I’ve never been one to hang awards on my wall….

Not exactly sure why. I have been in other artists’ homes and I have seen paintings with ribbons and award certificates lining the hallways. I guess that is not me. 

I think it may have started from a severe Catholic school upbringing… I remember winning a little art award in third grade. Third place. It was a pretty, tiny, yellow ribbon and I thought it was so cool to have, but I didn’t want to show it to anyone. I didn’t want it to be a “thing.” Nuns in school would preach- be humble. Don’t brag… God is watching…..I don’t know if that is totally it- I am not afraid to be competitive and I am not afraid to win. 

I just want the work to be remembered. Not the award. 

During my recent move I came across ribbons piling up in a drawer. This is the actual drawer above.  I have a few other boxes of certificates and ribbons too. Yes, I have won some big awards.  And I hope no one thinks this is disrespecting those honors.  I just feel like these awards are mine to cherish. Not show. Mine to remember. Not display. 

So I moved the entire drawer as it was and it is now in a box in my storage unit along with my drafting table and pastel taboret.  I don’t have a formal studio space yet but I don’t think those awards will come out of the drawers and onto a wall even when I do. They are my guilty pleasure.  

No award makes an artwork “good.”  No award can make an artist “accomplished.” 

I had someone ask me the other day to seriously think about my “audacious, long-term goals” and what that would look like. (we all only have so much time on this planet to reach those goals, so it is time to focus….)  Yes, there are some more big awards in that imaginary future, but in the end it all comes back to the work. The soul in a story.  To grapple with it and mostly the way it can communicate to someone on the other end of viewing it- if we are successful in communicating what we want to say then that is the biggest award we artists can attain.  On occasion I have brought a viewer to tears. I have made others think about something in my creations in a way I want them to think about it.

I win. 

But I won’t turn down an award check…


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