I was watching Antiques Roadshow the other night. It’s not a normal show I watch. I was waiting for my son to get done with his bath so I didn’t want to get too caught up in something with a plot so Antiques Roadshow fit the bill.
I watched as experts conversed with people about the origins of the “amazing pieces” they had brought in for the show. Some where completely shocked that they had been sitting on extremely valuable pieces for years and had somehow tucked them away in their garages without ever knowing that they should have insured that piece for several grand.
So I started thinking about the artist and carpenters and jewelers that had made these “treasures of history” and I realized they couldn’t have know what they were doing. I don’t mean that they were ignorant or slap-dashing things together. I mean they couldn’t have know what their chair or necklace or painting was going to be worth in the future. Most of them were probably dirt poor and struggling to find enough food to eat. Many were probably crashing on some friends couch hoping that this new city would be the start of their career never knowing that in a few hundred years their “early work” or their “Santa Fe period” would become so famous. They probably looked at their painting or their latest carved chair and thought, “Damn I screwed that one up,”
I know you think that I am being a bit negative about this but it’s only because it’s true. There is no artist, writer, crafter, or musician that looks at their piece and says, “This will make me famous in a hundred years.” Well, maybe they do. But how do they know. Most of them are their own worst critic. Think of Van Gogh or Picasso or even Rembrandt they were famous for painting over their own work because they were never satisfied with it, and now the world is nuts for even their doodles.
So did they think they would be “Great” someday? I think they hoped so. Then what about us? What about the writers, and the painters and the carpenters that are sitting in their basements and garages trying their hardest to get it right, to get noticed. Will we ever be great?
Will someone ever think my writing is wonderful enough to publish? I’m still hoping!
Will this doodle I made on my
IPhone ever be sought after?
I doubt it.
Will this bracelet I made e
ver be called “classic”?
Will this ship my mom painted ever
become famous from her “early period”?
Now that’s possible, just sayin’ mom!
The point is we never really know what is going to happen with our work. We many never be “Great” or we could be the starving artist that is one day featured on Antiques Roadshow and our work will be work tens of thousands of dollars. The point is that it’s okay.
Doing the work that makes us happy is what is important! If you love to make jewelry, make it! If you love to write, grab a pen! If you love to paint, do it! And never never ever throw away anything that you have created. You never know , it could be the next Mona Lisa.