Friday, October 1, 2010

Putting The Positive First

It might surprise you to discover that I don't like to sew.  I like sewing my animals, but if the fashion world ever turned upside down and we had to start making our own clothes, I would be wearing potato sacks.  I might embellish them with ribbons or beads, but at the heart they would be potato sacks.  Seriously if I had to pull a Scarlet O'hara...the curtains would have been wrapped like a toga.  I like to watch Project Runway, it fascinates me.  I could not do what these people do.  Even when I don't really care for what they create, I am still impressed that they can do it, especially under that kind of pressure.

I firmly believe however that it's time for Nina, Michael and Heidi to be replaced.  Over the seasons they have become very harsh in their criticisms when they don't like something.  Now I understand that it's their job to judge, but I think it's so important to temper a criticism by pointing out a positive first.  Even Len on Dancing With The Stars said that this week. 

Over the years I have sometimes been asked by newer artists to give them suggestions on how to improve or what I think they are doing wrong.  Yes they are my competition and I am in business for myself.  But I also know it's not all about me, so I am not going to steer them in the wrong direction.  I always try to deliver those suggestions in the most positive way...but I ALWAYS have told them what I think they are doing right first. 

Nina and Michael have a lot of experience in the fashion world, they are always harping on a fresh idea and a new perspective.  I think it would improve the show if we had a fresh set of judges with a new perspective.  I cannot believe that they said Andy's outfit was unwearable tonight.  Obviously it wasn't since the model was wearing it.  It might not appeal to some people, but I am sure there were viewers out there who loved it.  I know several times I have seen something on the show they hated and I would buy it in an instant, and vice versa.  Also I thought that Valeries's dress was pretty tonight. 

They have been extremely hard on her this season, and I don't know why.  I thought that some of the things she created  were just great and I would wear them.  Some of the winning outfits this season didn't impress me at all.  I did LOVE the dress Mondo created last week though that won.  I would wear that in a heartbeat.

I want you to take a moment and think back to when you first started on your career as an artist.  Chances are you made a few things you thought turned out terrible.  Of course we are our own worst critics.  But most likely some well meaning peer, family member or friend told you what they liked about it in order to bolster your spirits.  Whether you realized it at the time or not, that little encouragement may have been the very thing that kept you working on towards the next few pieces instead of just giving up.

I remember the first bear I made, it was terrible.  TERRIBLE!  I was 17, and I threw it in the trash and cried because I had worked on it for five days.  My Mother pulled it out of the waste paper basket and told me it was cute.  It wasn't, but if she hadn't I probably wouldn't have made another one.  I am glad she salvaged him because I did make another one, I still have him packed away in a trunk.  Now I can look back at him and just laugh.  I can also see how far I have come in three decades.  Back then we didn't have the luxury of the tools and information on making bears that is available today.  Nor did we have the benefit of other artists experience to draw from since it was a brand new genre of art.

Now I realize that Project Runway is a TV show.  For some reason cruelty on TV gets ratings, and I don't understand why.  But for me...I won't buy Marie Claire anymore.  I picked up a cute pair of shoes while shopping the other day, and as soon as I saw the Michael Kors label in them I put them down and walked away.  I just cannot bring myself to support the careers of people who can be so cruel to other people whose places they were once in.  I think it's important to focus on the positive in another artist first, then deliver your suggestions.  You don't have to like their work, but you should appreciate their efforts.  I think it would be nice if we focused on the positive a lot more on TV.  Maybe it would be a nice step towards teaching us to work together to help one another in this business.  If we could do that we would all be more successful!

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