19/01/2011 by Sarah Ritchie
A few years ago, Simon and I lived in Israel doing voluntary work. The craft of beading was sweeping the globe and Jerusalem boasted a couple of fabulous bead shops – one of which was very close to where we lived. To satisfy my crafting nature I took up beading (and became rather good at it).
Thanks to a friend, I was presented with the opportunity to have a stand at the UN Ex-Pats Christmas Craft Fair. I accepted.
Over a two month (or so) period I worked my tail off, creating my intricate necklaces and bracelets to build up enough stock for the fair. This endeavour cost me time, loss of sleep and a fair whack of money.
The result? I sold just one necklace. All that time and all that effort for one sale. I was so dejected that I stopped beading after that, selling all my equipment when we returned to New Zealand.
Right now an old fear is rising. I have just over one week left to complete a painting for the Estuary Artworks competition. What began as a simple graphic-type of image has become more and more complex as the idea as matured. Every time we have added a new compositional element my confidence has dipped.
Simon has invested countless hours researching the subject matter and developing ideas. I will be spending most of the remaining (non-working/sleeping) hours on this painting, and have serious self-doubts about the eventual quality of the work.
“What if” – when the painting is finished – it is not very good? “What if” it doesn’t get selected for the exhibition? If it does get selected, “what if” it doesn’t sell? The subject matter of the painting is very specific to the competition brief; it is not a typical “pretty picture” that I could easily sell at a later date.
I’ve had flashbacks to the UN Christmas Fair, fearing the same “waste” of time and energy; fearing rejection and not wanting to let Simon down. Simon, philosophically, tells me to treat it all as a learning experience.
I have to figure out some way of dealing with these (mostly ridiculous, but very tangible) fears. My best suggestion to self has been: [Joke] “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time!” I am preparing myself for a meal of one really large, chewy elephant. Dinner will be concluded Friday-week!