“I wish I’d never seen that.”
That’s what my best friend said last night after I showed him my series of selfies.
“You just look so sad!”, he added.
And here’s the thing. Although I am sharing these drawings and paintings on this blog, my real life friends and family don’t know about them. Nor do followers of my ‘normal’ art.
Why didn’t I share right away?
I wasn’t sure until now, but seeing my friend’s reaction, it all became clear.
I am a people-pleaser. Always have been, may always be. I don’t like to assert myself if I think it might upset someone else. I put everyone else’s feelings ahead of my own. I make decisions based on what will make other people happy, never based on what I want.
If I showed these drawings to people who know me, I would be confronting them with something they haven’t seen before.I might upset them. I don’t want to do that.
I tell my best friend everything. I thought he knew as much about me as I do. I thought it was safe to show him. And yet, seeing my own version of myself, he was surprised. And not in a good way.
If he felt like that, I damn sure KNOW that I can’t show anyone else who cares about me. My first instincts were right. I need to keep this to myself. And yet, when I started this project, I knew it was important for somebody, somewhere to see me.
It was important partly as a way to hold myself accountable (if I’ve promised a drawing a day, I have to do one!) and partly to ensure honesty (if I’m showing these to people, they’d better be meaningful in some way, even if I’m the only one who gets the meaning).
In the end, I think art should unsettle, surprise, confront, challenge. It seems mine does – at least for one person.
So, dear reader, I just wanted to thank you. For taking the time to look, and sometimes to like, and sometimes to comment. You are helping me be honest with myself for … well, maybe the first time ever. It’s not easy and the results are not pretty, but somehow I know it’s important for me, and you are making it possible. So I thank you for the gift of your attention.
Today’s selfie is actually two. First, the one that came naturally and second the one that came after I replayed my friend’s words from last night in my head and decided to try and look more cheerful.
But that’s just a reaction from the old me and I need to ignore it. The first one is by far the most interesting and honest drawing.
I’m posting both so you can see for yourself.