Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Thoughts on Competing

Do you ever enter contests where you are challenged to create something that will be compared to the creations of other brilliant artists?  I entered the Battle of the Beadsmith 2013 challenge this year in a rather naïve kind of way.  I thought I had a good attitude about it being an opportunity to grow as a bead artist, but in the back of my mind I was pretty certain I wouldn't make it very far - and that was perfectly OK with me. 
 
Perhaps it is the normal artist's self doubt that is ever present when creating.  Perhaps it's also a legitimate acceptance of reality of where I think I am as an artist.  Let's face it, when we are being compared to some of the world's best beading artists, it's a bit intimidating and it takes a good deal of persistence to continue on - knowing that we are going to face all kinds of emotions. 

What if "they" don't like my piece?   Can I take the rejection?  How will I handle it?   Please God, don't let me be embarrassed.

I would have been quite content to have ended the battle at Round 3, believing that I had created something I liked and that lots of other people liked - satisfied that I didn't embarrass myself in the eyes of the beading world.

To my amazement (as well as to the amazement of lots of other people) I won the Round 3 battle by the hair on my chinny chin chin!  This beautiful artistic creation called The Phoenix Collar by Helena Tang-Lim was my competition in Round 3.


 I think Helena's piece is incredibly beautiful and had my vote hands down.  To find out that it was a very close race and that I won was not only surprising, but also confusing.  I'm having to deal with some pretty strange emotions - like guilt, shame and sadness.  Very strange emotions for a "winner," huh?  Food for thought that perhaps I am more comfortable with "losing" than with "winning."  I know my self worth does not come from the outcome of these battles, but when there are comparisons going on, those feelings do come to mind and have to be dealt with.

I am more than aware that there were some beautiful pieces that were eliminated in each round, not because they weren't awesome and worthy, but simply because they were paired up with an equally awesome and worthy entry.  Part of moving on is simply due to the luck of the draw - a reminder to be humble.

I think it best to not question the outcomes or my abilities, but just to accept the results and go on to face the next battle and finish the race.  In Round 4, I am once again up against a formidable beading artist, Tamuna Lezhava who created this amazing piece called Treasure of Topkapi.


You can view all the remaining 24 entries in this facebook album created by Tamuna.  Just click on this link.  If you want to find out more about the Battle of the Beadsmith, join the  B.O.T.B. '13 Facebook group by clicking on this link.  Voting for your favorites will begin soon.

To those who have "fallen in battle" and to the remaining 24 battlers, I salute you all.  I encourage you to not grow faint and to be an encouragement to all.  We truly are all united by our love for beads and we can make a difference for good and beauty in our world.

Here are a couple photos of my entry called Crystal Volcano.

 
       Crystal Volcano - front                                 Crystal Volcano - back
 
Thank you to all the people who voted for me in the battles so far.  I appreciate your support more than I can say!

23 comments:

  1. Very beautifully stated Linda. You are a testament to our community. I am proud to call you my friend!
    Sharon

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    1. Thanks very much Sharon. Honored that you call me a friend.

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  2. What a wonderful statement. Your piece is absolutely amazing and you definitely deserve to be competing. Congratulations and good luck.

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    1. Thank you for the nice complement and wishes!

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  3. I could not have said this better. Like Kinga about loosing, and you about winning. It is a game more than a competition, and in the end, nobody looses or wins, except for experience and the love for beautiful beadwork.

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    1. Thank you Cath. I know you understand.

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  4. Linda, you are the voice of all the beaders who had the courage to enter the BOTB13 competition. For me it was an honor to be accepted as a participant and to show to the world the product of my talent. The rest is matter of taste (the eye of the beholder) and a little bit of good luck. At the end of the day here is the conclusion: "we are all united by our love for beads and we can make a difference for good and beauty in our world". Perfectly said, Linda!

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    1. Thank you Ileana! I really do believe that! :)

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  5. This is an incredibly tough competition and every person who entered has my admiration. Beautifully said Linda, good luck in the next round.

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  6. Bravo Linda! Hold you head high, because you have done nothing wrong and many things VERY right. Battle ON!

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    1. Thanks for understanding and sharing the beading passion Marsha!

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  7. I could never find better words to describe my own feelings. Thank you for being my voice too! Good luck for the next battles! <3

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  8. You've captured the essence of emotions regarding moving on or not in the Battle, very well described! And we're all winners, we find friends throughout the world, whether they're tall or short, thin or small, black or white, young or old. It is amazing that we use the same kind of media and express ourselves in such various ways. Battle on beady friend!

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    1. Thank you Anna. You are one of those wonderful beading friends I found through the "battles." Excellent point that I forgot to point out!

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  9. I was for many years a watercolour artist during which time I entered many juried art shows. At various times some works were rejected, some accepted, some won awards. Artists must always be aware that beyond artistic endeavour and technical ability, jurying an artistic piece is never objective. Each judge looks for and/or places a higher value on some aspects of a submitted piece over another. You have to be thick-skinned and accept the decisions and be proud of your work during such a subjective selective process. Congratulations to you Linda and to all who participate.

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    1. Thank you for this objective and thoughtful post Helen. Very good advice for all artists!

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  10. Linda, well spoken from the heart. I voted for both you and Helena at different rounds, but when faced with choosing between the two of you, it was a difficult decision as a public voter. I can only imagine how it must have been for the judges. Both of you are amazing artists, who submitted two entirely different pieces devoting both of your time and effort. It's sad that only one person can win....but that's why its a competition. It's just your time, honey. Congratulations to Helena for submitting an awesome piece and Good luck to you and your awesome piece in the next round.

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    1. Thank you Julie. Those pesky emotions come and go, but hopefully every person who submitted their work to this "battle" will feel proud of themselves - no matter the outcome.

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  11. Great post Linda, for me it was first off colors. I'm drawn to the colors you used and they pleased my inner Muse. I too have wondered at times about why I won while others with better pieces (my opinion) didn't. Did the judges have enough caffeine that day? Was there some thread sticking out that no one saw but one person? Was the judges in a funny mood that day? We never know. But just putting out best out there and then learning to cope with the outcomes is a true growing experience.

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  12. Thanks Dot. We just have to keep on beading and not worry about the judging.

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  13. Linda, both you and Helena showed marvelous creativity and presented your entries in lovely photos...no glitz, no costumes, just the lovely beadwork. That I appreciated greatly - let me see the beads! Whatever this year's panel does with Yes and No, all entries have been glorious to view and have opened all beaders' eyes to new possibilities. For that alone, you are all winners!

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Thanks for sharing your thoughts!