During my time spent as an Art Major in college I learned that editing is a major part of the creative process. This can be very difficult for some people. For instance, it's extremely hard to put up one's personal creation to be critiqued by a bunch of people you may not necessarily know, trust, or even respect. However, I will state that some of my best suggestions for editing have come from near strangers. When looking for an honest opinion on one's work, it is key to have an impartial party to communicate with. This allows the exchange of honest opinions without the guilt of hurting one another's feelings. The key to understanding the critique process is to realize there simply is no personal investment between the individuals involved.
This was a lesson that took me a few years to fully comprehend. Upon receiving the first public criticism towards my paintings, I felt severely embarrassed. Somehow, every suggestion one of my peers would give me seemed like an outright accusation that I did not belong in a college level Art program. I remember more than a few occasions where other classmates would actually break down in tears after a rather grueling critique of their piece. Admittedly, there were times where constructive criticism just seemed...and excuse me for lack of a better phrase...WAY HARSH! Who knew being a sensitive artist required one to not be so damn sensitive?
I always found it extremely hard to edit my paintings, especially since the subject matter was always so personal to me. I thought, "Who are these people to tell me how to represent my feelings?" What I eventually learned was those people were other individuals with equally important feelings, experiences, and most importantly talents. I found the more I ignored my own insecurities and actually listened to their suggestions, the better my paintings became. I think this was in part because I was no longer just a childish amateur painting secrets only I could understand. I was striving to be an artist who conveyed her thoughts and themes to a wider audience. In my mind art is ultimately about SHARING all aspects of the human condition. Wait, what were we talking about here?
Oh yes editing, and with that I can honestly state I obviously have difficulty editing while writing as well. I can admit that I have a tendency to meander when I write. Heck, I have a tendency to meander when I walk too. I blame this on being a creative type. There is no clear path from Point A to Point B with me. Basically, if you're ever in my company on a trip make sure you pack a bag with some extra clothes in it because we may not be back for awhile.
Which finally brings me to the subject of clothes. Like the topics of painting and writing, I often find it challenging to edit my outfits. A lot of people, especially in the mostly conservative state of South Dakota, seem to take a very, "less is more," approach to dressing. This is not an approach I am familiar with. In fact, it is common for me to get dressed in the morning and pile on loads of over the top accessories. Then that little voice in my head from Art class will whisper, "is this outfit conveying your thoughts and themes to a wider audience? Or will the public just think you're playing a freaky version of dress up?" This is when I remind myself to, "reel it in," a bit. I can still portray an original personal style while being semi-relatable to the general public. It's these times I have to remind myself not everyone believes one should have fringe on their purse, jacket, and shoes all at once. Hard to believe, right?
In closing, on most occasions I find myself editing out elements of my outfits. However there are times, as the pictures display above, where I end up adding items throughout the day. On this particular instance I ended up finding the most adorable do-rag halfway through the afternoon. As soon as I put it on my head I knew it was the missing piece to an otherwise pretty, "vanilla," outfit. I instantly felt better about the persona I was, "presenting to a wider audience." I mean, I said I wanted to be relatable not repetitive!
Shirt: Nick & Mo
Jeans: Silver Jeans
Purse: Free People
Do-Rag: Vintage https://www.etsy.com/shop/ELOFSON
Bracelet: Betsey Johnson