Thursday, January 05, 2012

But if you try sometimes

I got some really exciting news this week. Bead Trends Magazine (published by the same folks who run CARDS) wants to publish a necklace I made. (woohoo!) I submitted something on a whim last week. It's one of my favorites, but had been languishing unsold in my Etsy shop for months.

I guess there's a small chance that it won't make the cut when they get all the pieces in person, but I have my fingers crossed, and I'm sending it to them tomorrow. After I posted this on Facebook, a friend of mine bought it (thanks B!) ;) I'll post a photo once the magazine is out (June 2012 - so far away!) since they asked me to remove pictures of it online.

I thought about *why* I've got this desire to get my crafts published. Part of it is just to see my name in print - there's definitely something cool about that. But I also want to prove to myself that I can be good at more than one thing.

Somewhere along the way, I started thinking it was only possible to be special or excellent in one dimension - for example, if you were great at math, then you couldn't excel at writing. Or worse, if you were a good scientist then you couldn't also be pretty. Or people who are good at their corporate jobs couldn't also be successful artists.   Ridiculous, I know, but I was stuck in that mindset.

I figured the few people who were known for being good at multiple things were just freaks of nature, like Vienna Teng with her Stanford CS degree *and* her amazing musical talent, or the NFL player who finished college in 3 years at age *19* with a 4.0 in a non-trivial major. Bonus points if you can tell me what that guy's name is - I Googled, Binged and still came up empty-handed.

Anyway, it's very limiting, right? There's no way I want to pass that along to my brilliant girl, who could in fact be a firefighter and a ballerina at the same time, if she wants to.  I'm definitely fixing my broken thinking, and every little bit of recognition I'm getting for my craftiness is helping that.   I also noticed something interesting - a LOT of my fellow Caltech grads are seriously into something non-techie, like photography or music, even pursuing those professionally.  It's really cool to see all these different sides of people, and I thank Facebook for that, since it's so easy to "see" what other people are doing.

Given my desire to REDUCE and simplify, I think I'm probably going to combine my papercraftlab blog with this one so I don't have to worry about maintaining 2 blogs.  I know some of you will be annoyed by that, because you don't care about crafts, but hopefully it's not bad enough to make you flounce off into the Interwebz, never to return.  Right?


  1. <-- Amobi Okoye is the Louisville football player that graduated at 19.

  2. Thank you *so* much! I remembered reading an article about him, but couldn't remember his college or anything useful to help me search :) Woot!!!

  3. No problem! Glad to be able to help. :)


  4. I love this post. It has got me thinking about the value of diversification in our lives... I think I'll ponder some more, and then link to this post and discuss my thoughts in this week's weekend reading post over at my place.

  5. I think it's a fine idea to combine your blogs. My blog is mostly baking, but other stuff sneaks in there, too. =) Congratulations on the acceptance. It still amazes me when I get outside recognition for my baking photos & blog, but I agree, it's very cool. =)

  6. Yo, gotta give a shout out to say that both photography and music are mathematical and technical in nature. Digital photography, particularly, lots of technical stuff. I actually think that is one of the reasons I am doing well in my business - I can get things turned around quickly because I am NOT an "artiste." HA!

    Yay for Bead Trends!

  7. One of the things I've really hated about growing up is the need to specialize. I've always loved a variety of subjects, and been "good enough" at many of them to have chosen from quite a few career paths. I wish I could reinvent myself every 5-10 years, but sadly that is not practical. And I'm nothing if not practical. :P

  8. @Cloud - thanks! I so look forward to reading your post. I think there is *some* cultural pressure to just be defined as one thing, and it starts early. Like you can be the Geek, but not Homecoming Queen also. Etc etc. Frustrating.

    @LauraC - there are a lot of technical aspects to photography, and I'm sure your mad organization skills help with the biz side, but there is that undeniable *artistic talent* bit that separates the good from the great. You have that part too, and I've seen it with some of the other Techers too (Jen Yu, Serge B and his band, etc.) That's really neat to see.

    @Divs - I think you should go for it. It doesn't mean you have to totally quit one thing to do the next - you could make it more of a graceful transition. Does that mean you're going to publish a novel soon? :)

    And @Di, I totally squealed at my computer the day you mentioned you were highlighted on the ATK site :)


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