COMING OUT AS A JEWELRY ARTIST
Coming out as a jewelry artist — what does that mean? For those of you who see jewelry making and beading as something more than a hobby — something more defined by art and design — actually calling yourself a jewelry artist or designer, instead of merely alluding to it, is a big step. A very big step.
It’s fraught with fear and dread. It means very visibly presenting yourself with a new public identity. It means preparing your ego to receive some negative comments, perhaps doubt or disbelief, and in some rarer instances, rejection or denial. It means asking others to accept and support you in your new role as Jewelry Artist and Designer.
Please share what this process was all about for you. How you felt. How you managed things.
Continuing with an article I had written….
There is a betwixt and between aspect to this coming out process – a rite of passage. And the unknown time and feelings and situations, between the before and afterwards, is often a span of uncertainty too great for many an artist to transcend. Many who want to be jewelry designers, are somewhat afraid to present themselves as such. These “closet artists” tell their family and friends such things as, “I dabble in this and that, including jewelry-making.” Or, “I consider myself a ‘bank teller slash jewelry artist’” (and you can substitute whatever profession you are in for the words ‘bank teller’). Or, “I’m making some things for fun or gifts, but not selling things.”
There is some hesitation. “I am a jewelry designer.” Can’t quite get the words out. “I am a jewelry designer.” Keep wanting to say “but” or add some qualification, so other people don’t say, with mocking and astonishment, “You’re a what!#@?” “I am a jewelry designer.” You whisper to yourself over and over, but don’t tell anyone else.
When you step out of the closet, however, you show others you want respect. As a jewelry designer. You demand from others an understanding. As a jewelry designer. As an artist. You present yourself as someone with self-esteem and confidence. As a jewelry designer. And as an artist.
So what does it take to manage the transition before and after? What does it take to show that you can confront your passions for designing jewelry, not only privately, but publicly as well?