Lately Iv'e been thinking about my personal dotting story...
I was thinking of why I began dotting – because I wanted to prepare my own gifts to gift and I love painting so I searched the web for ideas and came across some mandalas and fell in love.
I remembered how I sold my first stone – a story I wrote a post about Here!
How I became “famous” in this area and how I started selling my work on the internet.
How I decided on my prices – another story for the same post as above.
And finally – I have been thinking of why I started teaching – because I was answering people’s questions on daily bases, all over the social media, and that made me want to create a centre, where I could share my knowledge, experience, tricks and tips, and most of all- the priceless insights I get from this beautiful art.
So, yes, I share practical knowledge in my courses, trying to give my students all the information to help them improve their technique:
I teach how to dilute the paint, how to recognise the right consistency, how to load the paint on the brush and in what angle to hold it (and more)…
But there are some questions, made by my students, which challenge me even more. Questions that make me want to dive in, to a deeper level of consciousness, where I can dig out the answers.
I want you to understand something-
Most of my students are not newbies on this art.
Some of them have tasted this art using dotting tools, enjoying learning by themselves, experimenting and painting. Some of them are selling their own art on Etsy and some are already teachers themselves and share their own knowledge about this art with their own students.
So, no wonder the question that keeps coming up so many times in different variations (on privet messages mostly) keeps surprising me:
When do I know I'm good enough?
Not only that, but the following, usually discusses the value of their work, and whether the fact that others see their work as Great (paying to buy their art or making positive comments on photos they share on the net) means it is indeed great.
Discussing it even more, I understand some of the confusion originated in the wonderful fact we live in the 21st century with all its benefits:
There is a lot of comparison going on the web.
While some people get inspired by beautiful, well made art, shared on different communities in social media, others might see a great piece made by someone els and suddenly feel small, or less-worth in comparison. This may also occur in times we feel less creative, as if the muse had left us while looking at others “blooming” on the net.
The fact we have created so many wonderful pieces in the past, would not help us out of this feeling at these times.
But this Post is not about that.
Everything I wrote till now is only an intro for the actual post.
For a few moments I will ask you to put aside the issue of outer influences, comparison and social media, in the sake of learning something about yourself, about your own growth and about your own value and self esteem.
I hope to meet your heart on the other end of this post and to see it shine its own light.
When your heart shines out, no darkness can penetrate it from the outside, and nothing of the above can badly influence it.
Take a break, drink some water, put some heart warming music in the background and come back to read.
About Greatness - and how to find it in yourself.
if you wish to LISTEN to me reading this post just click play:
As creators, we all have made this “masterpiece” (wrote an amazing article, painted a beautiful painting, composed a touching song etc.) which seemed so great as we looked at it for the first time.
We might have felt this was the most beautiful, eye catching, breath taking, clever piece we have ever made, we tapped ourselves on the shoulder and maybe, we even thought we’ll never be able to create something better.
Time passed and we looked at it again, and suddenly, it seemed like the less-great-piece ever. We now couldn’t see beyond all its inaccuracies and mistakes. It lost all its greatness in our eyes, the magic was gone. We compared it to more recent works we just created and we saw how our way of looking at that piece have changed.
So what happened?
What is it, that looked so amazing to us then, and why is it not amazing anymore?
Or isn’t it? For example:
Does it continue to amaze others who are now exposed to that specific creation for the first time? And if it does- is there something we could learn from this fact?
I have a drawer at home where I keep my “Compassion Stones” (the term was suggested by my friend and a self-taught dotter Vibha Jivan, when I showed the stones on one of the Live Q&A sessions with my students on our Facebook Group).
These stones I have painted a few years ago, when I just started to dot paint mandalas.
I remember how proud I felt looking at them. I thought- “I’m really good at this, these are great, how exiting! I should keep doing this”.
And although at the time I wasn’t selling any of my stones, I didn’t yet have my Etsy shop and I clearly wasn’t even thinking of teaching others how to dot, I was really driven by the outcome of my work, and by what friends who came by and saw it said about it, and that kept me going.
Looking at these stones now (and I consciously choose to open the drawer once in a while, take them out, hold them in my hand and carefully look at them), I have that little voice in my head saying:
1. Stop judging yourself for the past:
Your past ideas- wrong or right – served you.
Your past creations- beautiful or not (in your eyes today) were the indication for you to continue, and encouraged you to keep on.
Enjoying and being happy at your results in the past, created your present.
The feeling of momental greatness made you go on.
Today your old creations might seem poor, but they are the rich-reason you are so much advanced, comparing the now-you to the past-you, creation-wise.
2. You have grown so much since you painted them:
You can always get better.
You can always progress.
You can become more.
You are constantly growing.
You don’t have limits, not even when you think your’e at the top and there is no more growing from here.
You are ready to see the future-you who will look back, with compassion and love, at the person/artist/creator you are today (oh I can’t wait!!!)
3. Greatness is a temporary, and a personal thing (YAY!)
What we think, see or refer to as a great dot (or great whatever) might not seem great to others (and vice versa ).
What seems great now might not seem great in time perspective.
Whenever you are exposed to a new idea, a new challenge, something you consider great, you are ready to complete and master it.
In your mind, it is the “great dot” to achieve, the great spot to be in and the great point to make.
“If I am able to do this – everything will be just great” you tell yourself.
You do what it takes to learn it- read, investigate, practice, practice more.
Once you have mastered that challenge, you might feel at the top for a while until you see a new challenge that would make you aspire.
Look at it as a loop:
I enjoy every experience, every tryout, every error, on the way to achieve personal growth. While I’m on my way, I hold the vision of past great moments, reminding myself I am perfect at this very moment, and, I bear in my mind that the result, no matter what it will be – it will be perfect.
I know in advance that what ever I will feel, it will always be a temporary feeling, but it will also remain as a great memory and it will become a new stepping stone from where I can continue my life’s journey.
What you consider great is indeed great, for you, now, at this point of time, in this particular spot of the universe.
In two minutes, two months, two years or two decades it might seem not so great anymore, or even terrible, but the fact that in one fraction of time you thought it was great- means that it was, and it still is.
And if this feeling of greatness made you feel good with yourself, driven you to explore more of whatever, and brought you to action, learning, growing and progressing, developing, it was worth it!
Remember- You were great then, and you continue to be great while progressing towards a new greatness, each and every moment of your life.
Loved the blog post…its something to always bear in mind…I love the analogy of a loop. You captured the evolution of your dot art journey so well…and I can identify with it…after all, are we not here to evolve?
PS. I was so surprised and honored to be mentioned for the Compassion Stones…thank you lovely Liona
Thank you dear Vibha,
It seems like everyone is sharing or going through the same process, or at least a similar one.
And thank you for the beautiful idea and concept “compassion stones “ 🙂
I love your feelings and introspection. I admire your sharing with us not only your art but your spirit thru your art and words. This hit home with me especially today. I have been following the dotting, rock mandala post this week. For many – and bless them they have this outlet and time to really produce. And I compare myself to them – why aren’t I painting and producing. I have ideas but I am distracted and can’t concentrate. And today I say that is okay. We all get to react to this crisis on a personal level.. I feel the comparison to “greatness” and my feeling what is wrong with me this week are along the same vein. Thank you for the heartfelt blog.
It’s a natural thing to compare ourselves but it is conscious mind-set and work to decide stop it and start refer to ourselves as the comparison tool- who are we now compared to who we were, silencing the outer noise. I’m glad you feel this post talks to you. It comes from my heart and aiming to hearts like yours. Love.
This really resonated with me. At times I’ve looked at others dot art and even thought – “why am I bothering”. No more! After reading your blog, I now have a different perspective and that lightens my spirit. Thank you so much. Love Leone.
I soooo get you! This is the reason I keep reminding myself to look in instead of out, and guess what? Since everyone is feeling this way once in a while, what does it tell us about the reality? The real reality:))
This was just beautiful Liona. Thank you.
Thank you Debbie, Love.
I just love your inspirational stories and tips. Cannot wait to start dotting. Your blogs bring out the closet artist in me. Liona you are so talented.
Thank you for sharing your ideas and tips .
Thank you Charmaine, Im so happy you can relate to it.
Thank you so much for this link. At a time when my self worth and esteem are extremely low because of restrictions my health is putting on my day to day living your words have lifted me. I know I need to stop focusing on what I cant do and celebrate what I can and the journey of growth that I need to continue on. ❤
We ALL need to do it, you are so right, because there is simply no point in focusing on someone els as we will always and only live our own life.
Liona this is my first visit to your blog. This article portrays some of the many emotions I have and is an encouragement to look beyond. Thank you so much for providing the recording. Listening to you is wonderfully refreshing. Denise
Thank you dear Denise,
I am so happy you feel this is helpful and interesting
I love this post. Everything you say is right on. I am a beginner … but everything I do is better than the last. It feels good to progress. My goal is not to sell, but all the same I am a perfectionist. You encourage me to accept the wins and know there are more ahead. Relaxation and serenity are part of this process and I love the process. Thank you!!
I am happy you enjoyed it, Dear Denise. I guess its the balance. we want to sell but then, we want to enjoy the process. From my experience, the more you enjoy the process – the easier it is to sell the art.
First time here. I so enjoyed hearing your story. Your voice makes you want to listen and take it all in. I’m a beginner and love detail s. It helps me thru this time in my life where I can focus and practice being serene.
Thank you Martha, I am so happy this resonates with you.
I am coming to the end of week 2 on my Dot course. I am understanding that I can’t rush this process. That it is meditation to me to just practice. I loved it when you talked about the breath, this is called Ujjaii breath. I also liked your suggestion to put some gentle musin on in the background and just relax during the practice. I just love the way you teach from your own experience. Thank you.
Dear Raksha, Yes, indeed, breathing and slowing down make a whole different experience of dotting. Thank you so much for this comment.
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