Have you ever had one of those "a-ha!" moments when it comes to your own craft - like a new appreciation for your technique, or new confidence in what create? Last week, a new realization just smacked me in the face, and has changed everything about how I see my paper goods:
Your non-skills can be used to your advantage. Don't believe me? Read on.
As I mentioned before, I am participating in The Maven Circle's Catalyst Course, and within the group there have been some eye-opening discussions regarding emotional obstacles, conquering fear, taking care of ourselves, and getting "unstuck" in life.
This quote in particular was the catalyst for this particular conversation:
Fear holds us back from growing, as people or as artists. When we fear something, it's usually an indicator of our true desires - who we really are inside, or what we really long for, but are too afraid to take the leap.
Specifically, I mentioned how I am afraid to invest in graphic arts software, and afraid of learning how to use it. What if I spend all of this money, and I'm terrible at it? What if they don't sell, no one likes them, the economy tanks - there are unlimited excuses when it comes to fear.
But then, a classmate (who I don't feel comfortable naming since group is a private space), told me her experience in her craft, and explained to me that to her, non-skills are an advantage. Um, HELLO! Why had I never thought about it like this? Why hadn't I ever seen a lack of knowledge as an advantage? It clearly is.
If you have a certain set of skills and can do a technique the conventional way, then what makes your work unique? It is those work-arounds - being resourceful and putting your own spin on a piece that makes it YOURS.
I have no training in paper cutting or lino cut printmaking. I am a sketch artist. That was my "thing" growing up, I always had my sketchbook with me. When I decided to sell stationery, obviously I wanted to sell multiple copies of pieces, but guess what? I don't have Illustrator or anything similar. So I transferred my sketches to vinyl, carving stamps, and went on to linoleum, making lino cut prints.
I also gave paper cutting a try, carving out silhouettes of some of my drawings, which led me to word art, and now, paper cut word art greeting cards are my focus. I would have never found my love for paper cutting and lino cut printing if it were not for my lack of digital design skills.
Trust your instincts. Nobody has your back story or personal experiences. Nobody has the unique blend of skills and non-skills that you do, and nobody can create quite like you do. It's great to try new things, and to learn new techniques, but never let your lack of skills get in the way of your confidence.