Monday, December 9, 2013

A Fearless Artist for a Day

I love to paint. It soothes me. I have always been a creative person. Sewing, dancing, drawing, singing. But painting was always something I did just for me. I never liked showing anyone my work. My mother has one painting I did in high school hanging in my old bedroom. I still feel myself get a little blush-y when I see it. I don't know why, I have just always been this way about my work. Then last January I decided to paint something for my youngest sister Natalie's birthday. She saw a painting I did of a sugar skull and wanted one for herself. She absolutely loved it. Here it is.

I was so proud of that painting. It was the first one I ever did for someone other then myself. I kind of wish I still had it, but don't worry Nat I wont take it back! When she asked me to make one for her Little Sis in the sorority, my husband suggested I try to sell them.

I was petrified.

What if no one liked my paintings? What if no one wants one? Or worst of all, what if they want to return my paintings that I put my heart into creating just for them?

Yep, petrified.

After a few months of encouragement and boosting my confidence, I worked up enough courage to open an Etsy shop and try my hand in the art world. Going months without even one like was disheartening for sure, but I stuck it out. And soon enough I received a notice saying someone liked my page! Someone found my page and actually liked my painting! Then I got the best email from Etsy ever:

Someone wanted a painting...from me. Someone not related to me, wanted one of my works. That I painted. Me. It was wild. Wild! It's still wild. Today I finished my most recent request and it was a tuffy. A nice gal ordered a painting for her boyfriend. My first Fraternity painting. Check it out!

This one took a while. Not only was I fighting some massive sinus headaches but I had never attempted a crest that was this detailed. It made me so nervous that I actually put it off as long as possible. Just looking at it in the picture makes me wonder how in the hell I finished it. lol. But despite my fear induced procrastination, I finished it and I let out the biggest sigh of relief when I put down my brush. I did it.

Selling my paintings might have been a spur of the moment decision brought on by a lot of encouragement from my family, but in actuality it helped me conquer a big fear. My biggest fear, my fear of people judging me and stopping me from doing what I love to do. It's the same reason I never did karaoke. I was always so scared that someone would not like my work and tell me that they hated it. That something was wrong with it. That was just bleh. But now, those imaginary voices don't interfere with my artwork. While I still need to work on my fear of public singing, I have complete control over my paint related fears. And it is truly empowering.


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