The Difficulty of Separating Art & Self

Christmas was a fluffy blur.  Our family exchanged presents.  We cooked food.  There were cookies galore.  And I created a lot of magic for our two little kids.  I poured everything I had into making the holiday special for others. 

Which is a classic Emily move.  I give too much, and then I'm beat.  Now once again, I need to fill my own damn cup.  It's nice to be taking the time to write a blog again.   

Anyway, tonight I've been reflecting.  Last week, I got a few bad reviews of my restaurant's winter market.  The reviews tanked me more than usual.  I've tried to bulldoze my way past my emotions, telling myself it's ok not to please everyone.  But it's hard.  It dawns on me that the reason it's hard is because of how personally I take criticism about the things I make.  Attacking my artistic endeavors has always felt like a personal attack. 

Which begs the question: is our art an extension of ourselves, or can we separate ourselves from our art?  

For me, I think the answer is: sometimes we can, sometimes we can't.  It all depends on how close we are to what we've created.  I have ZERO connection to some things I've made. Then there are other things I've made that feel so close to me, like they're actually in my bones.  And those are the ones that hurt when someone puts them down. 

I guess the winter market was in my bones. 

Reader, if you're like me and you find yourself feeling dejected over what someone else thinks about the things you've made, take heart.  You're not alone. But let's not hide our creations (or worse, stop creating altogether) for fear of what others will say.  We don't create for praise or to validate who we are.  We create to bring our vision to life. And in the end, that vision must be greater than another person's opinion of it.  Honor it, and the rest disappears. 

With that, I leave you to play the piano.  This week, let's keep on keeping on.  Don't be derailed by the ones who don't like what you're doing.  May we go forth as confidently as my two kids having a break dance party under a Christmas tree in the park tonight.   

I'll see you next Monday. -Em 

Leave a comment

Add comment