they are worth, and having faith that the customers who will appreciate there vision will be found, but I don't think I am one of them.





lylacfey
PeaAddict

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Posted: 3/24/2013 3:06:40 AM
gardencat- That is funny. I am in so much trouble on 2Peas now, ROFL! If you all don't hear from me you know why. It's gardencat's fault, lol.

I heard everyone hits that report violation button. I heard of members reporting themselves. I think 2Peas is used to it.


www.pinterest.com/faerydreams

looser
The Craft Curmudgeon

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Posted: 3/25/2013 12:01:04 PM
Lots more excellent posts (& additional Qs)!

Comparing work: I think it has some positive aspects--depending on how it's approached. For instance... Let's say I'm employing a particular process/technique or form of design composition. If I am able to compare what I've done with similar work from others, I may gain ways to 'improve' my own. More on this later in the post.

'Burnout'. I While I can see how you tied it to confidence, Lyla (great post btw), I think it's worth a separate thread. It's a good topic. And not just for those who sell their work. Watch for it. (LOL! Coming Attractions?!)

Melissa had a good point about response being a confidence builder--not necessarily pure praise, but people willing to say 'something' about the work we share. Without apology, I am a 'forum snob'. I am far more apt to look at & comment on work done by people who also post on our forum. Doesn't mean I ignore non-forum members; just don't go out of my way to find their stuff.

Now back to comparison... I will be dead honest, folks. Anytime I look at anyone's stuff I am 'judging' it. Yep! Know what? I 'judge' my own work, too! Comparison is (for my money) a natural instinct. How we deal with comparing is a whole different matter.

When I compare (judge) my work--past & present--I often see 'improvement' & that builds my confidence, but also lets me see where I might improve technique & such. 'Judging' the work of others is a given, but not necessarily a matter of finding theirs wanting. Even when I think so, I make darn sure I keep my judgement to myself!



Daniel R. Boone

howdyheidi
Oh For Peas Sake

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Posted: 3/25/2013 12:28:42 PM
What a fantastic thread. I am not sure what else I can add. I do think that we are a friendly group, and that helpfulness and support is shown in this thread.

I also was a bit surprised by some of the comments of some members' feelings, whose work I like so much!

A couple things: I also find it motivating in sharing my cards to receive comments and feedback.

I definitely sometimes feel a bit of burnout, as others have described.

I think that by trying new things, it actually increases the likelihood of my not minding sharing that piece. I mean, I can then justify any mistakes with inexperience, which must really work for me. Maybe that is the reason I continue to identify myself with being a beginner?

However, I do feel some letdown when I do something I really like, and then follow it up with a couple projects that are duds. Being a part of a group like this helps, by having constant inspiration via challenges and sharing of our work.

I also appreciate all comments in answering a question on the message board. While you do run the risk of saying something that the OP already knows, it can be helpful to newbies, people who are afraid to post, etc. And it can help initiate more conversation.


~~Heidi~~

looser
The Craft Curmudgeon

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Posted: 3/25/2013 12:48:43 PM
Another terrific post! TY, Heidi!

LOL on your 'beginner' comment! Yep! In some way we are all 'beginners. Acknowledging that we have moved from that level--in any way--is a scary proposition for most of us. Not only does it require self-confidence, but also leaves us open to being used as resources by others. And--for good measure--we are reminded that we shouldn't become conceited...

Case in point... Even when I had had numerous projects, designs & more in print, I continued to pooh-pooh it when folks refered to me as an artist. Instead of saying "thank you" for compliments, I would regularly do the "this old thing?" response. Talk about conceited! Hopefully I'm better at accepting these days.


Daniel R. Boone

howdyheidi
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Posted: 3/25/2013 1:02:43 PM
I forgot to add that I appreciated Daniel's comments on judging. I don't think judging should be a bad word. Friendly judging, comparison and competition can be a good thing and lead to better work overall!


~~Heidi~~

loveallcrafts
AncestralPea

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Posted: 3/25/2013 1:28:57 PM
Wow, I have been away from this board for awhile and come back to such a great post, another good one Daniel...as always
I have read everyone's replies...so much insight on here

Lylacfey so sorry for the loss of your daughter.
I am not sure why other people have to be so mean, I have had a few mean comments on my YT, and just ask them what they mean by that. sometimes they answer, but most times I don't hear back from them.
I don't understand why if someone doesn't like what I did, they just don't move on.

Not sure if its confidence I have, but I don't have a problem sharing my cards and projects. I even share the ones that I am not so happy with, or that I have messed up on.
No one is perfect and I like to share how I fix my messes (like when I dropped my dark blue marker on the face of my finished image I coloured, lol)
I don't compare myself to others....I will look at other crafters cards and am blown away by their talent. But don't worry that I am not as good as them.
I create because it is fun, not because I feel I need to compete or be the best.

I call myself a crafter not an artist. I don't think I am an artist and I don't want to put that kind of title on myself...too much pressure, lol.
There are too many things I want to learn, creatively, that I can never perfect one area, lol.

I don't think you need the latest and greatest of materials to create anything.
I find I am more creative with the less stuff I have, don't ask me to get rid of my over abundance of supplies though

Tracy




Christinmay
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Posted: 3/25/2013 4:42:59 PM
Heidi, IKWYM about hiding behind the "beginner" badge. I do that, too, and get worried that when I can no longer realistically do that (in ten years' time ) that I won't have an excuse for crap work.

And Tracy, you reminded me of something - I, too, post the projects I don't like, but I just realised that it's a "lack of confidence" issue that I always make sure to mention that I'm not happy with them, cause I'd be mortified if people thought that I thought they were good!


Christin
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yellowcherrios
StuckOnPeas

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Posted: 3/25/2013 6:25:06 PM
I do like seeing everyone's mess-ups b/c I think we all learn from them! I know I have! (your "marker falling on the face" dilemma really has me courious Tracy!---like a good cliff-hanger: I want to know what happened!<-- closest thing I could use to show "on-the-edge-of-my-chair feelings! lol!)

How does everyone feel about partial work? My example is currently and over the weekend, I was trying to work out a completed project for Daniel's egg-tastic challenge, but all I have are partial ones; I am stumped for what to do. I feel right now that if I post what I do have, that "that's not good enough" b/c there has been some great pieces submitted---oh, I just compared myself to everyone! There is one piece that even if I do not finish I want to show b/c I thought it was neat the outcome thus far....

I had one thought that's kinda far-out, but sometimes my lack of confidence is a motivator for me; it makes me want to try again or see if I can get similar results from someone else (I made these 2 distinctions b/c one is me --- using Daniel's word---judging myself and the other is me comparing myself to another possibly). Now I know a lack of confidence can also discourage one and even turn them away from trying/completing a project or hobby----so I know there is a line between being motivator and a deterrent.


Melissa

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Posted: 3/25/2013 8:06:43 PM
Haven't read all the responses.....sorry.

My thought on on confidence and comparison is this:

When I compare my projects to say, some like Anne (oops, her PeaName escapes me at the moment)....well, I always think her work looks professional and mine does not.

However....when I compare it to no one but myself, most times I am very happy with the final product. Except for the Stampfest challenges, because often those are technique-based, and unless my project comes out real good, I consider those to be "samples" for my next attempt.

Anyway...there is my 2 cents...




Far North
AncestralPea

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Posted: 3/25/2013 9:17:58 PM
Melissa-FYI on other forums, folks frequently post partial work when they are stuck and ask for suggestions. It is always interesting to see the range of free advice that comes forward. No obligations to use any of course. Sometimes the suggested present totally new considerations. I am sure anyone could do that here if they desired.


...Jan
Blog: http://farnorthdesigns.blogspot.com/


yellowcherrios
StuckOnPeas

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Posted: 3/26/2013 11:54:25 AM
Thanks for the FYI and the encouragement Jan! I think I will take some photos today and post to ask suggestions.


Melissa

yellowcherrios
StuckOnPeas

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Posted: 3/26/2013 12:01:50 PM
What about the other side of the coin:

Have you ever had a project that you really liked and think (or know ) you did really well on, but you were too afraid to share?


Melissa

looser
The Craft Curmudgeon

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Posted: 3/26/2013 1:05:01 PM
Melissa. Short answer is "nope", but... When I was doing pro-work I did have to be careful not to automatically show all my projects off before I had them under contract. That was just good business, however, and I always had one or ewo trusted peers that I could run things by.


Daniel R. Boone

gardencat
Jeepers PEApers

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Posted: 3/26/2013 1:25:41 PM
Well, I think I sort of touched on this when i said before that sometimes if I have something I am very pleased with, it is more anxiety laden to post it because, if it gets criticized it will hurt a little more than if something I wasn't totally satisfied with elicits negative comments.

The human psyche is a strange thing, isn't it?

looser
The Craft Curmudgeon

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Posted: 3/26/2013 1:32:28 PM
LOL, GC! Yep! But think how much we all save in therapy bills by doing our time on the couch here @ 2Ps!

I agree with you about the emotional investment with sharing work we believe in completely. Sharing it with my fellow StamPeas would not give me any concern viz-a-viz 'critique', however.


Daniel R. Boone

Christinmay
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Posted: 3/26/2013 2:36:53 PM
Lol, I've never hesitated to share something I like cause I figure that if it gets criticism it's either just different tastes, or something is lost in the (photo) translation.


Christin
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looser
The Craft Curmudgeon

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Posted: 3/26/2013 3:05:29 PM
LOL, Christin! Third alternative? They need to have their eyes examined...

Not too off-topic, but I was watching something (think it was about the actress sleeping in the museum as 'Art'). Anyhoo... One person opined that Art is incomplete until/unless it is viewed by other-than-its-creator. Kind of like the old "tree falls in the forest when no one is there to hear it..."

I found it an interesting idea.


Daniel R. Boone

SiameseGirl
PeaWee

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Posted: 3/31/2013 9:45:39 PM
Whoever said "comparisons are odious" had it right. After being LONG (about 10 years) out of the stamping/mixed media/creative world I finally, finally recently came back to it recently. I am not certain why, but I just experienced this creative freeze where I did NOTHING in the paper crafts world. I still loved all the "stuff"-the papers, the books, the beads, the toys, you name it. But when I thought about sitting down to actually DO something-I just couldn't. I had been on this creative bender where I was publishing in Somerset Studio, was in 3 creative groups, was teaching classes and also finding time to work a full-time job and do more creating on the side. Then...nothing. Just...nothing. I was comparing myself to other artists and was feeling like my work was wanting. There are SO MANY amazingly creative people out there. They are innovative, fresh and just wonderful. It was hard to believe that I still had something to offer the creative world. But suddenly, I remembered something. It's an idea that has long been around. Art is PROCESS not PRODUCT! This stuck in my head, and took root and grew in me and suddenly, I was free. And I went back to work and haven't stopped since. And I just have one more thing to say about that...WAHOOOOO!!!!!!

SiameseGirl
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Posted: 3/31/2013 9:58:08 PM
More randomness on the whole art being process not product thing. Does anyone remember the television show "Northern Exposure"? There was an episode where Chris (radio DJ and local sage) found out that Holling (barkeep and secret artist) was a painter. He painted and didn't share his work with others (I seem to remember) and Chris was helping Holling realize and internalize that idea, the whole process/product thing. In the end of the show Holling did one of his paintings and when he was finished and satisfied with it, he and Chris threw it in the furnace. Instead of loss (like you might expect) Holling felt peace, the peace of creating beauty and then totally letting it go. I really like that idea. The peace of the creation being linked with the peace of letting it go on it's own merry way. It's a thought.

looser
The Craft Curmudgeon

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Posted: 4/1/2013 10:11:22 AM
Terrific posts 'Siamese'! Thank you.



Daniel R. Boone

michaelfred
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Posted: 4/2/2013 4:30:20 AM
I guess you need to change your user id from looser to winner now .
Like somebody in one of the posts rightly put it, If your work gets criticism it's just different tastes. There are so many posts here which have actually appreciated your work. So, Never give up.. No matter how hard others try to put you down you must always rise up. may be not always be a winner but you are definitely not a looser.

looser
The Craft Curmudgeon

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Posted: 4/2/2013 11:12:50 AM
LOL, Michaelfred! My Pea name is Looser, not 'loser'. 'Sok. You're not the first person to confuse the two words.

My creative style is a loose one--rather than adhering to a strict set of rules imposed by my self or others. 'Course I can (& do) work that stays in the margins when necessary, but only when I choose to. That's a confidence I have gained with lots of years & a good bit of learning along the way.


Daniel R. Boone
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