Wednesday, September 23, 2009

World Renowned Critic!

Do you know who that is? That is the world-renowned critic, who in kindergarten class glued those colorful paper chains together better than anybody else! You should be flattered and honored that your work was graced with their review! After all, their critiques have littered the air for years upon years, running everyone over they deem is in desperate need of their insightful commentary! Whoo-hoo! You lucky person!

Now, go and call all your friends to announce that FINALLY you have seen the light and can go on to do things the ‘right’ way, which, of course, is the critics’ way. And don’t forget, read all their reviews in ‘The Nightly Gazette’ which can be found in restrooms everywhere. You can find it on that little scroll of paper you wipe your butt with, then flush it out with the rest of the crap.

Why is it so much easier to believe the bad stuff then the good? So often, I hear artists report insulting comments and disrespectful handling of their work by viewers. There is a lot to be said for good manners. The poisonous darts that spew from their mouths target you and begins to infiltrate your system. Do they truly know what they are doing? I don’t think so. They are blind to how their actions affect others or don’t care. When they leave, they are not going to be thinking about you. So, why should you waste your time thinking about them? They are ignorant or just plain jerks.

Or, you might have inadvertently, ‘walked into something’. No matter what you do to remove the mess, it sticks to you. You try to shake it off. That doesn’t work. You try dragging your foot sideways back and forth about a few feet in each direction. No good. You scrape the bottom of your shoe against the side of the curb; but, it’s still there! Okay, desperate times call for desperate measures. Now you’re searching all over the place for a stick to free yourself from this disgust. However, out of all times, you can’t seem to find any! Or, if you do find one, it breaks from the force of clearing everything out from in between the cracks. And, there’s still some left behind! ARRGGHHH! The madness of it all!

Instead of turning yourself into a 3-ring circus, decide now how you will handle it. Many years ago, while attending an art studio in SoHo, NY, I observed a gallery owner who, excellently, managed an insulting customer. This customer happened to also be an artist but was not showing anywhere. He was crudely degrading another artist’s work. The owner overhead this; and, instead of allowing him to continue, he gingerly walked over and asked if he could be of service. Of course, the customer declined. Then, the owner motioned toward the painting at hand and commented on the expertise of the artist’s skill. The customer was fast to ‘enlighten’ the gallery owner about what he perceived was wrong with it and share, in a condescending manner, what he ‘thought’ he knew so well. As each derogatory comment was made, the owner, very calmly, counterpointed his attacks with a brief, educational statement. By doing this, he made everyone aware that he was very well informed about what he was talking about and that the customer was, in fact, not. The customer became quiet and eventually left the gallery.

Or, you might choose to ignore them, altogether. Act very happy, as if you never heard them. That alone can drive people nuts. Happiness is the best revenge. They don’t get why you’re so happy when they are doing everything possible to make your life miserable. Yes, their attitude stinks worse then rotten fish and the smelliest cheese put together. However, this is not your burden to bear. You can only control how you respond to the situation.  You are responsible for your thoughts and actions; and, they are responsible for theirs.  Most often then not, they will not change until they are good and ready, which may be never. Not everyone is spiritually or emotionally mature.  But, that doesn't mean you have to suffer because of them.  That choice is yours.

In any case, guard yourselves against The Walking Toxins of the World. When this happens to you, which at some point, it will, if it hasn’t already, know how you will handle it and move on. A lot of times, we can be caught off guard, which makes us vulnerable to these attacks. Knowing what you will do will prepare you on how to proceed when that time comes. Do not allow your thoughts to linger or dwell on it. Don’t continuously replay it over and over and over again in your head or repeat the story to whomever will listen again and again because these actions only reinforce the negative mindset they were trying to plant in you to begin with. Then, those thoughts will begin to take root stronger. Remember, practice makes perfect. Keep repeating something over and over again, it gets stronger and stronger. Get rid of it. Let it go. Release it.

When all is said and done, it’s better to file it here:

Yes, people, file it in the garbage where it belongs. So, the next time you see your garbage men, thank them because they’re the ones who end of removing all the trash that stinks up your life and can bring pests to your home that can cause unthinkable damage.

And go buy yourself a funky new pair of shoes, while you’re at it!

Remember, you can't necessarily help feeling slighted; but, you can choose to do something about it. You don't have to carry that feeling around with you all day.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Friday, September 4, 2009

Gorilla Rampage!

What just happened?  While deeply engrossed in one of my artscades, I looked up halfway through and saw bits of fabric strewn there, beads scattered across the floor, paints stacked and rolled over there, wool hanging from the window, pattern pieces over here, thread stuck all over the place.  Did a gorilla rampage through my studio; and, I didn't even notice?!  It made a mess of everything!  Many times, I had to stop what I was doing just to straighten out this monkey mess so I could find my desperately needed supplies.  Since then, I've made bell garlands that hang across the windows and doors to no avail.  It's still able to get in and slip past me.  Now I'm thinking about putting up a security camera to catch it in the act!