Artistic Self Doubt

The sound of complete silence is overwhelming as the walls gleam. Light bounces off the various pieces of work in the space as my eyes dart from the paintings and sculptures to the photography and jewelry. I am the only artist in the gallery… or person for that matter and it is 6:07 pm. People should be here already the event is scheduled to run from 6-9 pm. I nervously wait for people to arrive. Why is no one here yet? As I pace the floor of Firehouse XIII, from the ancient hardwood section back to the concrete area which once served as the horse stomping grounds when, fire trucks were little more than huge canteens of water drawn by horses, my mind reels with thoughts of self doubt. How did I get selected to be part of this show? This is my very first art opening and I am being featured with some of Providence's crowned artists including individuals like Anna Shapiro and Umberto Cuenca, artistic director of AS220. This is crazy I think to myself! These people have been doing this their whole lives and I only began formally pursing my craft a little over a year ago. I have never even taken a single "art class" unless you count unified arts in 8th grade as formal arts training. How did this all happen.... I pull myself together and manage to greet the first gallery patrons.From that moment on the evening is a whirlwind as people from the various part of my life pass in and out of my little sphere. Family and friends mill about the small gallery joined by friends and family of the eight other artists featuring that evening.

Seven hours later, I collapse on my couch located just above the gallery, where I serve as an artist residence. As I lie on my back with an arm tucked under my head I take in all the evening’s happenings and collecting my reflections for my artist journal and circling back to my thoughts of self doubt. Where did these doubts materialize from? How did I
come to internalize them?

Why were they consuming my thoughts before the show? I have never been anything but supported in my work as an artist since I began. I even know I have served as inspiration to others who are pursuing their own journey toward artistic self-discovery. How then is it that self-doubt still pervades my existence as an artist? If you ask a room full of kindergartners who is an artists almost every hand in the room will shoot up.

If you ask a room full of seniors who is an artist a select few hands will slowly crawl into the air as they look around to see who is judging their self-definition. When will we live in an environment where the people of this world recognize their inner creative selves, embrace it as an integral element of their being, and not let self doubt paralyze them from pushing forward or for some taking that first step into defining oneself as an "Artist" ?

* Above are all images of my work from the show. The dress and clutch are made from men's neck ties, the fire hydrant is on of my photography pieces and the earrings below are what I spend more of my time as an artist creating. Jewelry from old silverware.

Good Luck and Peace

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