Friday, February 12, 2010

Interview 5: Sandy Meegan

Over a year ago, I was lucky enough to meet Sandy Meegan. Originally she did an interview from the perspective of her gorgeous photography. But, currently, she is on a journey of widening her artist abilities and decided to explore from her new perspective. I admire her honesty, her willingness to grow through the exploration of herself, and her courage in sharing it with others so that they too, can grow. My most favorite thing about Sandy though..........her absolutely genuine spirit. Please visit her blog, Indigo Goddess.

The past:

How long have you been arting?

I think I have been creative as long as I can remember. We made handmade gifts at Christmas when I was young. Needle crafts- crochet, cross stitch. In high school I did a lot of sewing and found photography as a great creative outlet, and it wasn't til much later that I "found" mixed media art, and am in love with it.

Have you always hearted your art or did you struggle to do so?

I struggle/struggled- I think if others that I have given my art to like it, I feel a relief. Maybe I have never taken the time to really enjoy what I create. I guess I have always compared my creations to someone else's, and if there's a resemblance, then I am good.

If you did struggle, how long did it take for you to heart your art?

Struggle? Yeah, I sometimes liked/loved whatever i had created but would anyone else? It wasn't until the last year or so that I realized it wasn't about others acceptance, it was about my own. I'm a work in progress.

What was the process you went through?

I get these very visual idea's in my head- the idea itself is very exciting. Then I attempt to create it. If it doesn't come out like I had envisioned, I get frustrated. Usually this will stop me in my tracks. Within the last year, I am much more aware of this, and try to push thru the difficult times. I will still solicit others opinions from time to time. I guess for me it's a lack of confidence and basic fear. I am trying to really have ongoing conversations with myself, to get thru this. The reason being, I have an immense desire to create.

Has there ever been a time when you stopped arting because of this struggle?

Too many times to count. I have half started projects, I have packed all my supplies away, saying maybe this just isn't for me. BUT, the desire is an very strong underlying force, and I always come back.

If so, how long was it before you returned?

Sometimes a day or two, sometimes weeks. Many years ago, I stopped for years.

How did you begin again?

I just did. I realized that I was missing something. It's hard to really define what creativity is. I am my happiest when I am developing an idea in my head. Honestly, I think that is my strongest creative skill. I am now trying to trust that I can physically replicate my idea in my head to a tangible piece of art.

Family and Friends:

Is (or was) your family supportive of you and your art?

My Nanna taught me how to crochet when I was very young. Oh, and I did a lot of sewing growing up. My mom bought me my first 35mm camera in high school. In the other area's( mixed media) I have had little support. But it's not because they dont want to, I just haven't actually created anything. Blog friends have been very encouraging, but fear and no confidence have stood in my way.

How about friends (past and present)?

In high school I won an Academic Excellence in Home Ec for sewing. That was exciting. I had a friend just after high school that was into photography, and we would buddy up and go on "shoots". Most of my creativity is done alone. I made a doll for a friend recently and she loved it. She was very supportive. Always tells me I am creative. It's me that struggles to believe it.

Describe the type of support they have provided?

Feedback and allowing me the space to create.

If you haven’t received support, how do you feel that this has effected you and your creativity?

For the years that I didn't receive support, I just gave up on it. It squashed me creatively. I was looking for others to validate my talent. And when they didn't, I felt "what was the point?"

How much influence has your experiences with family and friends had on your own feelings about your art?

Interestingly enough, I have learned/realized that altho nice to have support and encouragement, I placed too much importance in it. My own desires were affected by others, and I packed up my supplies often. "I" let another human being take away my love of creating.

Outside Influence:

How much influence does ‘the outside’ have on your feelings about your art?

Now, none. I do what I do because I love it!!!!! Sometimes needing a boot in the butt from time to time to keep me trying.

How does positive feedback effect your feelings?

It makes me smile. It validates my own feelings of my work.

How do you deal with negative comments?

Honestly, in my circle, I dont get any "negative" feedback. I am my worst critic.

How do you deal with your art not selling?

I stopped trying to sell it. I felt when there was no interest that it wasn't good enough, and that is just plain silly. Maybe one day I will list stuff in my Etsy store, but for now, it's about me and having fun!

The Now:

What is your current experience with hearting your art?

I am actually really enjoying the creative process more. I am not so worried about making mistakes and I'm trying to be more present in my work. I'm taking a Suzi Blu art class, I'm trying things at home now that I never thought I could do.

Do you still struggle?

I'd be lying if I said NO. A lot less than before. I am a work in progress... I think it keeps me wanting more.

What do you do?

I cut myself some slack. I dont take myself too seriously. I will now put down a project and come back to it. It's all good.

How do you survive the moment and continue arting?

There is no time for negative thoughts- they breed more negative. I have it in me to create. Now, I honor that.

Do you compare your work with the work of other artists?

I use to. It's pointless. I am uniquely different from anyone else ( something I am really liking about myself now) and so my art will be equally as unique and different.

How do you deal with comparison from others?

No one has compared me to anyone else. I dont know. I suppose it would be a compliment if compared to someone I respect. Ultimately I want to find my own style, and in the meantime, just play with all these ideas I have in my head.

Do you have a process for your inner critic?

I have made her my confidant and friend. Friends dont hurt friends!

Do you know the ‘what’s the point’ jerk? How do you deal with him?

That jerk use to live inside me. No more. The point is...I create because I want to. I dont have to do it for a paycheck, I do it because I feel drawn to it. Altho a little Etsy shop would be nice one day! LOL

In what ways do you feel the struggle to heart your art has manifested itself in your life?

I guess altho I love art, I dont know all the lingo and dont feel like I could go head to head with maybe someone that does. But then the "friend" in me comes out to say that I LOVE the who process of arting and "the lingo" isn't what makes the artist.

Where do you believe this struggle comes from - what do you believe the root is?

Confidence- it has to be. Believing in the process is KEY for me. I have to keep the focus on the positive!!

What is your best tip for someone who struggles in this area?

Heart Your Art !!!!!! If you can have open conversations with yourself, it helps. Also having a friend that you can talk to, that has been very helpful. We all share similar feelings. You dont know that til you expose your own feelings.

Is there anything further that you’d like to add?

I want to thank Melissa for this opportunity. These questions really helped me process a lot. xoxo

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