I decline a fair amount of projects. I feel just as good declining a project as I do accepting one and that feels really good.
Sometimes the communication just isn’t there (I will not work with a person(s) or company I cannot effectively communicate with). Sometimes it’s the timing, material, scope, product, or ‘vibe’ (public or personal presence of said co-creator) that just isn’t a fit. Occasionally I’m overqualified, or underqualified, or the project is not in line with my lifestyle or beliefs.
I did a lot of modeling and artistic endeavors in my youth; much of which I am very proud of but, I admit, I’ve also taken on a few cringy projects as well.
The point is, in my younger years I was more apt to take on projects that were not conducive to my art or growth for various reasons and I have grown. I’m no longer that young, naive woman that can be manipulated by my lack of experience or trust that everyone is honest and kind. I no longer develop working relationships with people or companies that are not in line with the direction I wish to journey. I have learned to say yes, and no, with confidence and authenticity.
My art, my body, my mental space, and my time are precious to me and are the seeds of my creative works. These elements are the life force which delivers life, influence, vitality, strength, spirit, and soul to my creations and, I’ve learned, need to be vehemently protected.
Creative projects are a birthing. They take time, thought, soul, and most often involve every emotion – the whole gambit from excitement and exhilaration, to drudgery and fear before the whole show is brought to conclusion. Even the smallest projects involve a large investment. A balance of skill, practice, patience, and sometimes blind thrust – a deep trust in your art and ability – are required.
To fill a space of nongrammatic expression publicly takes a lot of courage, imagination, fervor, study, and well, let’s admit it, a lot of grammatical ability as well. In the best co-creative projects both parties are in sync and must be able to sufficiently express to successfully generate. One must be able to express themselves on many levels to be successful. For me, a lot of that came from honing my skill and courage to say no and yes at the right times with the right people.
If it doesn’t fuel me, fire me up, make me sparkle, and feel alive I’m content to patiently await the next opportunity. The dutiful expression of authenticity and self-knowledge is an ever-evolving, faceted, and bittersweet dance. This dance is also a necessity for the successful evolution of your art. 🎨
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