|'Insider Trading on the Artroom Floor, Cory Jaeger Kenat, 1999|
|'The Secret Garden', Cory Jaeger Kenat, 2001|
I've done my fair share of hiding my work, and I wonder if you have, too. As a child, whenever footsteps would approach, I would hastily shove my drawings under the bed. My parents had praised me highly when I was drawing frilly figures of sweet sunbonneted little girls, and as I grew into more realistic imagery, they disapproved.
Many artists learn acceptance of their art in their elementary school classrooms. Kids celebrate and enjoy art, and admire those they think do it well. The designated 'class artist' is a real thing for them. Our notebook doodles and tentative sketches are fawned over by teachers and schoolmates, and often this is the first inkling we might have that we are 'artistic'. Showing our work in this environment is a giddy pleasure, and can really give us 'big fish in a small pond' syndrome.
|'Escape or Embrace?' Cory Jaeger Kenat, 2000|
So, I think the stereotype of the 'prima donna', hysterically fragile artist is pretty much left to books and movies. Typically, after being in the art world for awhile, it's second nature for opinions to roll off your back. But just because you're tough doesn't mean the arrows don't stop coming.
|'The Bright Pink Cup' Cory Jaeger Kenat, 2012|
|'Painter's Block' Cory Jaeger Kenat, 2012|
I will conclude with a quote from Dr. Eric Maisel, from his book, "The Van Gogh Blues". This is a book that probably every artist should have in their library.
"Your job is to live in a way that makes you feel proud of yourself, to live that way today, tomorrow, and every day thereafter. If that means creating flower paintings, researching the Crusades, launching guerilla theater, or playing ancient music from your native land, that is what you will do. If you can truthfully say, "I am proud of the work I am trying to do", and "I am proud of the person I am trying to be", you are on the right path. If you can't, you must change."
So, keep on creating, but most of all, keep on sharing. The world desperately needs what you are trying to give, even though it might not know it--yet.