a.k.a: Embracing Weirdness
A Guest Post by Victoria Rose Martin
Speaking of Halloween costumes… recently I was at a gallery opening and somebody remarked “Hey, you’re dressed like one of your sculptures!” Rather than cringing I absolutely loved it. I don’t know about you but I don’t want to be like everybody else. Are you the same? Do you enjoy the fact that you’re not Jane or Joe Average? And seriously, why do people wait for Halloween to express who they are on the inside? They take one measly holiday to express who they are when they could be expressing their authentic selves all year long.
I sculpt figures in funky outfits because I love to wear unusual outfits with ruffles and bright colors. My figures wear little animal ears on their heads because I wear spirit hoods while I sculpt. And if people think I am stupid or somehow less for doing so, well that’s their problem.
Genuine weirdness doesn’t mean pretending to be something you’re not; that wouldn’t be authentic. What I am talking about is feeling a connection to something so strongly you find you feel a little more yourself when you’re doing it. This could be simply putting a flower in your hair or wearing an over the top statement ring.
Being an artist goes hand in hand with being different. People who think or dream big are often referred as not normal. When Christopher Columbus said the world was round people thought he was weird because they all “knew” it was flat. Albert Einstein hated haircuts and refused to wear socks, so people thought he was weird. So if you’re feeling like a freak for being different you’re in good company. Remind yourself that everybody has a little weirdness in them.
I propose 4 questions :
1. What have you seen lately that you secretly thought, I wish I could wear/make/ or do that? Maybe it’s an edgy new haircut or color and those dangly over sized earrings you dream of owning but can’t afford? Or maybe it is the car mustache you spotted on Etsy?
Or it could have been making your very own pair of high top sneakers with flowers glued over every inch of them? Whatever it is do it and blog about it. Connect with your audience see what they think.
2. Does your soul feel an unnatural pull towards something? Then listen to it and make something based on it. For me it’s the city of London. It all started back in kindergarten when our teacher showed us a photo of Big Ben and I had this weird feeling of knowing. Often in my work you’ll see subtle and not so subtle references to England. So what does it for you?
3. This one’s fun; what’s the weirdest picture of you as a kid and how can you transform it into a work of art? The crazier the better. Think of the things that you wore or collected and how you could incorporate that into a work of art. Need help finding out who you are? Perhaps reading The Declaration of You! by Jessica Swift and Michelle Ward might help get to the bottom of that mystery.
4. And finally, this is to anyone reading this who may be in high school worried about what “the cool kids will think” if you do something weird. It’s been my experience that when you graduate from high school you probably won’t ever see those people again. (Do I hear some of you cheering?) Those people don’t matter. Only you matter and can control if and how they affect you.
Live in a small town and it just feels like high school all over again? It applies to you too. Self-confidence is powerful and sexy and people may simply be jealous because you have the nerve to do what they can’t.
Times are changing, galleries and curators are Googling and looking for new artists to connect with. By including something just a wee bit quirky on your blog you might get noticed for being uniquely you.
Still feel like you need permission to be different? Print this permission slip and post it on your wall. Or if you have a friend who needs a little nudge print them a copy. Why not make a mini version to carry in your wallet?
Remember, weird people change the world. Granola eating hippies from the 1960’s changed society one Birkenstock at a time. This October I ask that you put on your Halloween costume every day and don’t be afraid to be you.
Victoria Rose Martin is an artist and designer currently living in South Florida. She is the Department Chair for Fine Art and Graphic Design at Palm Beach State College in Lake Worth, Florida. You can visit her website at: VictoriaRoseMartin.com.