Jellyfish & Self-Consciousness

I made this sweet little collage of some jellyfish a couple weeks ago with tiny strips from magazines. Jellyfish are my favorite animals by far. Graceful, carefree, and beautiful, but they can seriously mess you up. I just think they are such cool creatures.

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately, and much of it has been inspired by indoor percussion, an immensely time consuming but satisfying activity that I participate in with my school. I play the vibraphone (like a xylophone) and our show’s concept is insomnia. It’s much more performance-based than marching band and the hardest aspect for me is definitely to stay in character, as an insomniac.

As a generally serene person, it was really awkward and uncomfortable for me to make angry faces at an audience while I played. Performing the show did not really become fun until I gave up on caring about what I looked like and just did it. Now I love performing so much more.

Anyway, my point here is that I think some people let their self-consciousness and fear of criticism limit their true capabilities. I was like that for a long time. Doing more art is really helping me get over this and stop caring about what other people might think. I think too many people believe that any artistic activity is limited to professionals and the naturally talented, and that’s not true at all. Everyone can do it and everyone should do it! Art is fun. And it’s even more fun when you stop comparing your work to someone else’s and just enjoy the process of making it instead. My jellyfish picture is really nothing that took any talent, but I love it because no one else would spend so much time on a stupid little picture like that. Art is all about taking something from your mind and expressing it in the real world, and even the tiniest ounce of self-consciousness will affect it. And when you think about it, what is there to be afraid of, anyway? If you don’t feel like someone is judging you every once in a while, you’re probably not doing enough interesting stuff or taking enough risks. So stop caring. When you think of a cool idea, just go with it.

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