Your forms are filled out . . . . your photos are uploaded . . . . your finger is hovering over the SUBMIT button. And the little voice in your head is screaming ‘don’t do it’, ‘what are you thinking’, ‘who do you think you are?!?!?!?!?’ But you take a deep breathe and push that button anyway. There . . . . it’s done . . . . what have I got to lose?
That was me at the computer this morning as I submitted some work to the IPCA Awards. The IPCA is the International Polymer Clay Association (theipca.org). They have periodically over the years held juried competitions for polymer clay based art – wearable jewelry, functional containers, non-functional sculpture and hanging art and mixed media. There are also three levels of applicants – student, emerging artist and artist. As a member of the association a small fee allows you to submit three pieces. And I did.
The theme this year was ‘To Boldly Go!’ in honor of the 50th year of Star Trek and your pieces needed to be from your current work (no more than 12 months old). I have been spending a huge amount of time in the studio and have a fair bit of work to show for it over the last year. Is it great? No. Is it my best work? No. Is it something I am proud of? I like them, but none of them are earth-shattering. But what they do show is progress . . . . steps forward and that is what is important . . . . . at least to me. And as part of pushing myself in that forward direction, I submitted three pieces.
The fact is, this submission (and fear of it) is in the realm of the ‘small stuff’ . . . . that we really shouldn’t sweat, right??? Then why does it feel so BIG??? Putting yourself ‘out there’, particularly in our digital world is a lot bigger in terms of exposure. Okay, so it’s a bigger deal, so what. In the effort to tame those damn voices in my head I continue to say . . . . ‘so what’s the worst that can happen?’ at least I pushed myself a bit and stepped out into the world.
I am finding that there are so many opportunities that are all a little uncomfortable, but once you step up and do them, you find out that they are not so bad after all. So if something comes your way, why not take the step to be a little uncomfortable . . . . push yourself . . . . and be rewarded with the experience and a new perspective!!
Sorry for no photos, but I am not allowed to post any photos until after the competition!!