Ordinary? Says Who?

A random thought just occurred to me.

I have long been intimidated by the work of others—at least, as far as art, music, and graphic design are concerned. (I’m kind of an elitist, on the other hand, when it comes to English grammar and punctuation.) I often see what wonders others produce, and find myself wishing I could do what they do—because what I do seems so ordinary and unimaginative.

Yet, often to my surprise, people who view my work usually have only good things to say. I even had someone call some of my designs “edgy”—an adjective it would never occur to me to apply to my own work.

So what is the disconnect that makes me view what I do so differently from the way other folks do?

A few minutes ago, that random thought struck me: Maybe I see what I do as ordinary because I spend all my time with myself, and see the work at every stage—from the shadowy images in my imagination to the bright pixels on a computer screen to ink on paper. There’s no element of surprise for me.

On the other hand, most folks will see the results as fully formed pieces, without any knowledge of the intermediate steps (and missteps) that came before.

Will this realization cause me to see things any differently? Probably not. But it’ll be a good thing to keep in mind…

1 Comment

  1. Very true. I’m a writer and people are amazed that I’ve produced two NF books…to me, it’s what I do. I think we tend to take our skills for granted but those who don’t have them feel quite differently!

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