The same colors on shiny magazine paper and worn by a stunning model instantly gave validity to my amateur crayon scratchings. Nothing had changed about my mandala, but now people liked it.
Today's post is borrowed from the blog on my professional therapy website from a few years ago:
"Six years ago I was making art with a group of people. Toward the end of our time together one of them asked how I'd decided on the colors for my mandala. I said I didn't know and it was pretty much random. The inquirer was skeptical of my choices: 'Do those colors really go together?' When she said this I felt self-doubt and then justified it by remembering I've never really identified as a visual artist, anyway. So there.
"Then the person next to me said, 'Wait a minute,' and pulled out a catalog she'd brought with her. She turned to a page with a colorful shawl displayed on it. The shawl for sale contained the same 'random' color scheme as my mandala. Everyone at the table was now impressed by my artistic brilliance.
"What happened there? The same colors on shiny magazine paper and worn by a stunning model instantly gave validity to my amateur crayon scratchings. Nothing had changed about my mandala, but now people liked it."
In the book "The Artist's Way," author Julia Cameron talks about how we can't control how others respond to our creative work. Styles come into fashion, then out of fashion, then back into fashion again. This is why it's impossible to judge the worth of our work by what other people think about it.
I'm thrilled to be starting the Beyond Artist's Block podcast to help myself and others remember that our worth comes from doing the work (or not!) and not what people think of it. I can't wait to share more soon. Full episodes set to begin in September!
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Rachel Moore, LMFT, (she/her) is a singer, musician, writer, and the host of the Beyond Artist's Block podcast. She is also a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist based in San Diego, California. Rachel is certified in EMDR and trained in Brainspotting, and she focuses on working with creative clients, including writers, artists, and musicians.