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Finding Your Tribe

by Luann Udell on 2/16/2017 10:23:13 AM

This post is by Luann Udell, regular contributing author for FineArtViews. She's blogged since 2002 about the business side--and the spiritual inside--of art. She says, "I share my experiences so you won't have to make ALL the same mistakes I did...."  For ten years, Luann also wrote a column ("Craft Matters") for The Crafts Report magazine (a monthly business resource for the crafts professional) where she explored the funnier side of her life in craft. She's a double-juried member of the prestigious League of New Hampshire Craftsmen (fiber & art jewelry). Her work has appeared in books, magazines and newspapers across the country and she is a published writer.



Unfortunately, artists are people, too.


I remember the first time I did a major fine craft show.  It was amazing!


Oh, sure there were the expected (and unexpected) obstacles to overcome. These shows are incredibly expensive to do—booth fees, meals, transportation, marketing. The realization that your track lighting issues are going to get even worse. The nerve-wracking experience of packing, set-up, break-down, and everything in between.


But then there is the wonderful side, and that’s all about the people. Gallery owners who really love your work. Show coordinators who eventually become good friends.


And finding your tribe.


At one event, a major national wholesale show, I met people I previously only knew through our conversations on a professional discussion forum. (Remember those? I miss them. Sort of. Keep reading!) I distinctly remember thinking, “I’ve found my tribe!”


For the first time in my life, I was surrounded by people who were creative makers, like me. People who took their work seriously. People who were true professionals (for the most part) about getting their art into the world. People who focused on doing excellent work, who worked at their craft daily, who sent their kids to college and paid their mortgage doing the work of their heart. People who laughed, shared information readily, supported other artists.


It was a magical year.


After a year or so, though, a few chinks appeared.


There were people who took shortcuts in their process, making it all about the money.


There were people who copied, diligently.


There were people who resented “newbies”, angry about people who “hadn’t paid their dues,” people who were envious of newcomers who won accolades and awards so “easily”.


There were people who were envious. People who were intensely annoying. People with obvious mental health issues. People with egos so big, they took all the air out of any room they entered.


I tend to accrue a lot of information when I try something new, and I love to share it. (In fairness, tru dat.) So a few people let me know I was an upstart know-it-all with a big head.


And a very few people went out of their way to be obnoxious, to the point of bullying.


Where was my tribe?? I felt broken-hearted.


It took me years to come to terms with this unpleasant knowledge. (I still struggle, I admit that freely.) And now I know this to be true:


Artists are people, too.


In fact, some of the factors that make for a successful (however we define “successful”) artist can make for a difficult human being.


We have to make our art a priority. We have to believe in ourselves, especially when times are hard. We have to trust our process, sometimes to the exclusion of everyone else’s process. We (sometimes) have to fight work hard for our place in the world.


Sometimes this means: We believe we are always Number One. We believe no one else’s opinions matter. We believe our way is the only way. We believe when someone else gets a bigger piece of the pie, we won’t get our own piece.


One summer, after a particularly grueling interaction with someone who was making my professional (and personal) life miserable, another artist finally said, “We can’t all be the Buddha.” “Hah!” I thought resentfully. “I’m just asking her to leave me alone!”


Unfortunately, we really can’t be the Buddha. And in my case, the Buddha would probably be, “Quit trying to fix/change/out-argue those people! You can’t win!”


Because life is filled with difficult people, and creative people are no exception. If anything, we get judged harsher because we are creative people, because we’re supposed to be happier, more fulfilled, livin’ the dream.


And so, instead, I try to see them as, not a problem to be fixed, but an obstacle to get around.


It’s hard. I want to be friends with everyone. (Don’t say it, I know. I know. I KNOW!!!) I have an open heart, and I keep forgetting to put up big effin’ fences when I need to. I consider myself a student of life, and pursuing my art has enriched me on all levels—especially the learning part!


So when it feels like you’ve been voted off the island, consider the source.


Do the people I know and trust support me? Or do they gently suggest I still have some growin’ to do?


Do these people really block my path? Or are they just an inconvenient moment in my life I have to get through?


Can I learn to truly see the good in people who kinda suck are not perfect? (Note: Please do not excuse or make up a story about people with extreme malignant narcissism/sociopathy. Just get away.)


And most important, when the weight of personalities lie heavy on me, I can always go to the sacred creative space of my studio, and get back to making the work of my heart.


Do you have a good story about how you dealt with a difficult person in your art career? Inquiring minds want to know!!




Editor's Note:

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Backstory: About Clint. Email EditorTwitter. Republish. ]

Related Posts:

Many Hands Make Life Work

Chaos Theory, The Weather, and You

Getting To Your Happy (Creative) Place

All Filled Up and Nowhere To Go

Topics: advice for artists | art and psychology | art and society | FineArtViews | inspiration | Luann Udell 

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Mark Brockman
In the present, where it seems it is aceptible to say what is on one's mind when maybe one shouldn't, I pine for civility.

I don't have just one story of difficult people in my art carreer, at least not where they mattered much except for one person, my mother. I will not go into that long draw out epic but suffice to say when I started teaching art my mother could then tell people what I did, I was a teacher.

I have come across two basic kinds of individuals who have no knowledge but preconceived ideas of an artist's life. One group thinks we have an easy life of leisure and creating when the muse is upon us. The other group wants us to be dark turtured souls. The first doesn't apply to me anyway as I work at my art nearly every day all day. Tortured? I feel that way at times but then I know I create my own torture.

A positive note and finding a tribe. Recently moved to my present location I decided to do something I have never done. Join up with other artists and go painting together. If nothing else we can commiserate over our artistic failures, but mostly we just laugh about them. I found a tribe.

S. Eppert
As hospitality chair for the local art guild, part of my job was to organize the members to bring food to the art show receptions. (It's like herding cats.) I was trying to avoid having duplicate foods and also being assured that we had enough table space for everything. Without warning, I received a very nasty email from a member that I sent out too many emails. And she continued to attack me through other members. Had she contacted me politely in the first place, this would have been avoided. To this day, I have yet to receive any apology from her as to what I was trying to do.

carol a. grigus
YES!!...finding you tribe...!! with any group there will be times and there will be people who just don't get along with others...I am very sociable...grew up in a large midwestern family...!!
But I know there are other artists who really don't like to socialize...and because of our solitary profession, it may be hard to get out there and be amongst your tribe...that's why I think it's important to join an art organization, teach, or at the very least meet with other artists on a regular basis..I do all PLEINAIR paint weekly with a group of intrepid artists here in the SIERRA for doing outdoor fairs, I had to give that up!!...tooo much work in the set-ups...hauling lifting!! more..!
there is one particular artist who I thought was not very good...a basic beginner in oil painting....she's improved somewhat but has been teaching!!!!!!!!!....I have come to terms with the fact that the art world, like any other world, is filled with great teachers and some really unqualified ones.....buyer beware!!...I've been able to let this annoyance go!!..!!

Your article REALLY resonated with me today, as well as the comments that followed. Thank you Luann, and thank you other tribe-members for sharing your stories. You have all upped my happiness scale tremendously today while I was in the grips of my own dealing with difficulties!!

Joe Alexander
Whatever you're doing, in every field of endeavor including art of course, you run into all sorts of people. Some are encouraging and uplifting and have intelligent things to say about what you do, some seem to have no purpose in life but to try to drag you down and hinder you from getting anything worthwhile done. I feel my biggest problem with the people around here is that almost all I get are compliments and exclamations of how talented I am, but ever so seldom does anyone ever have anything intelligent to say about this art of painting which is so important to me, nor does anyone have any constructive criticism that could maybe help me do better, it's rather maddening to get so many mindless compliments about how beautiful your work is but nothing intelligent and perceptive that maybe could help you do better, because I know damned well my work is far from perfect and there ought to be lots I could do to improve! Then there are the nice people who "appreciate the arts" but have never worked their tails off trying to do really good drawing and painting themselves, so to them everything is the same whether it's an amateurish scribble or a skillfully done painting by someone who's worked hard for 30 years to develop some professional level ability. Often the most encouraging thing is when someone who couldn't care less about art feels compelled to compliment you because you've done something that their plain old common sense tells them is really well done. Life has endless tribulations especially when you seriously set out to accomplish something worthwhile. One thing I've found well worth doing to keep my spirits for the game up no matter what the discouragements, is to spend some time daily on some practice that recharges my energy and helps me keep a clear and objective mind, I do yoga exercises for about a half hour every day because they are so helpful for this. Some people in the world are always out to drag us down, it's good to do something daily to recharge your energy, renew the joy of life and keep your mind from going unbalanced one way or another. That's my comment today!

Thank you so much for this post! You hit the nail on the head describing the quagmire of personalities and circumstances we can find ourselves trying to navigate and come out unscathed. My very first juried show, was almost my last. It was a small show, at a small gallery, but it meant a tremendous amount to me. Things got off to a rocky start when the gallery owner lost my entry registration to the show. Well after the deadline for entry, I had not heard whether or not I had been accepted, I assumed I had not, so called to ask about a refund of my entry fee, which had been paid upfront. It was then that I learned that my information had been lost and that yes, I was being invited to put my work in the show, not sure when they were planning on letting me know. About two weeks after I had given my piece to the gallery, I came by to take a look at how things were shaping up for the show. I noticed all the other pieces in the show had the name, title and price clearly noted on a card next to their piece, except mine. I had provided that information to the owner early on, so when I asked a gallery employee about it, she said they had run out of cards and had not gotten the new ones in yet. I left thinking to myself, -is this normal, am I overreacting in thinking that things weren't being handled very professionally?” Then my piece sold, whoopee! Well, sort of, a couple from out of town purchased the piece and wanted to take it with them that day, the gallery policy was to wait until the show was over and then deliver the piece. Not what happened, another employee sent it out the door with the couple, leaving a big hole in the exhibit. It is also the policy of the gallery to feature, on their web page, any items that had been sold, but in the haste to accommodate the customer, this was completely overlooked and so my sale went unrecognized, along with any exposure to the online community. The owner did call me to ask if I had another piece to fill in the hole, I did, but by then the show was almost over and I was left feeling a bit dismayed at the whole experience. For a while afterward, I really thought that the gallery owner had something against me, even though I did not know her at all before this show. It wasn't until later on when two other unrelated artists mentioned to me of their experiences with similar mismanagement issues at this gallery, that I finally wrote it off and told myself to be all the wiser next time.

Carol Meyers
Luann - sometimes I find one particular listening skill works really well in dealing with those who would attack us or just want to make us feel miserable about our life or work (whether at a church committee meeting or at an art show). It's called "fogging"! And it sounds like this in responding to an unfair judgement or an unsolicited attack:

"I can see how it's possible that someone might see my work (or behavior) like (or as) (use their words). . .!!"

You are not agreeing with them, not accusing them, in particular, of the their attack or judgement . . .

You have acknowledged that you have heard what they said or observed, and can understand how SOME PEOPLE (NOT myself) could see me as . . .

Some attackers are stunned by this kind of response and go away mumbling - some just go away!!

Try it out or practice with a friend - ask them to attack you for the way you comb your hair, or dress, or display your work on unclean easels - watch their response and be honest about your own feelings about how it went. . .

Hope it helps, Carol

Rachelle Lima
Many years ago I did what I thought was an amazing tribute for my in-laws who were celebrating a milestone anniversary. They were from Germany so I did a charcoal drawing of Neuschwanstein Castle. I proudly marched in to have it framed and the guy says "this is nice, with some formal training you could be pretty good." What?! Pretty good? But he was spot on, my dimensions were off, my geometry was off, my perspective was all over the place, heck everything was front and center...well you get the picture. Thanks to that criticism I pushed harder and went for the formal training. I agree the constant "yes men" get us no where, we need challenges. I equate life/art to baseball and choose to "leave the performance on the field" or in my case on the canvas.
There will always be images that generate emotion, but then there are the those emotions within you that will generate fantastic artwork! And some of us do it to music! Thank you for a wonderful article.

Some years ago I felt like I found my tribe in a summer art festival. After being in it for a few years (and loving every minute) I was asked to be on the nominating committee for the next year's officers. Wow! Those artists who were officers and on the board were vicious! I will not even repeat some of the things they did. I learned that it is best to enjoy being there and be friends with everyone, and not to get into the politics.

Jean Hand Triol
Thank you for your article. Just one short comment: I think the Buddha might say, or perhaps has said, difficult people are your best teachers. I've found that to be a very useful approach to certain people in my life and a healthy attitude. It changes everything. But it also takes a lot of practice.

carol a. grigus
FOGGING....I'll have to try this next time it happens to me....not sure I'm that patient with them...!!
I also like what Jean said about the Buddha's response:.."difficult people are our best teachers."....that's a hard one to practice...!
thank YOU to all..great insights!!..
carol G.

Carolyn Lehl
Thanks Lynne,
I'm so grateful that you tell it like it is. I just moved into a new place in a new town 50 miles from the only place I've ever lived and I'm so lonely. I do not have a studio yet, just a damp musty and cold outbuilding that is occupied by squirrels and surrounded by a moat. The yard has standing water and the crawl space is full of water, so I have to stay home and mind the pump. This is not what I thought it was going to be like when we downsized and moved away from our hometown.
I'm hoping to join an artist group, but they meet on Tuesday evenings and Tues and Saturday's are the only two days I work back in Portland. We are in Oregon where it rains a lot. This town does have an arts festival, but they want $500.00 just to have a booth and I just don't have it right now.
So, I am doing my best to stay upbeat and positive and work with what I've got, but boy do I miss my old basement and dry backyard, but most of all, by peeps. We've had so much snow and ice that no one wants to dive to visit. I can't wait until spring! Just wanted 6to let you know, I read your blog and relate to a lot of it. The injuries, the move, the studio space and trying to find the tribe. God bless, and thank heaven for grandkids!

Diane Pool
Luann, I've struggled with the same issues you've been blogging about lately. Recently I encountered an overwhelming one that, in trying to come to grips with the dynamics, creatively, I was finally able to write a post (albeit, one I'm still too close to, to know if it transcends the personal enough to mirror others' experiences):

It's about how left/right brain functions influence our relationships, with a link to Jill Taylor Bolte's TedTalk, STROKE OF INSIGHT.


Susan L. Vignola
Luann, Thank you for sharing your experiences with difficult people. Sadly, we all may encounter them wherever we go, whatever we do. As a retired mental health professional, one of the pitfalls I struggle with is expecting my peers/colleagues to exhibit better behavior than my clients. I frequently have to remind myself that we are all just people and no one group is immune from life's issues. S. Eppert, I love your comment about "herding cats." I have used the same expression in regards to fellow members of our local art group. How many different directions can a group of artists head off to? That depends on the number of artists! Bottom line, we can only be responsible for our respond to the difficult people in our life. Hang in there, Luann.

Karen Johnston
Thank you for sharing your heart in this wonderful article, Luann!! I can totally relate. It is so hard to know sometimes whose harsh words are meant to encourage strong growth and whose harsh words are truly meant as an attack or just careless ranting. Once, in a moment of despair over someone's cutting words, I had a wise friend tell me...."there will always be extraneous noise, just remember to keep up your inner hum!" Those words and what I personally took from them meant a lot to me and helped me grow. We do all need to grow, but at our own pace and in our own ways, not the pace or ways that someone else wants or expects us to have. Your honesty in this article is refreshing and gives a voice to so many of the struggles that artists face along the way. It fed my "inner hum" and created a little tribe right here. Nice job!!

Luann Udell
Mark, hallelujah! I'm happy to hear it's never too late to find your tribe.!

Luann Udell
S. Eppert, how about signing up that crabby cake to be the hospitality chair NEXT year? Sometimes they just have to walk a mile or two in your shoes...! :^)

Luann Udell
Carol, these are great suggestions for building a cadre of artist friends! Thanks for sharing!

Luann Udell
Gaelle1947, Brene Brown's book, I THOUGHT IT WAS JUST ME, is a self-explanatory book that I found hugely helpful. Whatever you're going through, someone else has been there. Glad we could lighten your load today!

Luann Udell
Joe A, you are spot-on with your suggestion of restorative practices. I miss my Tai Chi practice!!

Marian Fortunati
Hi Luanne,
I had to deal with more of this type of thing when I was the principal of a school. Wonderful teachers but sometimes difficult to deal with. (Happily the most important thing was teaching.) The opposite sometimes happened too... Wonderful people.... not such great teachers... That was almost more difficult.

I'm lucky now to have a "tribe" I love to paint and learn with. Wrote a blog post about it a couple of weeks ago:

Luann Udell
We have a lot of Carols here today, sorry to add to the confusion. So Carol with the confused gallery owner, YES, it's easy to take someone else's wobbly nature personally. A fellow artist said something years ago that makes more sense as the years go by. "Gallery owners are just customers with stores." We tend to view them as god-like figures, with the power of bestowing fame or oblivion on us, at least when we first start out. But as my friend said, they will be just as varied as any other person. One gallery owner purchased a lot of my most expensive works (some fine craft galleries purchase wholesale, rather than run consignments.) I was thrilled. Several months later, she placed another order, but asked if they could return a piece that hadn't sold. I said okay. This continued for two years, until one day I did the math. I was up only a few hundred dollars! I told them, no more exchanges, and the orders stopped. I felt awful, until another friend in the biz said, "They're just a binge shopper with a gallery budget!" Lesson learned!

Luann Udell
Carol Meyers, that is BRILLIANT!!! THANK YOU for the share, I'm sure you've saved the sanity of many, many artists today!!

Luann Udell
Rachelle, you got it! You took what could have been an awkward incident, examined your assumptions, and were open to the suggestion that you could improve. A great example of finding the lesson in what felt like criticism. Thanks for sharing that story.

Luann Udell
Linda, I am laughing out loud at your story! YES. YES!!!! I've always been someone who volunteers for committees, because I like to learn what goes on behind the curtain. Unfortunately, there are some artists who Napolean complex. And the easiest way for them to be "the boss of everybody" is to volunteer for those committees!

Of course, there are always those who sit in the back row at committee reports and criticize everything the behind-the-scenes people have spent hours working on, too.....

Luann Udell
Jean, yes, exactly! Hard circumstances can make you bitter, or better.

But as my blog tagline says, "I share what I've learned so you don't have to learn EVERYTHING the hard way..."

Luann Udell
Ooooh, Carolyn, thank you for the warning about Oregon!! (Although five months of steady rain here in Northern California is almost as bad...)

You didn't ask for my advice, but here it is:

You can choose.

You can decide the move was a mistake, and go back to the place that feels like home. No one is going to hold it against you! If they do, they are not your friend. :^)

Or you can buckle down and face these challenges, and celebrate your pioneer spirit. "New" can be draining, lonely, overwhelming. But it's also, well...NEW! Give yourself time to get used to your new surroundings, and see what new opportunity presents itself. Give serendipity a chance.

Which one resonates with YOU?

Luann Udell
Diane, what a delightful post! I LOVED Jill Bolte's book, too. And you've done what artists have been doing for thousands of years: Reaching through the fear and sadness, and shaping it into something beautiful.

Thank you for sharing that today!

Luann Udell
Oh, Susan, I LOVE what you said about hoping your colleagues would behave better than your clients...but no. :^)

What hope is there for the rest of us??

Oh, yeah. Sharing. Caring.

And making our art.

Sharon Weaver
I wanted to share with you the opposite for me. I have a tribe called the PAC6 Painters, Marian Fortunati is one of the six artists in the group, who have been sharing our love of plein air painting. We have taken fabulous painting trips to Canyon de Chelly and the Eastern Sierras just to name a few. We have had several shows at different galleries and will have a museum show opening in March. If you find your tribe it enriches, supports and expands your life.

Andy Getch
I imagine myself as a mirror, because the critical comments directed at me are often what that person dislikes, but has not faced, about their own work.

Luann Udell
Sharon, thank you so much for sharing this! Yes, our REAL tribe is composed of the people who truly respect and support us, and each other. A true respite from the dark and weary world.... You are so right that we should never give up on our search for those wonderful folks!

Luann Udell
Oh, yes, Andy! I finally figured out that when people are being difficult, it's more about them than anything to do with me.... When people are in the wrong frame of mind, even a kindness looks like an attack to them!

Susan L. Vignola
Luann, as far as the hope for the rest of us, what is that quote, "Be the change you want to see in the world," or something to that effect. Susan

Andrea Edwards
Hi Luann thanks for this relevant post and it's heartening to read the experiences of the readers/artists and their comments also.

I believe counsellors would suggest we all need to develop 'appropriate boundaries' in respect to our interactions with others.... but why can't people just be nice...!!
I know of a few folk who bought all the expensive stuff they thought or were told they must have, attended classes and after several harsh and unproductive 'episodes' probably will not wish to ever pick up a brush with a spirit of joy again! Really sad.

It does take strength to just do it, to step forward knowing you may not have all the answers and yet what you are doing is worthwhile and it's likely people will enjoy what you do....... and maybe they'll be just a little inspired too.
Lets celebrate all the artists.

Kind regards
Andrea Edwards Artist, Sydney Australia.

Joanne Benson
Hi Luann,
So many good thoughts and so much positive energy replying to your post! I guess we all have stories! I have been fortunate to paint with a group of artists for the past 16 years. We have taken classes together, done plein air painting together, done shows together and basically support each other in our efforts. Our membership has changed over the years but there are a few of us originals still going strong and we love to add new faces to the group.

I have had dealings with difficult people and there is no easy answer as to how to deal because each situation or encounter is different. The most important thing is to not take the bad vibes and negative stuff to heart. If we can learn from a criticism great but sometimes people are just insensitive.

Years ago, when I had only been painting for a few years, there was a woman's artist group forming in our area. I wanted to find out more about it and possibly join. I was told by a fellow artist, whom I did not know very well, that it was just for "professionals". However, I knew some of the people in the group were not "professionals" and I felt slighted. It was more like an elitist group of women who thought they were somehow more qualified to be in that group. I quickly decided that this was a group I didn't need to belong to but none the less had some bruised feelings. I don't know if the group is still in existence but wish them well if they are.

Great post Luann and lots of great commentary! It is always nice to share our humanity and it is wonderful to have a tribe.

Luann Udell
Andrea, your comments are spot-on. YES, "appropriate boundaries" are vital. But some of us were had it hammered into us that we are supposed to be "nice" and "get along" no matter what. Then, when we finally burst (the exploding doormat), we're told we're "too sensitive."

I found this quote recently: "There is a perception that speaking up for boundaries is somehow introducing conflict into a situation, or at very least, escalating it in an unkind way, like, everything was fine until you spoke up for your needs and now you made it weird." (here's the link to the entire quote:

It's still hard for me, but I continue practicing!

And YES, new dreams can be easily quashed by hurtful people. But hopefully, they'll do what we've all done here--persevere because we love it too much to stop!

Luann Udell
Oh, Joanne, I feel your pain! Groups can be difficult. In fact, one of my most painful memories are being "set aside" in a small group I was in years ago. It took me years to find insight and solace. The short story is, not wanting to be in the group that doesn't want you is NOT necessarily sour grapes--it is protection through rejection. Something toxic is going on, and you are better off with that!

And yes, difficult, or even cruel people, will always catch us off-guard, because they are willing to go lower than most of will go.

And the hardest ones are those who are problematic not because they are mean, hurtful people, but the ones who are so needy and insecure, so set in their thinking, they can't even get what we are saying or doing. Nothing new can come in.

I thank the universe every day for the people who are more evolved than I am, the people who listen, and sympathize, and who remind me to focus on what's really important--having my say in the world, through my writing and through my art. And hopefully,through my actions, too.

As my wise friend Melinda says, "You don't have to go to every fight you're invited to."

S. Eppert
I would love to sign up the "crabby cake" to do the hospitality but her excuse is that she runs a bed and breakfast that keeps her busy. She only has time to criticize others for doing the job instead!

Luann Udell
S. Eppert, (sigh) the world is full of people like this. Whatever gets you to your happy place, put it on overdrive! :^)

Diana Shearon
This really hit home! Thought I had found a good coop group but saw pretty quickly it was all about sales. Many of the artists were openly copy other artists work and using copyrighted material even though we a guideline in place against doing so. It was tough dealing with all verbal abuse, craziness etc. but so thankful to have found 2 traditional galleries that functional ethically. Walking away is hard but so necessary sometimes.

I have studied psychology my entire adult life. As Dr Shefali says (Oprah's favorite)(check her out on Youtube) that all your conflicts in your adult life can be directly traced back to your relationship with your parents. So anytime you are dealing with someone who is coming from a place of deep lack, blame it on their background. Look. See how much in lack we all are. Tragedy, tragedy, tragedy. The universe is abundant. Notice this. And I will add, all these times, when I was experiencing all this turmoil in all these human spirits, I always thought, "How great their art could have been if all that energy, was instead, put into their art."

Luann Udell
Diana, the good news about bad ventures is we get quicker about sussing them out the next time. I'm glad you've found other, better venues for your work!

Luann Udell
Maureen, your remarks are so true! Other people can't "hear" us, because, as you said, they don't recognize how their perceived lack creates a black hole of neediness. It's also true that in our interactions, we will unconsciously RECREATE that dynamic, because we can't see what WE bring to it.

My only relief is acknowledging my lizard brain/monkey mind, and consciously choosing the path I aspire to. And knowing when to simply walk away, and move on to something else.

Thank you for your insights.

Bonnie Hamlin
Wonderful post, thank you for being so open with your experiences.
My present way of coping is to be with friends who are fun, whether they are artists or not. And try my hardest to stay away from the difficult ones.
Easier said than done, especially if you are doing group shows.


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