Friday, October 18, 2013
Reframing the childhood experience
In the above photo (if you email subscribed, you might have to click the blog post title in order to see the pics I'm sharing; apparently, embedded Instagram pics only show up on the blog, not in emailed posts), you can see four works of art from my childhood. I did these between first and second grade.
I remember being a little upset that the art educator's assistant folded the tail of my cat print (bottom left corner) so that it would fit the paper we were printing on. I remember his expression, too, it was like, Okay, we're going to do this, don't lose your mind, and...there you go, done! Off you go...please don't have a meltdown...good...I'm going to back away slowly...
The art educator, by the way, was the one I quoted in my bio on Ivan Chan Studio.
Anyway, for those of you who are making art and wondering if your art is good enough or important enough, let me stop those gears from turning and tell you with a definite answer:
The making of art is by far more important than the art itself, and we all have a right to make art, and to do it without criticism, invalidation, shame, or other nastiness from others--and ourselves.
It is good enough that you make art, however you make it.
Is it important? You bet it is.
It's important that you do it, and it's important that it's in the world, and it's importance is solely decided by whether it's important to you. If you wait for someone else to find your art "important" or "good enough," you're just waiting for approval, and for that, I suggest you buy yourself some gold stickers and a leash, and hand them out to strangers, because you're giving away your power, self-acceptance, and self-respect to someone else to handle for you.
So where does the (re)framing part come in?
Frames can designate that something is special and worth your attention. If you bother to frame something, it says that you think what's being framed is important; beautiful, even.
If you have art from your childhood, or from now, do yourself a favor and frame it (or, if it's pottery, sculpture, etc., put it somewhere important, like a personal altar or a place that shows it off).
Notice how you feel, how it makes the art feel to you, and what it does for your space. A frame and a place of prominence can add dignity to your experience of the art, and yourself for making the art.
I would love to see your pictures of your own framed art or where you've placed something beautiful you've created. Please feel free to join me on Instagram, Pinterest (check out my board, Rooms with Visual Art, for tips on hanging art), or Facebook, and you can also add a link to your pics in the comments section below to share with me and others.