June 21, 2010

...on being honest with myself

ok.  i have something to admit.
i have been keeping my artist at bay.
hidden under a bushel.
masking tape over her mouth.
my problem is, i set out to sail on this vast sea of amazingly talented 
women in the world, and all of a sudden i feel as though i am a little dingy boat and everyone around me are larger than life, multi million dollar cruise liners.  
i feel insignificant.  i don.t say this to get pity. so don.t give it to me. 
{you guys are nice that way!}  it just is what it is.  
i am finally being honest with myself. 
 i have caught myself using the dreaded "c" word...COMPARE.  and it.s been hazardous on my heART health.  over the past year and a half i have made drop dead gifted artistic friends across the world.  i see their courage and their hope and their bravery at sending their works out into the universe.  
and many are seeing the fruits of their labors come back to them tenfold.  
it is so exciting to behold.  and i think to myself...
"chrissy, what is holding you back? where is the brave little artistic girl you once were?  always drawing and painting and carving and jewelry-izing 
then gifting those things to everyone around you?"
oh sure, i see glimpses of her every now and then and it.s not like i.m not making art, it.s just that it.s all piling up in my obscure little studio space....hiding.
recently i found this little gem below and it articulates in the best way possible all the things my heART would sing to you if you could only hear it.s tune.

...this is going to make your inner artist smile.


  1. the artful journey is full of emotions like this. i feel them on a regular basis.

    we shared a table at the kelly rae workshop and i watched you create beauty my friend and i see the way you are in the world and i have 4 words that i'll say again and again...

    i believe in you.

  2. you are an amazing artist and photographer my friend! no need to compare =-)

    BTW: i'm still interested in a set of "Lifts" made by YOU...

  3. yes, yes, it made me smile!! i love to watch art being made...what a great message.
    love you lady, can't wait to see some of your "art" but lady, this blog is artistic and you create art every time you post!
    loves and hugs and smiles!

  4. Oh Chrissy...I so glad you posted this! I have been struggling with much the same. The Comparing. The doubts. The who do you think you are? So thrilled to see all the gifts be put out into the world from the women I met at AAJ but also feeling like I don't measure up. Why do we hide and what are we afraid of? Thank You for sharing!

  5. Hi friend!
    not alone in those feelings ....
    I thought a thousand times
    before posting my blog .....
    But in the end I said: is what your heart asks you ....
    chrissy, does very little to know your blog ....
    I have not seen any paint .....
    but not necessary
    You are a great artist !!!!!
    get excited my heart with your words and photos ...
    this is not art??
    do not compare yourself with other artists ... they may never do what your doing,
    simply because we are unique, with unique ways to express ourselves.
    You are great. Glad your my heart (and God knows I need it ...)
    Eager to see your art with a brush and paint.
    A hug.(Sorry my terrible english...)

  6. Chrissy if you asked any artist who is visible with their art I bet most would say they felt the same too at one time or another. Being visible and bringing your art out for others to see makes one vulnerable. Your heart is out on your sleeve for everyone to see and when that happens it means you have to be ready for the consequences good and bad. It means you might hear amazing compliments that make you blush. It means you might hear nothing at all (ugh!) I think if you want to keep your art hidden that is what you need to do. If you want to share your art and get some feed back or for what ever reason, just to get it out there, consider sending in several samples to be published to a well know magazine like Somerset Studios....that's what I did years ago when it was a brand new magazine. I figured I didn't have anything to loose and when I received confirmation that I would be published it only pushed me harder to make more art. I felt validated. It's like the parent who encourages their child to take that first stroke of a paint brush. That child has no pre-conceived notion of needing to be a "real" artist to be a painter. We all need encouragement no matter what our passion and it starts with one painted canvas or jewelry piece or sculpture or journal entry or,or, or......fill in the blank. I hope this gives you something to think about because quite honestly from the little time I spent with you at AAJ from the way you dressed with all your beautiful bohemian bold colors, accessories and jewelry down to your spirited bright painted pages with their bold lines you are the epitome of an artist . YOU are a walking peice of ART....I knew that when I saw you at the airport and I didn't even know you! So take heart my dear you are in for a big ride if you decide to wonder out into this artful universe. There is a right time for everything and only you can decide. Will you be attending the next Artful Journey in Feb??

  7. It's the nature of the artist to compare, dahling. Comparing shifts our thoughts and allows new ideas to be born! So allow the comparing to stop by for a quick visit, then politely ask it to leave because you have heART to make :)

    peace, love & heART,

  8. Hey sister,

    You could never be the little boat dear friend.♥

    Love you,

  9. I adore this video. Thank you for reminding me of it. And great ideas do come from great bike rides....I second that notion.

    Compare is such a terrible thing to do, yet so easy to fall into. We are all so unique. There is no one else in this entire universe that sees, feels, or does things exactly the way we do. That is such a magical thing. Doesn't it make your heart smile to know that you are this rare gem.

    So When you create your art, whatever medium it is....it is truly yours. And just knowing you....I know it comes from your heart and soul. And that makes it even more precious.

    I am here holding your hand and gently nudging you to take that step. Spread your wings. There are so many out here that will fly along side you lifting you up until you can soar on our own. And I will be right next to you doing just that.

    I love you!

  10. Dearest Chrissy,

    I relate SO MUCH to all of these feelings...I wish I could wave a magic wand for all of us who ever feel this. I try not to compare + keep reminding myself "I do enough, I have enough, I AM ENOUGH!" That's some juicy SARK advice right there. I realllllly loved the video! Definitely spoke to my inner artist child who battles insecurity.

    In this giant sea of dreamers you ARE a cruise ship of creativity, a fantastic lighthouse for travelers, and an endless horizon ahead = you are all of these things. I hope the currents bring you a big brave happy heART + I especially hope you start broadcasting some more of your creations!

    So much love, Carissa

  11. You are not alone. I've been using the C word too. It's a little hard not to, as we go along and meet new artists and see their work. It's a terrible thing, but it happens sometimes. Don't worry too much about it, just be who you are and it will shine in your creations. You can do it!

  12. That is a great video :) And as everyone has been saying -- me too! It's kind of paralyzing, the dingy little boat feeling. I've been staying stuck because if I don't create art, then I won't see it's not good enough, and I can keep dreaming...

    I just read this quote from Ira Glass (of This American Life):

    "If you do creative work, there's a sense that inspiration is this fairy dust that gets dropped on you, when in fact you can just manufacture inspiration through sheer brute force. You can simply produce enough material that the thing will arrive that seems inspired."

    Which reminds me of Julia Cameron's prayer in The Artist's Way: "I'll take care of the quantity, you take care of the quality..."

    So we need to get to work, sister! ;)


  13. Ahh Chrissy,

    What makes an artist anyway? (I have been thinking about this A LOT recently and am doing some research on it). Being an artist is about so much more than painting. More than words and photographs. It's a way of living, a way of seeing, that you do so very well.


  14. I don't think of you as anything but a pure and perfect artist... xxx

  15. PS you might be interested in this http://whitehottruth.com/white-hot/comparison-is-a-killer-cut-it-out/

  16. Quote "i feel as though i am a little dingy boat and everyone around me are larger than life, multi million dollar cruise liners" Unquote

    You have no idea of how many times this has been my thought in life too, but you know what? I am a damn fine dingy boat ;)

    Micki x

  17. good morning chrissy,
    thank you for the uplifting video...
    i feel now i've had dessert before breakfast!

    as for ms. compare,
    i've too had my
    full share,
    sister sweet boat
    (here, i'm tossing you
    a yummy picnic to at least
    enjoy while you're riding
    & swaying & waving...
    w/a bar of chocolate
    thrown in for sure!)
    one time i heard
    that the most
    helpful way to use
    the c word
    is to compare to
    our dearest dreams
    & to stay
    as on course
    to THAT vision
    as we can
    & that has been
    to me
    on my little
    bumbling boat.
    lots of love
    to you,
    dear friend.

    also, that
    post below
    of you & your dad
    is incredible...
    you found a
    in each other..
    such dear love.

    alright now,
    when you're ready,
    please peel off
    that masking tape
    from your mouth,
    ever so gently,
    & if you're not
    quite ready yet,
    can i at least
    draw some pretty
    hearts on it?

    xxoo rachel

  18. Gorgeous Chrissy, now do i need to come visit and sit down with you with a cup of tea and cover ourselves in paint and laughter? (wouldnt that be fun!)

    We are human after all, and that C word is only natural, but what we do with it, is the most important thing, dont let those inner voices convince you not to sail out into that scary ocean in your boat.

    You are such a wonderful soul, you will soon be sailing a yacht (who cares about those big hefty ocean liners eh), you are pure class my lovely friend and please please please create and share with this fabulous community.

    Love you xx

  19. It is hard not to compare. And oh, how it does hurt when we compare and find ourselves lacking. {Even though of course we are not.} I am sending hugs to your artistic self - who shines through in everything you do, even without you sharing your art.


  20. Wow, Chrissy - good thing you posted this. I mean look how many others can relate to it - I mean like - everyone!! But you had the guts to just lay it out there on the table and kudos to you for that, my dear, because just reading all of these lovely and heartfelt responses might be enough to nudge me forward enough to get started on creating something new - and maybe you too??

  21. You can't compare, you just have to put your spin on what you do! Chrissy you already do on your blog...I'm in the same place. My husband called me on it last night! I think I am finding balancing their lives with the one, I want to be difficult. I also fear, when I tuck myself in a
    room to create, I might not come out for days...lol
    xXx Remember you can only be the BEST you~

  22. i hear your tune my friend!
    i hear it loud and
    i believe in it!!!

    you exude the artist in you
    through your words,
    your images,
    the creations i have been fortunate enough to see
    through who you are!!!

    there is only one Chrissy and she is
    an ARTIST!!!

    i love you

  23. What an honest and inspiring read. I was reading only yesterday in Simple Abundance (Sarah Breathnatch) about competition v creativity and how we sabotage ourselves by trying to compete (often with total strangers) and don't allow ourselves to be authentic. I am in this muddle too! Claire ( Fellow Flyer as everyone keeps signing! )

  24. well, the post blew my socks off cuz i can totally relate, the comments are just as inspirational!!
    glad i found your site...i'm a follower!

  25. oh my goodness, are you ever speaking my language!! i never seem to be creating art the way other people create..... while fabulous artists fill journals with yummy collage, i sit here with ink on my fingers creating thumbprint people!! yikes! oh yes, give me a "c" , and capitalize it while you're at it!! but hey, this is nothing that a bar of chocolate and a bag of potato chips can't cure, right?!! heehee
    it's time to trade in the dingy boat (not that you could EVER be that!!) for the cruise ship and pull into port, sweet choco-heARTist.....and we'll be right here with you just in case you try to head back towards that bushel with a roll of masking tape....!!!
    hug, hug, xoxox, :))))

  26. Chrissy, I don't pity you - I praise you for being honest and walking through the fire. You are an amazing artist, but I know that won't seep in until you believe it and trust it yourself. It is a sloooooooow journey, isn't it? I wish I could just take a chair lift up to the top of the mountain and then sail down, but apparently we have to take every step of the climb - which includes lots of plateaus and moments of doubt - in order to be proud of our achievements and notice all the little blessings along the way. I am cheering you on, dear one!

  27. look in the mirror, sweet lady. that mirror that reflects YOU back... your heart. soul. and heARTfully arranged self. honey, if you dont see an artist standing before you glowing RADIATING exploding, then you seriously need to see an opthamalogist. and i will hold your hand. always hold your hand, you brave beautiful creative awesome thought-full searching silly girl. pity you? not for a second. celebrate you? on my feet, tears streaming. i am just so flippin' proud to know you.

  28. Oh, SWOON, tears, goosebumps. Chrissy. I can so relate. It is so hard not to compare. I honestly battle with that on a regular basis. Thank you for your honesty and courage to say what I believe is universal for artists but not talked about much. I learned from the Artist's Way that I was a "shadow artist" for YEARS- surrounded by artists but not making art myself. I so get it. You are so on your way. Sending love to you!

  29. Thanks for the inspiration Chrissy. I just downloaded that song from itunes to remind me of your post and that I am not alone in comparing :)

  30. Chrissy - thanks for stopping by my blog today. Don't you love Kelly's class? I joined late, but am enjoying it immensely. It's just what I needed right now! I love your analogy of the "dingy boat" in the big sea. I often feel that way too - I have all my life - but I think this class may help us with this, don't you? Looking forward to flying along with you on this great adventure to break through our fears!

  31. Oh, that video rocks! Thanks for sharing. Definately put a smile in my heart.

    As for the evil C word......kick it to the curb! Kick it HARD.
    There is only one Chrissy and she is so, so fabulous.
    You are a true gift to this world!

    love you girlfriend

  32. Chrissy. I want you to know that you are not the little boat. You are the LIGHTHOUSE to all of the big boats and little boats and lost boats that need to find their way. You are the light that helps them navigate the rough waters. You are an artist in every sense of the word. You are a creative being that has something so unique to share with this world. Through your words, your photos, your paintings your drawings, the way you dress, the way you LOVE. You express great artistry! Shine your light Chrissy. Claim your rightful place as an ARTIST. SHINE! xoxox

  33. If you're in a little boat, my friend, then I want to ride with you. We can slip, slide around those big ocean cruisers, and surprise them all with a feasts when we arrive on the island.

    I've often felt the same way. My art seems so incidental and unimportant to the world. But it's like a small, crippled child to me that is the most beautiful blessing to my heart- so i won't hide it or be ashamed. It is what it is and who knows why our art is the way it is... but it must be raised up and nurtured and take its place in the world.

  34. Chrissy, you are a wonderful inspiration, thank you for being you.

  35. Hi Chrissy... I can so relate to this. It took me many years before I could even "say out loud" that I was an artist... [sigh]. We're all on this journey together, more than you know. Stopping by from Flying Lessons to say "hi". Love & blessings to you and your family, xoxo Valerie

  36. Chrissy,

    I can so relate here. I'm going through a very uncreative period right now and it frustrates me but I know it hasn't left. I've always been "a jack of all trades; master of none" with my art. I always felt I couldn't call myself an artist because I didn't have one special medium and I don't do it for a living. But when the stars align just so and I find my groove in a particular project I know that I am an artist in those moments.

  37. Sweetness~

    So LOVE our tribe, and like you feeling so BLESSED to be hugged by such amazing souls!! Isn't it groovy to be able to pick our dear soul sistahs?!? Tag. You're it!

  38. I whole-heartedly agree with danielle. you have been such a lighthouse to so many artists. and i can't tell you how much i appreciate your words of encouragement and support. i often wondered when this post was coming. because i sit and watch you create and i am BLOWN away and then i talk to you and you get so darn excited about what you are doing. now, I think, its time the rest of us should lift YOU up and nudge you to take the next artistic step. to share your work, or sell it or create your etsy shop. i know your excitement will most certainly come through. and we will all FEEL it.
    love you!!!

  39. you, my dear, are one of the amazingly talented women in this world and i'm blessed to have met you. it's scary to put yourself out there, but you have nothing to fear. we all need to remember what it was like to be a child, happily sharing every little house and flower and crazy little dog we colored or drew. i would love to see some of your creations.

  40. oh dear Chrissy I know exactly how you feel- a task for sure for us both to overcome. A few months ago i sat next to my sweet friend at Art & Soul and felt ill at how my heart sank because I could not paint or even draw as well as she did. the funny thing is that the whole time we painted she was SO very dissatisfied with her work and i was thinking how wonderful it would be to have her amazing talent and it bothered me. it was then and there that i realized how ungrateful i was being so i've set my mind to owning my talent and being happy with where it takes me because in the end- it's all up to me :-)

    ps- dingy boats are often used as life savers!

  41. Chrissy,
    Can relate to how you feel. I think we have all been there but I do hope you decide to share your art with the world.
    warm wishes,

  42. You certainly did make me smile with your little video. I can understand how you feel sometimes in not getting the art inside you 'out'. You have such a refreshing and uplifting outlook ... I just love tuning into your page to see what is new. I look forward to seeing your art posts!! Let the art out of your heart!!

  43. I haven't watched the video yet, but I know that what I have learnt is just that I have to keep practicing, making, art-ting and even go to classes and build up my confidence until I feel/felt ready to set it fully out into the world - it took years when I look back now, and I realised that some-one out there may like what you do, and others may not :)

    Happy art-ing for your heART :)


  44. I have been struggling with something similar. Back before I had my twins I always had my little watercolor travel kit and paper with me wherever I went. I would pull it out and just sketch and paint any where. Then I started teaching full time, then had twins and I lost my kit for a while. Lost me. Then when I decided to get back into it I discovered blogs, and felt overwhelmed with the talent out there. It took a while, but I'm getting back to doing my own thing and trying not to compare.

  45. so happy to visit here today as ms C visits me often too...such encouragement from all these comments & the youtube and about all i can really say beyond that is i love you for who you are...have a marvelous time away my friend!!

  46. Hi Chrissy,

    Loved the video. And the brave post. But if you're a dingy, than I'm just clinging to some driftwood! I remember thinking that you were an awesome artist and spirit when I met you at AAJ.

    Sometimes I could kick myself for suppressing and denying my desire to make a living as an artist. So many wasted years doing "sensible" things. Now I feel like I need to play catch-up and that I'm on a tight deadline to prove myself, or else I'll find myself back in cubicle land.

    I was in awe of everyone's creations at AAJ. Even with everyone following the same "recipe" - the paintings were so unique. And so much beautiful art was created. It was intense!

    My biggest problem, other than finding time, is that I haven't developed a style that I feel represents me, my painting are all over the place stylistically. It seems to me that everyone else has a perfected brand (there's that evil comparing thingy...), which makes them marketable, and I'm still trying to figure out who I am as an artist.

    Hang in there! Let all these amazing women help you imagine the possibilities, and energize you. We are lucky to live in a time when so many creative souls can connect and help one another grow.


  47. I just love your openness and honesty. Love that song too. I think it is so hard not to compare sometimes. I find myself doing it all too often. As a mother, a friend, an artist... this reminds me to keep it real, not compare, but just be me. Erin. :-) Thanks for sharing. :-)

  48. chrissy~you have said what we all feel a lot of the time. i do not even know you and you are a rock star artist to me just from reading your blog. i think we are harder on ourselves then any one else would be on us.

    i am in the process of listening to an audio book by wayne dyer called "excuses be gone" it is very enlightening and i highly recommend it. one of the things he said that resonated with me is:
    do not die with the song still in you

    we all need to let go of our fears and inhibitions and just do what our heart and spirit is telling us we are to do.

    love you and thanks for your honesty, we have all been there and it helps to know others feel the same way...xoxoxo

  49. Oh, Chrissy, I think we all feel that way! I recently did two posts where I was struggling with the same thing - the need to fit in with what's popular and the wish to be a "real" artist. And still, I paint and I love it! Compared to myself, my paintings are awesome! Compared to others - well, how can you compare art? It's an expression of you and there's no one else like you! It's tricky though, isn't it?! You ARE art! And you express it every minute of every day, whether you paint or draw or not. I think the art is in being who you are! Love, Silke


your comments put the biggest smile on my face!
thank you so very much!