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Jul 8, 2020

Art and Shame

As I’m stitching circles onto my recently commissioned art piece, my mind goes off in myriad directions, mostly unpleasant.

I begin second-guessing each color decision I’ve made. Is the arrangement of light and dark attractive? Does the orange make it pop or create a clash? Should I re-stitch the center star, or is the looseness a nice imperfection?

Just ten minutes before those thoughts were these: I should be charging double. I wonder what galleries would like to represent me. Soon there’ll be a waiting list for my pieces.

Was my ego getting away from me? Who am I to think that about my own work? Don’t let your head get too swollen, I’m reminded by my critical inner artist.


What keeps coming up for me as I forge ahead in this new-to-me art form is SHAME. The acronym I’ve learned for this word is: Should Have Already Mastered Everything.

Somehow, I – Jane Pollak – SHOULD know.

The truth is, I don’t. I’m a humble beginner. I had to watch a youtube video on how to iron wool. Do you need steam? Must I use a cloth on top of the wool. Thank God there’s a youtube to go to!

Just for today, I’m humbly taking the next right action, not pretending I know it all, and trusting the process. It’s a pillow top, not world peace.

How’s your right-sizing going today?


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  1. Dawn

    Oh Jane, you are not alone! I am so familiar with the doubt and second guessing that goes with being creative. Especially with commissioned work. Wanting to meet their expectations can be anxiety producing, but the joy and gratitude received, once presented is worth it! Great Post, thank you!

    • Jane Pollak

      @Dawn Thanks so much for the affirmation! Ooohhh, those voices. What always helps is acknowledgment from other artists I respect.


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