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“Awareness” by Anthony deMello is a book that I read over 10 years ago. It has left a lasting impression. One of the most important things this book did for me was make me aware of  the very negative emotion, fear. Mr. deMello discusses how to recognize the signs that fear is trying to take over your decision making.  As far as I am concerned, fear is one of the most insidious emotions.  Decisions based on or out of fear are the worse ones anyone can make.  This book came to me at a time in my life where I could have easily made some horrific decisions had I done so out of fear.  Thanks to the information in this book, I have an awareness that allows me to recognize when fear is trying to influence what I want to do.

Today I want to discuss how fear can block your creativity.  The fear of failure can and does stall us in our creative explorations.  Yet I have found that failures lead the way to successes.  Let me show you some examples.

Variety of soldering experiments and failures.

These sad little gems are in my scrap pile.  Things that seemed like a good idea on paper, but in reality, not so much.  Some are soldering mistakes.  Some are designs that just didn’t work.  I just kept trying things, not letting the fear of failure stop me in my tracks.

Melted bezels

The dreaded melted bezel.  Some can be salvaged.  It’s just one of those discouraging thumps to the head when it happens.   Does it stop me from continuing?  No.  Some days I just know I need to take a break, turn off the torch & the pickle pot, close the door to the studio and come back another day.  The important thing is to come back and try again another day.

I persisted, in spite of those failures, that could have very easily taken me down the path of fearing I just can’t go any further.  Determination is one of my key success factors when battling the fear of failure.  If it was easy, anyone could do it, right?

I believe my persistence paid off.  Elements is a new series I haven’t discussed much in my blog.  Here’s one of the examples from the series.  Those little triangle shapes in my soldering experiment photo show that persistence with that idea finally paid off with this pendant.

Serentiy from Elements
Photo by Daniel Krucoff

Veracity is another new series for me this year.  Putting a bezel around a heart shape can be tricky, but I found a way that works well and have had so much fun with these heart shapes now.  Well worth the initial struggles.

Picturesque from Veracity
Photo by Daniel Krucoff

You see, all those failed attempts eventually led me to something that worked.  The key, I didn’t give up.  I kept trying.  I refused to be afraid to try something else.  I’ll admit that this year I explored many avenues for new works.  Initially, I know I was blocked by a fear of failure.  Once I realize that fear is trying to play a role in what I want to accomplish, I literally relax and block it.  That step, in and of itself, is freeing.  I am able to just go forward, know that I may and will make mistakes as I’ve shown here.  Yet when I keep trying, something wonderful is waiting for me.  In a sense, it’s  like that story about the optimistic child who is presented with a room full of horse manure.  He excitedly exclaims, there must be a pony in here!

We need to seek the positive.  Ignore negativity and adversity, they are fear’s companions.  Their role is to bring us down.  Please don’t let them.

Why this post?  I want all of you to look FEAR in the eye and stare it down.  Become Aware of it and what it tries to do to you.  Don’t let it beat you.  Overcome it.  FEAR is powerful and strong.  It will rule anyone who succumbs to it.  The mere fact that you can recognize it, be aware of it, when it rears its ugly head, puts you on the road to success, new ideas, being creative, tapping into the creative channel that is there waiting for you.

Until next time, aspire to be more as an artist and a person.

Can you believe it’s September?  Next weekend is the Castle Rock Art Festival in downtown Castle Rock, Colorado. This will be my first big fine art festival. Lexi generously offered to share her booth with me if we both got juried into the show. Well, Lexi has done the show for the past two years and I had no doubt she would be juried back into the show this year.  She was. Lexi’s first year in the show she won Best Fine Crafts. I was less than confident about being accepted into the Artfest, but I submitted photos of my latest works, the Mouontainesque Series, and ponied up…holding my breath….  To my delight and surprise, I received the acceptance notice back in May. There was that feeling of euphoria knowing that my work made it into this show and to be able to do this show with Lexi will be a real joy.

There are lots of wonderful artists doing this show.  To see the complete list, check the Artfest site here.  Lexi & I will be in booth number 152.  I will finally meet one of Lexi’s dear friends, Mary Sharp-Davis, whose booth will be next to ours.  I have seen Mary’s work and it is just stunning.  Her work encompasses ceramics and jewelry.  I can’t wait.

Then there’s our friend Julie Jerman-Melka, another gifted and talented metalsmith, with her beautiful river stone and raw diamond pieces.  You can find Julie at booth #98.

Lexi will have more of her delightful Shamans inspired by her work as an archeologist.  I gotta tell you, these guys truly define art jewelry in my mind.

I have two more new series that I will be debuting at this show.  Veracity and another that I have called Elements.  The show runs from 9 AM – 6 PM on Saturday the 10th, and on Sunday the 11th, the hours are from 9 AM – 5 PM.

One of the many things I enjoy about this show, having been an attendee in previous years, is how well-organized it is.  There’s plenty of parking at the Douglas County Fairgrounds and the city runs complimentary bus shuttles to the event location on a fairly regular basis.  Admission is only $5.  There’s something for everyone.

One of the biggest ‘hazards‘ that I find at a show of this caliber is I’m going to be so tempted to buy from a number of the talented artists that will be there.  🙂

Let’s hope that our Colorado weather will be wonderful rather than filled with surprises.  If you live in the area, I hope you will stop by.

Until next time, aspire to be more as an artist and a person.

Kathleen Krucoff

Artist and Metalsmith

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