|My second goat pattern.|
Last week I took my husband to the doctor and while I was waiting for him, I decided to do a little drawing. However, an episode of Friends was playing on the television in the waiting room and I found myself doing more watching than sketching. I can't say that I am an avid T.V. watcher, let alone a Friends fan, but I finally admitted defeat, closed my sketchbook and enjoyed the episode.
Now, I don't know if I simply missed a lot of the jokes as a youth, but the show was much funnier than I remembered and I caught myself sitting in a freezing cold doctor's waiting room with a huge smile on my face, amused by the antics of the friends. A few minutes after my realization another woman came in and settled, quite purposefully, in the row of chairs beside me to watch the show.
First of all, I admired her blunt interest in watching the show. I always feel some need to pretend like I am not interested in communal televisions. (Why is that? I am strange.) Second, she laughed at the show, like out loud. In a silent waiting room her wheezing laughter seemed louder than it probably was, but it really got me thinking. She was unashamed of her pleasure in a silly show. She felt uninhibited by the opinions of others. I liked that. As evidenced by other behaviors this woman was more gregarious and uninhibited than I will ever be, but she is completely herself. I need to learn from that.
Last week I mentioned that I won the Spoonflower Goats contest. I know I am a broken record over here about Spoonflower and the contests, but bear with me. You see, I had made a second pattern for the contest after I completed the one that won. [See above.]
The more I learn about surface pattern design the more blown away I am by the talent out there. There are so many beautiful patterns in the Spoonflower contests every week, let alone on websites, in books, and in every market. I begin to feel unsure and silly and full of doubt about myself. I feel like I am just learning to ski and am flying down the hill and am barely staying upright; one wrong move and my lack of skill will be exposed and I will crash in a messy heap.
Want to know why I went through the effort of making a second pattern even though it meant staying up way too late when I already have a toddler who hates sleep? I wanted to try to be someone other than myself. I tried to make a pattern like the other designers I see. My designs never quite fit in.
My second pattern wasn't bad. It just wasn't me. So, I took a risk, put myself out there, and people responded to that. What a huge lesson for me.