Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Ongoing Battle

Consider yourself warned :

1. This is a long post
2. I am not a good writer
3. English is not my 1st language
4. there is only 1 photo in this post

Ok..I would love to see how many of you started reading this post, and
then after nr. 4, how many actually stayed on the page...

*pours some coffee*

This is one of the numerous posts I have written/edited/revisited/re-edited 
and then abandonned on the draft folder.
Why you may ask? Well, because of nr. 2 and nr.3, I m 
affraid you will think I m either crazy, or a 
complete fool, or an idiot, 
or boring to death, or you will think to 
yourself "did she actually write this???".

But this time, I just felt I owe it to myself to click the publish button.
I know only a few of you will actually read this, and I just
don't care really if you will think less of me; not anymore anyway.

So, for those very few who might have decided 
not to run away, because I love you and  because of nr.2, I will cut straight 
to the chase.

*deep breath*

Ok. For the past year or so, I have been
told, quite a few times actually, that
my shop/creations are "all over the place".
I think I fully understand what "all over the place" means, but because
of nr. 3 I can not be 100% sure about the feeling of this
phrase. you know what I mean?
It would be so great if you did. 
See? I could have said lovely, but great is another word, with
another feel to it.
It's more intense than lovely.
You get it now?

Anyway....I guess the phrase means, that I do not
 have a cohesive looking shop, that my creations 
are not distinctive, that they
do not have that special recognizable niche, style.etc...

 I was really hurt. Even though I m sure
their intentions were good, all this had me 
losing hours of sleep feeling lousy with myself.
Feeling incompetent, talentless, boring, just not enough...

Quitting was/has been and still seems like a delightful option
every time I find myself in this state of mind.

The truth is though, that my shop IS "all over the place".
My creations are a mix of various styles....

If you look at the photo below you will too say this:

I go from mimimal, to a bit bohemian, to a bit of
a gypsy style, then the pearl earrings are the elegant part,
 then to colorful fun and playful, and then
to bohemian and colorful once again.
There is silver, gemstones,pearls,copper,enamel and some
beading! hello??!?!?!

Heh. My shop looks like a freakin' department store..
the only cohesive thing about it, is the white background
made with repurposed-by moi-wooden crate...

*stops laughing*

Thing is, I have always admired people with a great talent 
in something. Those who excell in making/singing/creating/painting sth with their
own individual/recognizable magnificent style...and sticking to it.
I always admired their greatness.

And always felt short for not having it.

People like me, have small talents.
Can do really well in many things, but never excell in anything.
I am a good singer, a good piano player, a good crafter.
But not a great one at anything of the above.

One day I was thinking about talent and how
it is like the jackpot.
You either earn big time, or
small prizes.
And, as we all know, jackpot is not
something really frequent for most people...
Small prizes are.

*drinks some more coffee*

Before you start thinking this is a "boo hoo" post
all about "please make me feel good about myself"
I will say it loud and clear...

I LOVE love love what I make.
I love each and every little thing I have created with
my own hands. 
Simple or more intricate, inspired or not, perfect or mediocre,
I love every inch of every single piece.
I have come a really looooong way.
I ve had many crying days and many smiling days
through much trial and error. 
Through success and failure.

So, yes, maybe I will never be the designer with
the *wow f****** awesome* designs.
And maybe I will never find a niche.

But, this is who I am.
I love minimal design, but I love me
some bohemian style as well.
I love the gypsy look, but I do
admire elegance.
And I do love colors and playful designs
and fun designs.

*coffe is over.a refill?*

....however, this is an ongoing battle.
A never ending one.
There are days I feel satisfied with myself
and there are those dreadful days
I almost pity myself for my lack in greatness.
There are days when loving your pieces
is simply not enough to overcome the horrible 
feeling of not being great.

Those days, quitting seems like the only way out;
out of mediocre, of boring, of not good enough.

It really is an ongoing battle.

I think I will not tire you any longer with my
awful writing...

I am not sure, even now as I read this again, how I would
like to end this post...

I do not feel hurt anymore when I am told
this kind of thing. 
I ve come to terms with it :)

 Thank you, whoever you are who actually
took the time to read this ramblings of mine.



  1. Jen......You've known me quite a few years now, you see me come with renewed enthusiasm and disappear again with zero confidence in what I do! My digital friends are as dear to me as my flesh and blood ones and while I'm not good at always staying in touch because I worry I'm always there in the background............... I've seen you develop and learn your craft, seen you from basic wire-wrapping to intricate metal smithing and excel. Your jewellery is totally beautiful, unique and a representation of YOU, its "not all over the place", its eclectic, bohemian, elegant and fun! So to a beautiful, talented and most important "digital" friend I say YOU KEEP AT IT!!!! Manda

    1. thank you Manda...I know you have been there too...it's hard, isn't it? but I have not lost my hope...so should you my sweet friend...

  2. Jenny, a beautiful and heart-felt post... know you ARE talented and you are NOT alone in these feelings. I read somewhere that there will always be someone out there who does something better than us, and someone who does it a little worse... so as you say, the most important thing is that you love what you do. But I still very much understand that inner battle. Who doesn't want to be the very best at something!!! :) xox

    1. Laura, thank you. from the bottom of my heart thank you...thank you for your words and thank you for just being here..

  3. Jenny, first of all there is absolutely nothing wrong with having a lot of different styles. I had people tell me the same thing over the years. I took it as constructive critisism and moved on. You have a GREAT gift, din't ever think you are mediocre! You can not always measure success by how much you sell or whether or not your work is cohesive. Don't ever give up! Do what you love and what inspires YOU! Your work is very beautiful. So what if you like to mix a little boho with contemorary styles? I do too. I make what I like, and until things change I follow my muse into creating what comes from within. Not all creations need to be rich and intricate in content to be great.
    By the way, your english is great! Don't be so hard on yourself. You are such a wonderful person, inside and out, with GREAT potential and talent!
    Big hug! :)

    1. Sabine, I too, now, take it as constructive critisism. It was not easy though at first, cos I felt that this was the reason I was not successive, along with not having "THE talent"...
      Thank you for your words Sabine..thank you :D

  4. Jenny, I cannot stand shops that have the exact same things as hundreds of other shops. It makes them all look like...well a walmart. Your work is not like that. I love your style and you are extremely talented. Like the other ladies here have said, we do all have those doubts about our own work. I do not make jewelry but I am always striving to make my sculptures better and have the same doubts everyone else does. PLease push those thoughts away and keep making beautiful things.
    (((hugs))) Star

    1. thank you, Star...your words are like a sweet medicine :)

  5. I think all these thoughts are quite normal for artists and designers and I want to say you are not alone - not sure how that helps - but more than that it's pretty brave to set out your thoughts as you have done here to share your fears and hopes. Whatever you feel about your own work (and as an artist you no doubt have an extremely self-critical view) you have lots and lots of satisfied and delighte customers and it's their opinion that counts - they wouldn't be parting with their hard earned money If your work was mediocre! - stick with it Lovely x

    1. Ali, it sure helps knowing that I m not alone at this...and by that I do not mean I m happy other people feel like c*** some days..lol..but it sure means a lot to know that the feelings you have are in a way normal...
      thank you hon :)

  6. Jenny, I certainly wouldn't blame you if you're feelings were hurt!! Mine would be :( No one has the right to say that to you. Who are THEY to judge you and what you do. If they don't like what you do, then they should leave well alone and keep those opinions to themselves.

    You are not alone, I always feel like my store is jumbled up and my styles are all over the place. Not everyone can find a niche - as you said you like to make many things. Stick to doing what YOU like to do! All of us have those days where we feel like we can't make anything good - but those days come and then they go and you find yourself again.

    I love love love the saying
    Those that mind,
    Don't matter.
    Those that matter,
    Don't mind.
    ♥ Keep your chin up lovely!

    1. Em, I really believe they wanted to help. I really do. Of course that does not mean I was not hurt. But I was hurt because I knew what they were saying was true and not because I thought they were being mean.

      Your shop IS cohesive Em. At least this is how I see it. And I really believe this is a great thing. Your pieces are "clean", really professional looking, there are no flaws, and I think that they are not only perfect technically, they are also really beautiful!!!!

      ps : I love the saying! :) thank you my luffly....

  7. Wow - this was an excellent post! I could have written it myself! I create for me - if I had just one style, one facet on my diamond, I would be boring and not shine AT ALL ...

    1. Patti, thank you...it means a lot to me that you are here :)

  8. Your post has intrigued me in many ways. It was very brave I think to speak your mind on this issue, I can see these comments have affected you deeply. I have a question regarding said comments. The person who said these words to you, was it someone close to you? was it some one whose opinion you respect and look for often? because if not, then why let it bother you so much? this question may seem harsh but I think it is a valid one.
    I follow you on Etsy, and have done for some time, the reason for this is because as a silversmith just starting out you inspire me so much. I love the stones you use, the colours, the settings, the enamel, every thing!
    I was just looking through your past sales on Etsy and there are a whole range of purchases from all across your range of work, it seems to me that instead of clinging on to comments made from one person, you should look at what your customers are buying and see this as encouragement, clearly you are catering for lots of different tastes well, and you are great at what you do, you've been pre-occupied with trying to obtain greatness that you didn't realise you already are. Yes of course time and practice makes us better, but greatness is a perception made by other people, and we ourselves never think that we are, and that's a good thing because what else is there is strive for?
    I have noticed since becoming a jeweller that there does seem to be this thing of finding a niche, and I feel that this is alot of pressure for some people. I started out as a bead weaver and now I'm studying a degree in Silversmithing and I enjoy that very much, I've struggled with this notion of finding a niche, constantly trying to find ways to combine my two skills, and I realised I was quashing my inspiration by filling my mind with this, and ideas for pieces couldn't get in, since letting go of this my work is beginning to move forward and I am much happier. And that really is the most important thing, and the thing you have identified yourself, you love what you make, and really the answer is simple, if you love what you make, keep making it.
    Keep going, you're great!

    1. Lynsey, it has been both people I respect and people that I do not know so much in order to have a more intimate relationship with them so as to really respect their opinion. I think it bothered me because I too questionned my work and still do, even if I love deeply what I do. And if you add to this the fact I am not a successful seller, then it adds up to me feeling this way.

      thank you for being here Lynsey...I am sure that after everything you wrote, I should start seeing my "flaw" as a good thing :) thank you...

  9. I think its a great thing that you have a diverse range of jewellery , its great that all the pieces are not the same old same old, and it means your stuff will appeal to more people. Remember there is always two ways of seeing things as a positive or a negative maybe you just need to think more positive!

    1. Yep. I think I need to see things in a more positive way :D
      Thank you Niky :)

  10. thank you ALL, each and every one of you for being here. thank you for your words, thank you for reading about my thoughts, fears, doubts..
    Actually I can not thank you enough....

  11. This post could have been written from the many thoughts in my head! I so identify with all these feelings, the questioning, doubting, and in my case over-thinking of just about everything, It was very brave of you to share this, and I am selfishly happy that someone else has gone through all these things in their journey of creativity. I LOVE your creations, you should be proud of the work you have made, as should we all...I feel the same love for my pieces that you spoke of here, loving every inch of them, even the ones that seem "simple" or so different from the rest of my work. This is a growing and learning process for us, I think as artists this type of discussion whether in our own heads, or here as you have shared it, is so important to our process. We may find inspiration in the hard times in the studio, and come out the other side with tougher, thicker skin, loving our work and our craft even more! THANK YOU for opening up and sharing, look how many people have gathered to discuss this even more...AMEN for my online sister!

    1. thank you Sierra... to tell you the truth I was not expecting any comments...part because I never blog as in actually write a blog post, and 2 because I feared noone would care to comment. but you are right....you were here and read all my ramblings and actually understood what I had to say and wrote your own truth..and I can not thank you enough for it.... :)

  12. Don't know how I missed this Jenny but then I am all over the place head wise and am struggling to keep up with myself ;) I don't feel my shop is totally uniform yet I think yours is fabulous ~ the something for everyone without loosing yourself in the process (which I do see from time to time in other shops) My work I think ever evolves, new techiniques etc and yet other times I feel stagnant, like I am loosing myself and if I won the lottery would scrap about 40% of my shop and start again!!!

    As Sierra was saying its almost an artist thing, we do feel insecure and I know you also see that in me when I have vented ~ scared of noone liking what I create ~ then loosing confidence in my work.

    Anyway I know you have fans ~ me included ~ much love xxxx

  13. Hello! I've been reading your website for some time now and finally got the bravery to go ahead and give you a shout out from Huffman Tx! Just wanted to tell you keep up the fantastic job!

    My web site; data


Thank you so much for your comments!


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