First of all, the pic of Mina above has nothing to do with the post, but there was no pic that would go with the post...so you get to see a new pic of Mina!
I don't know about you, but lately it seems as if I am thrown into more awkward situations than I used to be. Perhaps my tendency to feel awkward is my fault, but I don't think the situations themselves are under my control, at least to a certain degree.
I have been buying my groceries at the local Safeway for almost 13 years. In the past couple years, I have started going to Target more and more. We got a Super Target a few years ago. It's not that I don't like Safeway, I do. It's just that every single time I check out they want me to donate to another charity. I am all for charity, I like to do my part. I have been known to go over and above on occasions. But I can't donate every single week. It always puts me on the spot. I feel terrible and guilty afterward if I say no. I also don't like the judgmental faces of the cashiers and the people in line behind me if I don't do it. I have always said we live on a small isolated planet and if we don't help each other who will? But I can't help every charity every week. So as a result they are losing me as customer, because I would rather go to Target and avoid the whole thing sometimes. I even feel guilty for feeling that way. The other thing that I don't care for is being accosted by Girl Scouts outside the front door to buy cookies, Boy Scouts to buy whatever it is they sell, people wanting me to buy the paper...we already take it. I just want to go into the store and buy my groceries. Honestly that is hard enough all on it's own.
The other awkward situation I have come across many times lately is being added to a Facebook group. I cannot even process that people can just add you without your permission. That needs to be changed.
I got up this morning and my inbox was flooded with e-mail. Most of them were from a group I had been added to. Normally I am fine with just clicking leave. But this was a little different situation.
This group was for sharing information on tips and techniques to make bears. The first thing I saw when I got there was several people saying that artists who don't share information are bad, not worth knowing and should be avoided. (I am paraphrasing, but that was the jist of it.)
Ok here is the thing though...I don't have a problem sharing basic info. I don't really have anything new to bring to that particular table, but if you need to know how to joint a bear, set eyes, ears...close a seam, etc. I will be happy to help you.
When it comes to the fancier stuff, I think it's important to figure out a few things on your own. It's a learning process, and that process is a very necessary component to developing your own style.
My second issue is that I saw a lot of potential for problems to arise. It has happened in the past that people have shared techniques from other artists. If an artist develops a new technique it should be their choice to share it or not share it, not someone else.
There is so much discussion on being unique, and people get very upset by the idea of something being too similar to another artist's work. The dreaded subject of copying comes up. But yet we are expected to share every little detail of what we do. I don't really get this mind set.
Again I don't mind sharing basics, but I am an artist not a teacher. If I do choose to teach, it's in a workshop situation, not a public Facebook group. So I was faced with an awkward dilemma, if I leave then I look like one of those artists they thought was so terrible. But if I stay my inbox is flooded and I belong to a group I don't really support. I did in fact leave. I am sure I will be thought bad of for it, but at least my inbox was quieter.
Our lives are filled with all sorts of issues we have to deal with on a day to day basis. It would be wonderful if we could avoid a few of these awkward situations that are unnecessary.