“I've not had a great day today. I've felt really sad. I hope the daisy makes you smile.”
I was quite taken aback by the reaction. I had comments from people that never usually even like my posts and some messages from people reaching out in private.
I was touched, and still am, that people cared so much.
But here’s the thing.
I didn’t add the caption to provoke a response, or to ask for help. I just typed out how I felt in the moment. I didn’t really think about it, I was just being honest.
The feedback I received was heart-warming and it made me stop and think about how I present myself, through my business, online. Generally, I’m pretty upbeat, easy going and calm as a person and hopefully this comes through in my posts.
However, I am human. I do have bad days, sad days, grumpy days, silly days. I’m grateful for that, as life would be incredibly dull if I was wildly happy all the time. I imagine I’d also be really annoying to anyone around me!
Am I guilty of only showing the glossy highlights online and the happy times? Possibly.
Those are the times I’m more likely to grab my phone and take a photo to remember and share. On the bad days, documenting the downer isn’t really at the forefront of my mind.
The whole thing made me think about how I show up. I want to be real and authentic in my art and I feel like I have a responsibility to do that with my online presence as well. It’s not all unicorns, glitter and rainbows in my head. A large chunk of the time, maybe, but not always.
I’m human and I do get all the feelings. Especially at the moment with the world being flipped upside down every few weeks. We shouldn’t feel pressured to be “switched on” and happy all the time. It’s not realistic and I don’t want to present a fake veneer of cheer if I’m really not feeling it.
I will attempt from now on to be more honest with my posts and stories. If I’m sad, I’ll share. Because it’s ok to feel sad. When I’m happy you can’t really avoid knowing it! If I’m angry, I’ll try not to swear too much, but I’m making no promises.
The tagline on my website used to be: “Art Evoking Feelings”. That wasn't just some marketing nonsense, that’s what I create. Art that allows you to pause for a moment and step back from the hustle. Breathe and feel whatever comes when you’re looking at whatever it is I’ve drawn or painted.
How can I create that if I don’t feel those emotions in the first place?
Stay safe x