Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Art School: Confidence

I really hate labels.

I will not call myself an artist.
I will not call myself a photographer.

I feel those are labels that are far too overused by people who are not worthy to claim them, myself included.

I was in a gallery show last summer and had to wear a name tag with the words ARTIST printed in big letters.  I can't tell you how awkward and hard that was to wear. 

As a studio art major in college we started off dipping our toes into everything.  Whether it was carving marble, making casts in hot wax, etching plates in vats of acid, turning the crank of a printing press, drawing live models or painting- I did it all. Well, most of it. ...

Photography never made it on the list of things I had time to do back then.

Rather, I found my love of art history, pursued my love of drawing and had a love affair with a giant printing press.  I would spend my weekends alone in the studio carving print blocks. It was me, a mug of coffee, and the smell and sound of black ink on a brayer.  

But from the day I met my husband in one of those art studios in college so long ago, I have always referred to him as the artist, not me.

I prefer to call myself: someone who likes to take pictures.  My "artist" husband doesn't like this.  He says,  "You don't take pictures, you make beautiful photographs."

I suppose I should work on that silly thing called self-confidence. But I am so grateful for my husband always being there to cheer me on.  At what point will I gain the confidence to give myself a label?  I may never, and who really cares. ...

Since writing the original draft to this post, a man in my church, two years older than me, died suddenly of a heart attack.  He leaves behind a wife and three children.

My heart is breaking for this family, and for a sweet little eight year old boy who I taught Sunday School to.

Life is short.  I'm going to do the best with what God has given me for the time I have here.

All of this is fleeting, and none of it is coming with us.

".... being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus."  Philippians 1:6


  1. I'm so sorry to hear about this family's loss and send a healing prayer their way. I'm surprised to hear about your lack of confidence. I don't know your work, other from what I've seen here. But your teaching, cooking, photography, and writing reveals your passion, creativity, uniqueness that I hope to see and hear about for a long time.

  2. Also sorry for the loss...

    I love that you don't call yourself an artist and that you lack confidence - I think that most of us who create photographs, paintings, music, blogs, etc... do. It's a massive piece of yourself that you are putting out to the world.

    PS. In that vein, I think your blog is truly spectacular and very original. It's a dark, sexy, delicious gem in a sea of light, airy, careful blogs... I like those too - I have one. haha... I like the way you've used the colors and format of something different though.