Recently, someone, a man, made a comment to me about my artwork. He said, "your videos are more impressive than your art." He was talking about the process videos that I post on Instagram. The comment was hurtful. I don't know exactly what he meant. I'm not here to analyze the intention behind it, but I did want to respond.
My response is for me. And for you. It's not for him. He may read this, and my intention isn't to make him feel badly, but to address what the comment brought up for me, and this is it.
The purpose of my art is not to impress you. It’s to share my heart. It’s to encourage others. It’s to send messages of hope, positivity, and love to the world. It’s to address the hurt that so many feel. It’s to acknowledge that it’s such a real thing that so many of us, women especially, are given the message over and over again that no matter what we do, it’s not enough.
We need to be beautiful, thin, and nice. But, we should also be smart, strong, and capable. Not too much of anything, though. Don’t be too strong, or too loud, or too smart. You might upset the men in the room. Don’t be too beautiful, too thin, or too nice, either.
We have gotten the message that we need to fit into someone else’s mold to be okay. We have also gotten the message that we can do whatever we want, but we won’t be compensated equally for our work, for no other reason than our gender.
I’m an artist. Not because I have an art degree. Not because someone told me I could be or I should be or I was “good enough” to be.
I'm an artist because I make art.
I’m an artist because I have messages inside my heart that need to and want to get out. I have messages inside my soul that I want my daughters to hear and embrace and know. I have messages that I myself need to be reminded of every single day.
I’m worthy. I’m enough. I don’t have to fit into your mold, or be the woman or person you want me to be. My worth and value don’ t come from creating the art you think I should create. My worth and value don’t come from being the size the world says I need to be. My worth and value don’t come from how beautiful I am. My worth and value are not determined by whether you approve of me.
I am enough. Me. My art is enough, because it comes from my heart.
I feel so grateful that the hundreds of women and men that have supported me by purchasing art, being part of my journey, encouraging me, commissioning me to paint things for them – those are the people that I make my art for – not for the ones who criticize it.
I’m in the ring, I’m daring greatly to put myself out there, my art and my heart out there. If you want to criticize it and tell me that it’s not impressive enough for you, that says more about you than it says about me.