Saturday, August 20, 2011

A Renewal of Sorts

Time for a "real" moment. I'm just going to lay it all out there and it's not because I'm looking for sympathy or anything it's just me sharing what I've been through this past week or so; what I did to overcome it and where I see it all heading.

This whole "hobby" of scrapbooking has taken over my life the past few years. I've always loved art and being creative. It's been a part of my blood line. Even as a child I was always looking for ways to creatively express myself. Always drawn to the arts, I remember taking an after school art class and music lessons. There was just something about letting things flow out of me through creating that was very therapeutic. Of course, as a child I would have never related it that way! Ha! But as I grew older I got heavily involved with music and singing in choirs and on the worship team at my church. I taught kids how to play piano and even was a music teacher for awhile. I loved it and I loved equipping children with the confidence they needed to pursue music. I also loved drawing, painting and figuring how to compose designs that were pleasing for me. I loved teaching kids the basics of color, composition and how art is your own special language. If YOU love what you create that's all that matters and my number one rule in the art room was no one was allowed to give feedback on another persons art. It was personal. I didn't care if it was positive or negative. The only person allowed to give feedback was me and it would never be in a way to make them feel bad about what they created. It would just be ways to help expand their creativity.

Fast forward five years and here I sit wounded. Why? Because I forgot my own rules.

I got caught up in the "I need to be validated by being on teams and being published and if I don't then I'm an awful scrapbooker!" Oh... not to mention the defeated feeling of noticing 3 followers have left me in a matter of a day! The Horror!!!

Um. Hello Teacher Melissa! What did you always tell your students? Your art is yours and if you think it is amazing, then it is.

Now you might be thinking, "well you are kind of asking for it since you put your stuff out there for the world to see."  Yes this is true. Once it's out for the public eye, criticism and the like will happen and that's the way it is. I can't complain about that part. I know what I make isn't going to please everyone and we are all unique people so it's natural we have different tastes and styles we're drawn to. I don't expect everyone to like what I do which is why the Renewal Of Sorts.

I love sharing my work. Mostly it's because my layouts have a story to go along with them and I love to share my story. It's my creative way to journal and work through stuff and I know, from those of you who have stuck with me, my story has affected you and that means the world to me. I have blogs I follow because I have identified with the writer/creator. Their work made me say "oh my gosh I'm not alone!!" and so I've followed and admired. Maybe not always liked their posts but I've been faithful.

*Sigh* With all that said... I've let being turned down by dt calls and pubs get to me. It's made me question what I do and why I do it. Which was actually a good thing because it allowed me to remember and get off my sorry arse and get back into the game!

Also... I'm on the perfect teams for me right now and I wouldn't ask for anything more.

SFTIO... yes how perfect is this team? Seriously. Scrapbooking from the emotion? I'm holding this team close to my heart and never, ever letting go! Sorry Rachel. You have to put up with me forever I'm afraid.

ScrapStreet... who knew I'd write for a magazine? I mean what the heck? But it's so much more than that. It's the people... my sisters. Dora, Stacey, Bri and everyone else that I've met in person from the Streets have become my extended family. I love them for putting up with me. LOL

Sketch Support and Allison... I wouldn't want to design for any other "sketcher". There. I said it. Not only have Allisons' sketches helped me grow creatively, I also adore the comfortableness of this team and the wonderful community that is over at Sketch Support. No one is in this for the glory. We just like to scrapbook. :)

And so there you have it folks. I'm remembering I create for myself and I'll share it here because I feel the need to share my story.

All materials are from August Growth kit from Scrapbooking from the Inside Out.

Now to gather the nerve to hit the Publish Post button....


Andrea Amu said...

Ohhh, girl! You know you are not alone in those feeling of being inadequate in this dog eat dog world of scrapping,lol! If I could only tell you HOW many times I have felt like throwing in the towel before remembering that I started out in this craft/hobby solely for ME! Yes, one can certainly feel defeated at times when you get all these hopes and dreams flittering around and it just seems at times that none of those aspirations are going to be in your favor.

You have some very cool gigs though, Melissa, if I must say so myself! ;) I would love to design for SFTIO and Allison Davis and her Sketch Support dt... and just so you know, I have tried out for both of those teams previously and I did not make the cuts!

And by the way... you've gained another follower today :D
Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Connie said...

You are so not alone~understand so well, you are really brave to it out there like you have and BTW your work is awesome and so are you!!

Sarah said...

Nicely said ladies!!! I've been there too! I've submitted to SOOO many DTs and have never been picked. It's all a matter of taste. With all that being said, I launced my own kit club and have found lots of gals that love my work.... even though those big wig companies didn't think it was up to snuff. I have a DT of my own for my little club, and let me tell you.... It's HARD to let down those who did not make the team. Never give up girl!

Melissa Elsner said...

Thank you ladies! I know that just about every crafter out there has felt the way I/we have!

@Sarah... I use to run a challenge blog and had a DT and currently select DT for SFTIO too. Isn't it funny to be on both sides? Totally feeling defeated and yet knowing what it's like to be on the other side too. Thanks for that reminder as well!

Amy said...

You are so not alone in feeling this way! You honestly have some pretty awesome gigs going write for Scrapstreet? LUCKY girl! :) I looked around your blog and you have wonderful work! You gained another follower as well :) Don't be discouraged :)

Chocolate Mousie said... even the published have doubts on what they make. :) You're only human and no matter how good someone is or how many teams they're on, there will always be the heart in the center of it, and hearts can be so easily hurt. Glad you can see beyond it and still have fun and do more for yourself! :)

charli said...

Yep--it's both inspiring and depressing to see all the great work being done out there. But that's the challenge, I guess. Maybe I'm not fab at it, but I enjoy it and I get better all the time. It's good to be validated, as you've been with your gigs, but it's not all there is to it. And the blog follower thing? My dd has a blog that has tons of people reading it (so they say) but only 26 followers. doesn't mean people aren't reading.
Here's hers if you're looking for a laugh and/or prize...contest right now! :)