I've really been searching deep within myself lately to find clarity about what matters most to me as I pursue this new medium and direction in my creative business. When I was creating metal art, it was pretty easy and straight forward. I think most of you could have been asked the question -- What are Tamara's art business values? -- and answered fairly accurately. Recycling, healthy planet, kindness toward animals and fellow human beings, gardening, and of course, bringing beauty into our daily experience. Maybe throw a little humor in the mix, too. As my health and personal goals have moved me to go another direction, though, I've struggled to find the purpose and values that will steer this creative ship for which I am the captain. I've focused on learning the HOW of the particular technical aspects of this new medium. But, I've felt a bit lost when asking myself the WHY behind my designs. Levity has always been something I've treasured delivering to my friends and customers, often by a whimsical metal art design like a cat with a bird perched on its back. But that type of laugh can be delivered with sharing a funny cat meme. So, what ARE my core values, priorities and purpose with this new medium, Surface Design? I won't make you guess. I'll just come out with it. Some of this isn't easy for me, though, because it comes from a deeply personal place that I rarely share. And, frankly, that I've been downright embarrassed about. (I'm still working on that!) GAH! Okay, here goes. The first things aren't hard to share and aren't hard to figure out, and those are still kindness, love of animals, gardening and the importance of beauty in our daily lives. The next value is healing our planet, Mother Earth. This goes way beyond recycling, though. I believe this is critically important to our very survival, especially for our children and grandchildren. Recently, my designs have begun to reflect this. Here is where it gets hard. If I'm REALLY honest and open with you, I NEED my designs to educate, elevate and lift women and this comes from a deeply personal and vulnerable place. My own years in a toxic, psychologically abusive and eventually physically abusive relationship. .............Long pause............. I have to admit, I'm sitting here pondering what to say next. It's almost paralyzing for me to try to talk about. I keep hitting "delete" in my head. Partly because of the personal nature, but also because it's SO complicated. And, to be blatant, I still don't have it all figured out. Maybe I can start sharing in small, palatable doses as I navigate this new path. ?? I struggle with feeling embarrassed, because that inner voice still asks, "How could a smart, talented woman get so lost? How could you find yourself in the middle of such a horrible, sick situation? How could you continue to love that person? How could you let your children live through that?" I still can't answer some of those questions. Okay, pause to grab my tissues. UGH! In the meantime, while I work on being more open, what I DO know is that I want to build and support a community of like-minded people. I want to encourage women to value themselves and to expect, demand, that same respect from those people in their orbit. I want to help educate MEN that this is their fight, too. That we NEED them in this with us! I want my designs to reflect these values, to educate and empower. Whew! That doesn't seem like it should feel so scary and difficult to share, but it does. I hope you'll walk with me on this new path (well, sorta new.) I hope I can prop you up on days you need it, whether that's with the levity of a funny cat meme, or the prompt to cherish your connection to Nature by sharing a photo of the birds in my garden, or with a sentiment that reminds you of your worth, of your strength, of your own beauty and value. And, to be candid, I hope you'll hold my hand and remind ME of these things, too.
~ Tamara ~
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