This post is by Luann Udell, regular contributing author for FineArtViews. Luann also writes a column ("Craft Matters") for The Crafts Report magazine (a monthly business resource for the crafts professional) where she explores 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. 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...."You should submit an article and share your views as a guest author by clicking here.
It’s not always the case that a family movie gives you a foundation for the rest of your life, let alone a mantra to boost your art career. “There’s no place like home” doesn’t cut it, nor does “Go ahead, make my day.” (Although, to be fair, the latter didn’t come from a family movie…)
Last night we watched We Bought A Zoo, starring Matt Damon and Scarlett Johansson. It’s a predictable but engaging family film, based on a true story by Benjamin Mee.
In one beautiful scene, Damon is speaking to his teenage son, encouraging him to talk to the girl of his dreams. “You know,” he says fiercely, “Sometimes all you need is twenty seconds of insane courage. Just literally twenty seconds of just…embarrassing bravery. And I promise you, something great will come of it.”
Something great will come of it…
There come times in everyone’s life when things just seem too hard. Especially for those of us at work in a culture were art is considered a luxury, where people are more willing to invest money in the latest high-tech gadget than an object of beauty, or a landscape, or a portrait of their children or even a simple handmade mug.
There comes a time where it just seems too hard to do another show, to face another windy rainstorm at an art festival. Too hard to master yet another social medium in order to promote our work; to approach yet another gallery that will probably say no; to apply for yet another exhibition.
At some point, it just seems easier to settle for what we know will work; to stick with the techniques we’ve already mastered; to answer every challenge with a heart-heavy “I tried that once and it didn’t work.”
What if all it took were twenty seconds of insane courage?
What if we said to ourselves every day, “Well…okay. Maybe I could try something different for 20 seconds….”
Changing our style, challenging our audience with new work, cherishing our work enough to risk one more rejection, trying to get past one more gate keeper saying no…
Just twenty seconds of embarrassing bravery.
Mine for today? Writing my shortest column for you, ever.
I thought it would be too ironic to write much longer, to make my point about twenty brave seconds.
What would YOU do for your art, today, with your twenty seconds of insane courage?