Tuesday, July 16, 2013

A Sense of Self

I grew up being taught to never boast about my accomplishments, in fact, I wasn't even supposed to mention them.  Unfortunately, that stayed with me, muffling my Sense of Self until I almost didn't have one, and I can't think of anything that is of less service to an artist than self doubt and a natural inclination to NOT talk about themselves!  While I still find boasting about oneself  to be totally lacking in class, I have learned to let people know that "Hey, I'm an artist, I paint animals and I'm really good at it, and I've achieved some interesting things!"  To help me with this, I made a ME WALL some time ago that holds reminders for me of things that I have done.  Let me give you a quick and non-boastful tour.

This wall is in the studio near my art table and computer so I  see it every day.  It helps me remember that I have had magazine covers, that I've been juried into art shows, including the ART SHOW AT THE DOG SHOW, and have won Best Acrylic in Show at the EGYPTIAN EVENT at the Kentucky Horse Park.    I've had an article written about my work in a Swedish magazine, (and can't read of word of it!) and another one in The Equine Image magazine. Wow, That was a thrill!  And although you can't see it very well, the little photo at the bottom is of me with Robert Bateman.  I'll never forget that evening!!

This  page is also part of my ME WALL and it reminds me that I was chosen Artist of the Year in 2000 by the local branch of the Canadian Lung Association (I entered a painting in memory of a loved friend who died from lung disease and it was chosen for their fund raiser).  It reminds me that my work appeared in a French Equine Art publication (located in the South of France) and that I was the Official Artist for a Canadian Symphony of Horses.  Have  you been to a Symphony of Horses?  It's an evening of  horses and light classical music - Magical!  It reminds me that I was invited to Arabia to exhibit my Arabian paintings, and although I didn't go, it was memorable just being invited.  I also have a couple of things to remind me of the One Woman Shows I've done and of the  painting that one of the galleries acquired while I was there.  I've done many shows over the years, and at least three of them were Solo exhibits.  But a One Woman Show is a huge amount of work, and it costs a lot to do.  I'm glad I did them, they were really exciting, and a big boost to the ego,  but I'm not sure I'd want that responsibility or expense again.  But never say never!  Hanging beside this page, there's a quarter page clipping from the Ottawa newspaper reporting my involvement in the The Horse Gift Mural.  All of these things are reminders that I've been on an interesting path and have accomplished a number of successes in my art career to date, and I'm not finished yet!  Who knows what's just round the corner.
If you are the sort to doubt yourself from time to time, try going through your old papers and photos and placing a record of your success up where you can see them every day.  It does wonders for your sense of Self.
Heather Anderson

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