Discovering the Artist
Words 1 2022
Words 2 2022
Words 1 2022
I have very much been driven by the need to please people all my life, since the age of 6, up to and including now as a 44 year old woman. When I first began making and creating again, in 2015, I was driven by the need to achieve validation from others. A smile or a purchase from my market stall was all it took. When I started this it was not the creative fire that had been found but an ember that had been sparked.
As I move into being a full time artist, I am fighting to find myself and reclaim my visibility for myself.
I made my first cup of tea at the age of six, and my parents rubbed their hands together, and my path for their attention was set. I learnt from then on, that when I pleased people I got recognition and had purpose, therefore validation. Through my life I had been pushed to achieve, seeking one goal after another, often putting my own feelings to the back of the queue, with validation and approval being my primary objective. When I was 18, I applied for an arts foundation course, with dreams of going to art college to do surface pattern and textile design. I changed my plan quickly when I was told to get a proper degree, I changed my mind through fear of rejection by those that had conditioned me to constantly please others. I drank my way through an undergraduate degree and finished with a pathway into primary school teaching, as that was guaranteed for approval. For 23 years I have worn the mask and mended others, whilst fighting the creative fire within me and telling myself that following my own knowing is not for someone like me. I have been successful, I have been effective, I have worked hard and got an MA but it has never been enough for me. It has never made me happy. I was so conditioned into teaching that I have thought that there is no other possible way of living and it has made me stay longer than I should have.
As I stood at markets and craft fairs with my people pleasing work, l began to sense that something wasn’t right and I couldn’t figure out what it was.
I got married at 23. Growing up together, navigating our way clumsily through unexplained infertility and into adoption, again driven by the need to please people and have the perfect family. I have the family, I didn’t fit in, I didn’t belong to the mummy club as I hadn’t given birth and I lost my identity or the identity I thought that I had. I was all the time hoping that I would gain validation from other mothers that I was a real mother but I couldn’t find it. I felt placated and knew that it couldn’t just be me who felt so overlooked by other women. This experience was fuelling my creative fire, even though I didn’t feel it yet.
Who I am as an artist is not yet written and I am on a journey to discover who I am.