Today I read a splendid blog post over on The Beautiful Necessity by way of Terri Windling's Blog and I decided to write here some things that became clear to me! Jane Yolen posted a reply and it really got me thinking about my own story.

The post is about being a fan, having an idol and being inspired by that person to change your life.  It is more that just that but you will have to go there and read it to really get my meaning.  We all have people and artists who's work we adore and draw inspiration from this I think is a necessity for most artists.  I have many on my own list!  And I strive to bring beauty into the world like they do.  These days I tend to admire and appreciate their work without it really affecting my own, but this wasn't always true.  When I was younger I loved a particular artist's work so much and I would draw scads of pictures like their own work.  I just loved what this person did and wanted so badly to be like them.  I adored this person!

So when I found out that this person would be at a local convention signing works......well I had to go!  I needed to go.....if I didn't go I WOULD PERISH!  Remember I was much younger!  So have mercy in your opinion!  So as an adoring fan I thought to myself I would love to share my own art with this person sort of as a homage.  I didn't really want anything signed I wanted to show my gratitude to this person for simply existing on the earth!  Wow I was so overboard right?  So I drew a picture (not a very good one either, looking back)  and had it rolled up and neatly tied so when I went through that line I could shake this person's hand and simply say thank you.  Thank you for the beauty you create.  I thought this was so romantic and that my idol would really appreciate this gesture!

It was crowded and hot and stuffy at the convention.  The line for the signing was very long.  And as I got close to my inspiration I got nervous.  So nervous I could barely speak.  I thought what am I doing!???  Everyone else had things to sign!  But not me!  Here I was with a silly gift!  Ack!  So I get in front of my idol and of course there is this awkward moment when I have to explain that I had nothing to sign and that I just wanted to say thank you and all my romantic garbage!  And this person just looks at me.....I hand the drawing over and I don't even get a handshake, and nod, a smile.  The picture is dropped to the side of the table and that's it.  My idol's attention is on the person behind me because of course they have stuff to sign!

I was so heartbroken over this.  It stabbed me and kept me awake at night wondering what I had done wrong!  Oh the pain of it!  I thought all sorts of things and came to the conclusion that maybe this person really didn't like fans!  Or maybe because this is an out of the way place, it was hard to get here!  I thought up all sorts of reasons why this encounter didn't go as I had planned!  And just so you know, this did not curb my enthusiasm for this artist's work.....it just changed me and it changed me in a good way.  I stopped my imitation and eventually worked out my own artistic voice.

And since then I have learned a lot about what it takes for an author/artist to sit at one of these types of things and sign stuff and talk to their rabid fans!  And today as Jane Yolen responded about fans having a little of the succubus or vampire in them......I thought wow.  That is so true.  I had expected way more than this person could give me!  And the place was certainly not one for sharing!  That encounter popped into my head as I was reading her reply and I just had to write it out.  Also since then I have met many more of my idols, and they have always been pleasant encounters.  I believe this is because even though I admire them I know they are just people doing what they love!  I have left behind the expectations and most of the adoration.  I say most because we all need others to look up to!  But when we find our own voice.....the whole world changes.  And even though that encounter was painful it made me realize that I needed to strike out on my own and do my own thing, find my own dream.  All this I learned from someone who never said a wor




07/05/2012 12:25pm

What a wonderful lesson. While I'm sorry that your experience with your idol wasn't what you had hoped it would be, the lessons that came out of it seem to have been lifechanging for you.

It's so true that our idols are just people who happen to be very good in a particular area. But they have good days and bad days just like we do. And while I also would have hoped that your idol would have taken a moment to appreciate you and your gift, they didn't. But they ended up giving you a beautiful gift - your ability to express yourself and your art in your own voice. And from that one encounter, you will carry that for life.
Great post! :)

07/06/2012 8:48am

Thank you Jodi for visiting the site! I am so excited when someone stops by! I had to write about it because it really all jelled when I read Jane Yolen's comment. It was so weird to feel how my whole perspective was radically altered. I knew everything and all that but I never really felt it so deeply as that moment how that encounter had really changed my life. Wow. Thanks so much for commenting!

07/06/2012 3:04am

I love that you didn't let your experience stop you appreciating this persons work but used it as a growing lesson - very inspiring! It is hard to remember sometimes that those we admire are still just ordinary people with vulnerabilities of their own x

07/06/2012 8:55am

Thanks for commenting Jo! I still have all of the person's work that I had collected and really still enjoy it! My life seems to be one big growing lesson so I have come to be more laid back about it! LOL

07/08/2012 9:35am

What a wonderful story! I had a similar experience and it taught me that no matter how much you idolize somebody they are still human and imperfect. It was a really good lesson for me as well and helped me to find my own groove, taught me how I want to act when maybe someday someone will idolize me, in the end it granted wisdom and made me better, and it sounds like it did the same for you! Kudos for not letting it get you down!

Debbie Cannon
01/14/2013 5:01pm

My dear Leila, I'm so happy you've found your way to YOU! I love the whole blog and I do really admire all of your insights and comments. Am so proud of you and happy you've kept your art progressing. I still have, and appreciate, the exceptional picture you did for me!

01/25/2013 11:19am

Thank you so much my dear Debbie! I miss all of your wonderful inspirational quotes and encouragement. I am still plugging away at things. I hope you are enjoying your grandbabies immensely! Always stay beautiful!


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