Thursday, February 16, 2012

Measuring up

There are days when I don't want to even open my computer.  Where facebook feels like my nemesis and pinterest reminds me how unattractive my real world is.  I remember being a teenager and wanting to buy fashion/teen magazines and my mom wouldn't let me.  Her reasoning was that she didn't want me to feel like I had to compare my changing and growing body to the ultra thin-air-brushed models in the magazines.  A little bit of sheltering seemed to go a long way for me- I never struggled with eating disorders or felt that I had to diet, and over-all, I've always been content with my outward appearance.  Sure there are things I'd like to change and now that I'm getting closer to 40 I realize that how I look now is as good as it's ever going to get, but for the most part, the images in those magazines never made me feel like I had to measure up. 

Which brings me back to facebook and pinterest, design blogs and fashion blogs.  For the most part this online design world has been an amazing community to belong to.  I have felt encouraged and motivated to do what I do because of all the lovely comments and posts about my work.  I have made friends I otherwise wouldn't have made and have 'met' people from all over the world just by being part of this creative community.  I am more than thrilled when I see that another maker is getting deservedly noticed by press or blogs too.  However, I do find myself sometimes wondering how I measure up.  Wondering if my work is going to 'make it', whether I'm really going to be able to keep on top of my game.  I worry about my home not being beautiful enough or my clothes being so 2005.  My head tries to reason that I should spend $375 on those boots that are all the rage so I can take pictures of my feet with my polaroid camera.

 It's like a losing battle- this measuring up business.  These are not fair comparisons to make nor do they really reflect what I think is at the core of a creative community.  The images that I seem to get hit with a thousand times a day are unrealistic for the every day.  And yet, I'm totally drawn in to the beauty of it all.

That being said I need to take some time just to breath and live.  To 'work refreshed', like my ruler says. To take in the real and raw beauty that is my every day.  There are lovely things around me that don't need to be seen through a lens and there comes a time when it's important just to notice those things.  I hope you will notice them too.


krystal said...

This is a great post Heather. You've put into words many of the same thoughts I've been having as I spend more and more of my days online. I often catch myself behaving in both "show off" and introspective modes that seem very contradictory, yet both coexist in me.
Today I realized that I completely stopped journaling privately on paper once I began blogging and sharing my life on facebook. I do miss the more personal, private side to life that I had in my pre-internet overload days. It's kinda crazy how people have the expectation now for artists to blog & share about their entire personal lives, kids, partners, etc. and build their businesses around that. But I suppose sharing those aspects can also bring people together, like you said. Hmm. I'm rambling...

dahlhaus said...

Thanks for the comment Krystal! I appreciate the 'free' marketing that has happened with pinterest, blogs, facebook, etc. but it comes at a cost. The cost is that it often feels like a popularity contest and that what used to be a person's private life is now very public. I don't mind sharing my process or concepts as an artist, but have gotten tired of the demand or expectation in a way. It's as though there can be no secrets anymore- nothing is sacred. I just think it's so easy to get caught up in it all and to lose sight of what's really important.
Anyways, I do appreciate the dialogue- I think it's about time it happened!

haus of rice said...

I loved the post! Such a great read, and perhaps because I can relate. Is our work going to make, it, will it work?

Also, it's so tempting to see those neat boots, or that cute dress on Etsy, or looking for wallpaper, (what wall can we do now?)... then you sit and realize that does it matter right now? I get so distracted, encouraged, motivated, and get new ideas when I read blogs or go on pinterest, but have to be careful not to forget what a blessing our place is. Pretty things can be fun! I think your art is VERY pretty. I'm happy for you! We also have a shop on Etsy, just started in November, super fun so far but a lot of work, (behind the scenes), as you very well know. (MahzerandVee), if you're ever interested.
Many blessings!

dahlhaus said...

Thanks for the feed-back HofR! Glad to see I'm not the only one that can get distracted by pretty things:)!h.