Monday, June 11, 2012

Awkward Situations

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 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.


Kays Kids said...

I'm sorry life is getting complicated for you.

Heather said...

I can say first-hand that you are very kind, open and helpful when it comes to helping newbs with Teddy Bear Making Basics!!!

You've given me some very helpful tips to which I am eternally grateful!

I also think you're absolutely right in that some things, people need to figure out on their own. An artist shouldn't be harassed or put down because they won't give away all their secrets!

That's just people being lazy and not wanting to work to figure things out for themselves!

Kelly said...

I think life is getting complicated for all of us Kay!

I don't Heather, I guess I just don't want to give away things that took me literally years to figure out on my own. They aren't that spectacular, but they are mine and I worked hard to get there.

Kelly said...

Oops that was supposed to be I don't know...I am tired and can't type. XD

Amanda said...

I had the charity thing in store, I gave as it was for a local girl. Then in the next store I was asked again, sorry I've already given in the other one. I did not like she asked and unlike the other store it was my decision, no asking. Checkout asking is a step too far in my book!

With the facebook thing I just untick so I don't get the emails buts thats if I don't mind still being in the group. In the one you describe I can see where you're coming from and perhaps best to just opt out. Should be invites not someone else joining you up, that would be better.

Katy Cameron said...

Thankfully our supermarkets only seem to ever have local charities collecting on Saturdays (and even then, rarely), and I never shop on a Saturday, plus they never have people outside soliciting, move over here, you'll be sorted ;o) Failing that, good luck with Target!

I turned off Facebook notifications, so if anyone added me, I'm ignoring them lol

For the techniques, I am in a similarly awkward situation right now - 2 weekends ago I was at a big modern quilting event down in London and learned a really cool technique in one of the classes which, had I actually thought about it, I could probably have worked it out for myself having seen the quilt in question. It was my favourite class of the weekend and has changed a planned upcoming quilt. I mentioned this in a post summary of the retreat, and a friend then asked if it was like technique x. Um, no, it's totally different, but I gave a very loose general description of how it was done. Now she wants more details. It's not my technique to teach, and I don't want to do the teacher out of prospective class attendees (as she actually lives in the greater London area, like the girl that was teaching) Plus, I feel that having been given a step for a hint, she should be able to work it out herself. Right now I'm just not replying until I can work out what to say...

Joy said...

Do you know, I agree with you on all counts! I am not a mean spirited or ungenerous person at all. In fact my OH often says I am too nice for my own good. If the folk in that group think badly of you, so what? Its their loss, not yours. I admire your integrity for sticking to your guns and coming out and saying it. Never apologise for who you are. xx

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