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Creative Wisdom: Own It – Lesley Riley

June 15, 2013

Here is some lovely wisdom from Lesley Riley – reposted with her permission.

Own It



There appears to be a very fine line between being modest and owning up to your success. 
At one end is the obnoxious person who sounds arrogant and boastful. It is equally as inappropriate to sound meek and humble, dismissive even, of your success. I’m speaking of extremes, but my experience this weekend got me to thinking about how artists often speak of their work.

The lure of the SAQA symposium I attended last weekend is that you get to be the first to see the Quilt National show and hob-nob with the participating artists. On Saturday morning there was a walk-through of the show. Each attending exhibiting artist was asked to speak about their work for an all-to-short two minutes.

Just like the mix of quilting styles, materials and methods, the artists varied in the way they spoke of their work. As someone who makes a living encouraging artists to create with confidence and revel in their own artistic vision and abilities, I was surprised how many spoke of their quilt as if it was “just something that happened” subliminally suggesting it (and they) really didn’t belong there amongst the other art quilt rock-stars.

Mind you, I don’t know how I would react in that situation – 100+ people surrounding you, staring at you and your quilt – but I would hope that I would come across like a proud mama showing off her beautiful baby. No boast, just love.

The art we make is a wonderous thing. It is not something that should be shrugged off or makes you uncomfortable to speak about. The word “just”, as in, “I just tried to,” or “I just put this…,” should never be uttered.

Creating art that others deem worthy of being in one of, if notthe, most prestigeous art quilt shows in the world is not a fluke. It is an acknowledgement of your vision, your voice, and your spirit. The best art, the art that moves others, is the art you pour yourself into.

Your best art is art that is as much a part of you as your hand and your heart.

The best art is created by those who folllow their heart on a regular and consistent basis, honing both their skills and their voice so that both speak so loudly that it cannot be ignored.

Whether it is your best art or deemed to be the best art, it is important that you own it. Own up to the fact that you have the talent and courage to find that seed of creative inspiration inside of you and nuture it into the world.

Be like the child running to their mom or dad saying, “Look what I made!” Celebrate the magic and gift of spinning straw into gold.
The appearance of things change according to the emotions, and thus we see magic and beauty in them, while the magic and beauty are really in ourselves.
Kahil Gibran

LesleyRiley:ArtistSuccess  | No Struggling Artists Here
301-793-5311  |   info@artistsuccess.com

Copyright 2013 Lesley Riley. All Rights Reserved.

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1 Comment

  • Reply
    Lisa
    June 17, 2013 at 12:35 am

    Lesley always has great encouragement! I often run to my children and say “Look at what I made!” I don’t often get the response I should – guess I should pick a different audience to run to. Haha Thanks so much for reposting Lyric!

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