Ugh. This blog is tough. I keep starting to write about all the awesome that has happened this week. Then I delete it and talk about how hard it is to talk about awesome things. Then I delete that and decide to say, "Fuck it!" and just talk about all those good things. Then delete that and say how hard it is to talk about good things happening. Then I delete that and... Well, you get the point.
You know what, I'll just talk about both.
I get a kick out of taking my random thoughts and displaying them for all to see. But when is it too much? Can it even be too much? I have the suspicion that the answer is different for every single person. But right now I want to talk about sharing the good things.
This as been a really good week for me. An intensely high level good. I'll get to the details of that in a bit but I first want to acknowledge why I'm having trouble putting all of that out there. Perception. How will I be perceived? That's what is causing me to hesitate. My mind begins to race, "Am I bragging?", "Will people view me negatively because of that?", "Is it really all that great in the first place?", "Am I putting out an unrealistic perception of what I'm doing?", "Will I...?", Will they...?", What if...?" ARRGGGGGGHHHHHH!
I honestly have no fucking clue on any of that. We (unfortunately) can't control how we are perceived. I could easily not write a blog. Not share any of my work. Just stay home and create for myself, my man, and my dog. But screw that! It's more fun sharing and connecting and discussing and supporting. So I'm stepping away from the fear of perception (remember, "No fear. Just fucking do it.") and here are a few awesome things in the life of Melissa Walter from the last week.
After about 70 hours of work, I completed a new piece call "The Heart Shines." I was able to explore metallic inks further and encountered some "happy mistakes" (which happens more often than you may expect.)
This Sunday I took a workshop at the San Diego Art Institute with fiber artist Dia Bassett. Tearing at fabric and feeling like I couldn't mess it up was incredibly rewarding. My work is so intricate, measured, and deliberate that working with this medium, under the direction of Dia was a wonderful reminder to step away from my work sometimes to explore something totally different.
A few months ago my friend, lawyer, blogger, and (now) podcaster David Lizerbram, interviewed me for his new podcast called "The Products of the Mind". The blog talks about the intersection of business and creativity. This week my episode aired where I talk about my path to becoming a science illustrator for NASA and where I hope to head in the future. You can check it out here: http://lizerbramlaw.com/podcast/melissa/ You can also subscribe to this awesome podcast (which I highly recommend) on iTunes right here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/products-mind-creativity-business/
A surprise of the week was receiving a new book by Chandra X-ray Observatory team members Kimberly Arcand and Megan Watzke called, "LIGHT. The Visible Spectrum and Beyond." Kim, who is my boss at Chandra, sent it to me as a lovely gift acknowledging my significant change with the team. Little did I know, there were many of my illustrations included in the beautiful and beautifully educational book! You should absolutely add this to your collection of tomes. You can find it on Amazon here: http://www.amazon.com/Light-Visible-Spectrum-Megan-Watzke/
In other news, after spending some time with mural artist Celeste Byers last week and getting some tips and tricks from her, I created my own mural! It's in my backyard and it was a wonderful experience. There were some problems to solve but overall it was a smooth process. I painted the white on Monday and completed the rest by Thursday afternoon. I'm excited to see where this might lead...and to explore more color next.
That's quite a bit excitement for one week...and it's not even over yet! I hope that your week has put a smile on your face...if not, check out the art of Celeste Byers and Dia Bassett, listen to David's podcast, buy Kim and Megan's beautiful new book, or just paint something that makes you happy on a wall...that should get that smile going.
So how did that go? Was I bragging or sharing in your mind? Have you struggled with sharing, the really good times or even the really bad times? Or are we just harder on ourselves in a disproportionate way to how people realistically perceive us? Any insight would be greatly appreciated!