Recently I entered an international art competition. Well, first let me say, I entered an art competition, which was nerve racking for me. Yeah… Nerve racking… Weird, right?
As part of my 2017 growth as a person, and artist goal, I’ve decided to enter as many international art competitions as I can. Some of you that watch my videos, or have read past blogs, know I have an unreasonable fear of art competitions.
The more I thought about it, the more I realized that my fear was getting in the way of my achievements as an artist. How am I supposed to win an international art competition, if I’m paralyzed by fear of being judged inadequate? Or worse, what if I win?
Yup, the closer I looked, the more I started to realize that I was also afraid of winning.
Now, let’s get something straight, I really don’t care much about winning or losing. I also am not very concerned about opinions or criticisms about my art. I rather enjoy them, I love hearing the unique perspectives that the viewer brings to the work. Even when it’s negative, I learn something about people.
I mean, c’mon, one of my best friends sees something lewd or sexual in just about every piece I create – sometimes he can’t help it. If I got offended or hurt , I wouldn’t be able to enjoy his genuine reaction to the art. Come to think of it, my father is pretty much a perverted twelve year old when it comes to my art too, so maybe that’s why it doesn’t phase me.
I painted a beautiful painting of a bald eagle for a benefit event, for the Northwest Florida Wildlife Sanctuary. My dad showed up and told everyone it reminded him of a retarded parrot. I didn’t care, he’s genuine… and a little like a retarded parrot himself.
I would rather have genuine reactions, no matter how childish, than polite smiles and scripted responses because people are afraid to hurt my feelings.
That being said, I feel like competitions can be a bit cold. The human interaction between the work can easily be mechanical, because you are comparing pieces to one another and not allowing your relationship with the art to fully form.
But, either way, what was I talking about? Art competitions, I’m doing them this year… Why not?
So my first piece that I’ve created is based on a competition with a tag line of “Passion To Perform.”
I struggled a little with this because the word perform has such a corporate connotation to me. Your performance is evaluated at the end of the year, and the over all performance of the company, and blah blah blah.
You can imagine how the word passion just didn’t seem to fit in my mind.
Luckily, I’m married to an extremely brilliant woman, who also happened to be a vocalist for over a decade, and has a different spin on the word perform.
“It’s like, when you get up on stage and sing, or you dance at the ballet, or act on Broadway… If you are passionate, it shines through.”
So I created this piece called the Origin Of Passion. It is the representation of how I believe the seed of passion can bloom. That contemplative moment, where you are thinking about giving up, and realize that you must move forward. Despite the roadblocks, naysayers, and dark days, you are determined.
The golden words in her hair are the reminder of the power that this passion brings you. Courage, strength, growth, determination, perseverance, inspiration, boldness, vision, and creativity.
I remember back when I quit my corporate job and was reevaluating my life, and wanting to be more creative, a lot of my friends and family were not supportive. In fact, not supportive is an understatement, I’m sure there were a lot of concerned conversations, judgement, and name calling.
But I didn’t care, because I was, and am passionate about my life, creativity, and spreading a positive message into the world. I think if you are passionate about something and you practice courage, strength, growth, determination, perseverance, inspiration, boldness, vision, and creativity… You become unstoppable… Even when your aunt thinks you’re crazy.