When we are little and we come home with a finger painting, our parents go on and on about how great it is. They hang it on the fridge and brag on you at dinner. There are even those wonderful crazy parents that keep every piece, frame their favorites and hang them next to the fine art prints in their home, like you are one of the greats. We think we are the most talented artist out there and have zero fear when creating or sharing our art. Then we grow up.
Somewhere between finger painting and puberty, most of us closet our love for art and creating works just for our own pleasure. Openly sharing our art without disclaimers of " its really not that good" or the feeling of immediately putting it back in a hidden place is almost non existent. We somehow learn to tell ourselves "it's not enough". Were not talented enough, creative enough, brave enough to do what we love and let it be a known part of ourselves. We let that feeling rule us for a looooooooong time. We talk ourselves into filling our days with responsibility, tasks and accomplishments others find socially acceptable: A promotion earned after working so hard that your brain is numb and your not sure you have enough strength left to do the NEW job. The accomplishment of "I finally finished that quilt I've been working on for three years" or "I finally recorded that album of songs I've been talking about forever" are not typically ones society thinks of as huge accomplishments. In my mind, the real accomplishment there is not only creating, but sharing it without shame or anxiety of what others will think.
Now, maybe if you are not an art lover, or as my brothers would say "Artsy Fartsy" and you think this whole thing seems silly. But if you have are a creative person, who turns into a happier, lovelier version of yourself when you are creating, you get it. It really is hard to balance art life and "real" life. For me, it's not easy to be a full time working wife and mom, be involved in all the things I want to be and still have time to create art. On top of that, it has ALWAYS been a struggle for me to be proud of my work. I am the type of person who wears it all on my sleeve and cannot help talking about things I am excited about. When I am working on a new quilt, EVERYONE in my office knows it and ,god bless them, they listen and encourage me although they have no idea what I am talking about (shout out to my PPT peps!) But these conversations always come with hesitation when putting pictures online or sharing things in general with those that are not close friends. I have noticed that in my 30s I can no longer pretend that art is not part of my life. That it is not part of what makes me tick, it just is. This is WAY more serious of a post than I intended it to be!!! But to be honest, for a while my efforts to continue putting art on the back burner sent me into a spin, it brought on anxiety and sadness that was not good for me or my family. So I've decided to say "screw it", and just go for it, UNapologetically! To my surprise and utter delight, I saw that so many of my friends, both old and new, were starting to do the same. I've outlined some of my favorites to follow here:
Stephy Duston: My old, dear friend and one time roommate whom put up with many years of my shenanigans and terrible roommate-ness. She is a crazy talented artist, check her out HERE.
Ben C Foster: My amazing big brother. He's a hero (coincidentally he lived with Steph and I) who has never shied away from being the incredible artist and musician he is. Check out his music HERE.
Paige Foster: My crazy, stupid-talented little sister. She has the most amazing stuff and is quite possible the nicest human out there. Check out her stuff on Instagram HERE.
Meghann Chapman: This is my sweet neighbor friend who is multi-talented! She is a great photographer and artist, including some delicious water color paintings. Check her out HERE.
As for me? You guessed it, I have decided to sing it from the roof tops. I have decided to dive into Hayley Gray Textiles, the art and business. And I am excited to announce that some of my work is now being sold in Uptown Needle in Craft in New Orleans!!! Check out this awesome shop HERE.
All of this is to say, YOU ARE ENOUGH. Whatever your passion is, where ever that leads you, be proud of that path. It could be art, sports, health, business, culinary: Get out there and do it. You don't have to disclaimer things with "This is in progress" or "I know its not Piccaso". Your work, your creativity, your effort is ENOUGH. So get it out there and love it without shame or excuse!!!