A recent sermon at our church was about change and how difficult it is for people to deal with, but how it is inevitable in our lives. Many times we do not welcome it, even though there may be good that comes from it. I have very recently had a major change in my life and it is a difficult thing to accept. Life is easier when things just go along everyday and nothing interrupts your routine. But when something happens that is unexpected or disruptive or just changes the way you feel about where you are in life, then we find it most distressing and uncomfortable. At first we might try to deny it, then we may grieve about what the change has brought or we have lost through the change, and then we finally accept it and learn how to go on.
When I create my art I usually feel very comfortable, free, and happy about how things come together. Just being able to touch and see the woven texture and color of the cloth is good. I enjoy the process and where it takes me. I've been given a talent that I never knew I had most of my life and it has changed my life. Change can be good. This change was good for me.
I now have a real passion and love for something I can do, and some success in pursuing it. I have been rewarded many times over with having my work in juried shows, solo exhibitions, winning awards, having people purchase my work, and having many people just enjoying and sharing with me how much they like my work. I heard Jay Leno in an interview recently talking about how great it is for him that he gets to hear applause every day---how can that not be great? He was very appreciative of that and he realizes that not every person gets that kind of appraisal every day like he does. I know as an artist how much that support and encouragement means and how, even though most artists can't NOT create, it helps spur us on to keep creating and sharing our work.
If you have a friend or family member who is an artist and they show their work or share it with you, give them encouragement. Pursuing art is a inward, solitary activity mostly, but sharing and showing it is exposing yourself and your feelings and talent in a vulnerable way. I have appreciated individuals who come to every one of my shows or visit wherever my work is displayed because it feels very supportive and it motivates me to create. When your friend or relative shows you the new work for an upcoming show, you have already seen it and therefore don't need to attend the opening reception or even visit the venue to look at the work, right? Wrong. If you are a friend and want to support and encourage that person in what they are doing you will go and see how great their work looks displayed in a careful, considered way at whatever venue it might be that honored her by agreeing to show her art. It is the enjoyment that people get from my work that makes me most happy and when they share their feelings about my art I am thrilled that they took the time to go see it and to let me know that they liked it. I am honored that people make the effort to go see my work when it is displayed.
Someday I would like someone to write a review of one of my shows and describe what they saw, felt, liked, didn't like, and why. I would try to learn from it all and hope that others would too. It is hard to take the bad with the good sometimes so being reviewed is kind of scary. Change is that way. Sometimes change looks like it is going to be a bad thing and we are never going to be able to accept it or live with it. But we do. We move on, we learn how to adjust and adapt, we look back and remember fondly what we have lost, but we also look forward to what we can do and where we can go inspite of or because of the change.
Change is scary. Change makes us nervous, tense, and unsure of what lies ahead. Sometimes it makes us very sad. We want to know, will we be able to cope, will we ever be the same, will we be able to go on... Yes, we can cope and we can go on, although it is true, we may never be just the same because of change. I know I can accept it, embrace it, have fond memories of it, and use it to make myself and my art more, better, braver, and stronger. The sadness will subside over time, the courage and perseverance that takes over will influence my work. The change will influence my work. Sorrow will be replaced by beauty and great respect for a life worth living. I think you need to embrace change and use it to stimulate your work, your life, and your relationships. Change is inevitable, not always welcome, and usually not easy to deal with. Most people do not like change. But, I'm going to do my best to honor what I have lost, share the beauty of my art and the talent that was passed down to me, inspire others, and be happy.