The saddest story of my creative life

(My husband is going to roll his eyes when he sees this post, because he’s only heard this story about a million times, but I’m going to share it with you anyways. No tutorial here, so skip this post if you’re bored already. But I do promise that there is ***a point coming.)

As a child I was lucky to have parents who supported my creative development, which meant that I got to do a lot of summer and after-school art classes. It was these classess that introduced me to a lot of different mediums—all kinds of painting, drawing, sculpture, and collage. (I think there exists a picture of me dressed from head to toe in a paper mache rhinoceros costume of my own fashioning—Dad, if you’re reading this, I would love to see this picture again.)

During 6th grade, I took class that included an introduction to clay. I made a bunch of little things in that class, but my favorite was a type of clay that you molded and that hardened once you put it in water (has anyone ever used this stuff? I haven’t seen anything like it since that class, so I don’t know if they still make it or not). Part of our assignment was to use ancient Egypt for our inspiration. I chose to do a statue of a reclining lion, and in my minds eye I can still picture the great little figure, a full four inches of sculptural splendor, with a minimalistic all-gold finish.

I loved that lion. I knew it was pretty much the best thing I had ever made—ever. I knew that it was impressive, and I wanted people to be impressed. In this line of thought, I decided such a wonderful project needed a grand unveiling of sorts; I couldn’t just set the thing on the kitchen counter and say “what do you think, mom.” No, I was imagining it to be a jaw-dropping, moment-to-catch-my-breath inducing moment when I showed my creation to my parents. You may think I’m exaggerating, but sadly, I’m not.

The day I got to take my lion home, I wrapped it loosely in my black zipper jacket and tucked it under my arm like it was no big deal before I met my mom at the car. The whole car ride home I was imagining the praises that would be poured out for my lion. When we pulled up to the house, I gingerly stashed my piece under my arm again and practically jumped out of the car, and it was at that moment, that regrettable moment, that my jacket came untucked, and my lion slipped to the pavement, shattering into a thousand fragments.

The only thing more crushed than that little lion was my poor 11-year old heart. I was devastated, to put it mildly. I cried and cried and cried. The thing was, I was sad that it was gone, but I was more sad that no one else had even seen it. No one else even knew how cool it was. No one understood how big of a tragedy this was. I looked on it as no less loss to the art world than if the Mona Lisa had just gone up in flames. Yeah, I can see now that I was overreacting. But I still mourn that lion. I wish that I had a picture of it at least, and I wish that I hadn’t made such a big deal about keeping it a secret until the grand unveiling moment.

***So what’s the point of this story? Besides that I might want to consider grief counseling or psychiatric help in general. Well, it’s that the whole “grand unveiling moment” is still something I can’t let go of. I have this almost inextricable compulsion to keep my projects a secret until they are done. But I want to try to get over it, at least a little bit, before I have another clay-lion experience.

Anyways, to help me with that, I think I’ll start sharing more images of my works-in-progress. It won’t usually be wordy like this post, and sometimes it may not be any words at all, just pictures. But I hope you’ll take a look, give some feedback, and find something to inspire you. So, in the spirit of sharing more, here are some images of one of my long-standing (over a year) works-in-progress:

Let me know what you think (about my story or my project). And have a wonderful day!


2 thoughts on “The saddest story of my creative life

  1. Oh, Rebeca. You make me smile, a lot. And I’m sad that we never got to see your masterpiece.

    The booklet thing looks cool, but I’m confused as to what it is. Care to share?

  2. Pingback: Murder Your Darlings: Musings on the Creative (and Destructive) Process « Beauty All Around

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