Hello! Long time no see!!
Contrary to what it may seem….I did NOT in fact fall off the face of the earth. I did however go into a cave of sorts. Hunkering down at home and burrowing beneath the layers of to-do lists. After Surtex there was the whirlwind end of the school year and then the beginnings of a huge home remodel and…..here I am on the other side enjoying summer while it lasts–lazier days, a little slower paced, quieter. I’ve been cleaning and refreshing the studio, and the rest of the house too. Sweeping out the old, and making way for the new.
But I did really want to pop in and tell you all about NYC! It was C-A-H-RAZY!
Here’s the low down!
walking into the Javits with a sick feeling in my stomach and wondering “Do I belong here?” “Me?”
I mean–looks a little intimidating doesn’t it? IT IS!! That’s not just how it looks!!
While the Surtex show is going on the Stationery show (NSS) AND the ICFF (International Contemporary Furniture Fair) are also sharing the Javits center. I wanted to sneak some photos of the chic-y-chic European furniture folks. You could spot them a mile away. I felt like a kid in a candy store really-the people watching is INsane!
SO I was there not only to see my agent, Pink Light Studio, and work in her booth, but also to help my friend Colleen get her booth (NSS) up and running. This is what it looks like when you get there:
and this is us when the booth was ready to go–quite a difference n’est pas?
I’m so glad she had those cushy floor tiles!! They were a lifesaver! (Doesn’t her booth look great!?) We were feeling very brave and oh so grateful to be there.
Here’s my art work in my agent’s booth–what a THRILL!!
AND on the back of the program! How cool is that?
I spent many weeks before Surtex getting ready and imagining the whole thing in my mind and I can tell you it was BIGGER and BETTER than I had hoped. Colleen and I both made new friends and found new opportunities to grow our art and businesses. I left physically exhausted…but creatively INSPIRED! Here I am with my agent Mary Beth and her amazing team + the talented & lovely Joy Charde.
The last few weeks since Surtex I’ve been processing the whole experience. I’ve been pondering self doubt and how critical self talk can keep you from achieving your dreams. In the midst of that giant Javitz center, surrounded by some of the smartest & most talented creatives in the business, I heard LOUD mean voices in my head. “Who do you think you are?” These people are WAY more talented than you” “Oh you think you can compete here? You think your work is gonna stand out in all of this?” “What makes you think you deserve to be here?” “You know you really have no idea what you are doing-people will see that”
See–I told you-MEAN voices. Do you have those?
I am not immune. I think one of the reasons the experience is so exhausting is because I’m constantly having a full fledged battle in my own head the whole time! But I pull myself up, silence the inner critic the best I can, put on clothes that make me feel good, and just keep going forward. Putting my hands out to shake another’s, my arms out to hug, my heart open to embrace & to give, my mind aware and present in the moments-soaking up lessons to learn.
I think self doubt starts out like a leaky faucet–it just keeps dripping and dripping. You can hear it and its annoying, but you can maybe do something to avoid listening to it. But then I think it grows and the water begins to rise, and there are waves that toss you about. You begin believing the voices. It can become quite a storm in your mind. It destroys your sure footing, & washes away confidence. Its a flood. That’s why you gotta nip it in the bud early. Fix that leaky faucet, and learn how to sail through those waves & wind. You are not a toy boat. You are a strong schooner and you can navigate the storm. I am too! Facing it head on is the only way to combat it because there is no hiding from it. Being at the Surtex show-having my work shown to people in the industry brought on a storm of self doubt for me. One that I am learning to sail through each day. Just showing up, doing the daily work, putting it out there–those things really HELP to shush the mean voices.It seems counter intuitive at first. Seems like the better thing to do would be to avoid those situations that bring on the negative self talk and doubt. But that’s just not the case. Avoidance just breeds low self esteem–you end beating yourself up more for being “cowardly”. At least that’s been my experience. If you have those mean voices of self doubt too–and are trying to swim through those waves–I can tell you that facing them is the best way of silencing them. Its the ‘ol fake-it-til-you-make-it technique and it really does help. I could still hear the voices but I CHOSE not to listen and pay them any mind while I was there. Boy was I beat by the time I got home though! SO tired!! Learning to sail is hard work!!
What about you? Have you sailed through storms of self doubt recently? What’s helped you navigate?