Thursday, October 05, 2006


Today I spent the majority of my day sorting and organizing art from Telecare clients. Each year we have a contest for a client-art calendar and also our holiday card. This year, I have a HUGE stack of art to go through... each needs to be checked for name and program of the artist, plus assessed for anything inappropriate (you never know!). It took a long time. And tomorrow, I'll do some actual sorting and judging. Plus, I need to make or buy acknowledgment cards for each artist, and address them. It's a long process, but it's one of my favorite parts of my job.

It's interesting to look through these art pieces. I forget that so many of our great artists had a mental illness. It's easy to remember when I'm looking through the vibrant colors, patterns, and clear insights in these entries. Of course, some are quick scribbles, and some are rather perfunctory, but sometimes, one will just shine through. I especially love it when it's not traditionally 'good art' - when something transcendent makes it special.

It reminds me that we are all artists. And that I am an artist. And that the only person who is really truly judging my art as suitable for public consumption (or not) is me. I'm my own censor. And a rather harsh one.

It's a hard lesson to learn to be generous and kind to yourself. I find it pretty easy to be generous and kind to others; yet I'm very strict with myself (even if I try to deny it). Looking through these art entries is a good reminder to be brave, try my best, and let someone else do the judging. Believing in myself is my first job as an artist.

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