Rings. We all live in them in one form or another. We have rings of friends, relatives, and work. We have rings of influence, rings of authority, ring around the collar, all kinds of rings. When we’re in our inner ring, that’s where we function best.
When you talk about jewelry, you have all kinds of rings also. Really, we’re talking about the ring shank, where you insert your finger. One of my pet peeves is plain ole ring bands. Don’t get me wrong, that’s where everyone starts, and it’s the main-stay of the wedding band industry. But for us ‘Art Jewelers’ there is sooooo much more!
I hate to see a beautifully executed ring design soldered to a plain ring band. The shank looks like an after-thought, and to me, it really detracts from the aesthetic of the whole piece. So much potential just wasted.
Unfortunately, so many people are like this too. They are either afraid to step out into their God-given creativity, or they don’t know how to progress. Either way, it’s wasted potential. Both of these problems can be either easy or hard to resolve.
The first step is wanting to resolve the issue(s). As with jewelry, if you are satisfied with a plain band in your life, you will never step out. If you want to step out, but don’t know how, I’ve got good news; there’s lots of help available. Take a class, go to a counselor, read an article, get a coach. There’s no excuse for staying put. You just have to overcome that initial fear and do it.
Fear. So many artists suffer from the debilitating effects of fear. Fear of exposure, fear of incompetence, fear of rejection, fear of bearing our soul in front of strangers. And that fear holds us back from doing what we really want to do.
The big question is ‘HOW do I overcome this fear?’ I’m not going to tell you to take a couple of platitudes and call me in the morning. This is a tough nut to crack. But of course I’ll give it a whack.
As with so many things in life, it’s all in your mind. Think of a picture. Have you ever seen a nice picture, but something was just ‘wrong?’ Sometimes all that’s needed to correct the dissidence is putting the picture in a different frame that compliments the art rather than detracts from it. You can do the same thing.
You can ‘re-frame’ your fears into a positive light. The first thing I would suggest to you is to realize that you do art for yourself, no one else. In practical terms, what that looks like is this: Who cares what anyone else thinks! Are you happy with it? Did you enjoy the process? Guess what? That’s a win. I tell people “If you are having fun, that’s all that matters. If someone else likes your work, that’s a home run. If someone actually wants to give you MONEY for your creation, well, died and gone to heaven.”
So re-frame the things you need to. Look into a bunch of your ‘rings’ and see who and what you need to re-frame. All of life is just waiting for you to join in.
Jeff Fulkerson M.A.
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