It could be a rude cashier at the grocery store who interrupts your otherwise pleasant day, or a snide remark on Facebook that you weren't expecting. I'm sure we've all had that happen to us at some point in our lives.
A few days ago, I had my confidence shaken about my art. I was just going along, minding my own business, when I had someone say some not-so-nice things about this piece, which I had just finished:
I quite liked it. I liked the way the yellow matched the frame. I liked the bursts of red here and there. I liked how the theme carried throughout the piece.
And hey - I totally understand that my art isn't for everyone! Ephemeraologists, you may run into this more than other, more "conventional" artists - some folks just don't understand the appeal of the vintage ephemera or why we'd deign to cut it up and use it in art. I'm used to that, and it doesn't bother me at all! In fact, I use the confusion to educate people on collage as an art form, or the importance of ephemera in our lives. :)
But the comment I received was much deeper than that - the person said, "It doesn't look like you care at all about what you create."
Instead of following this rule (thanks, National Art Shop!) -
I threw out the piece. Yep, it is now in the Big Recycling Bin in the Sky.
Even though I had an existential crisis this weekend, I don't regret the toss. I still have the image and although I no longer have the physical piece (plus a couple more that I also threw out), I have the reminder that I should never apologize for the work that I do. I liked this piece enough to send it out in the world, and I should've stood my ground. But it did allow me to think about new directions my art will be taking, and for that I'm grateful.
Ephemeraologists, I didn't write this post to garner sympathy; quite the opposite! I wrote it to serve as a reminder that you should never apologize for the work you do. Just keep rockin' the vintage ephemera and putting it out into the world - we need artists like you!!! :D