So who was my cheerleader? It was that little voice within. I think at some point for all of us it comes down to that and that alone. Can you hear yourself cheering you on? Can you hear yourself at times driving you on? Do you hear yourself calling, calling, calling out to yourself to engage, try again, don't be afraid, work a little longer, work differently, work smarter and any other entreaty about perseverance you can think of?
Yet now that I am older, I also have many loving friends who are cheerleaders. Frankly, I have fantastic cheerleaders and they mean so much to me. They are confirmatory. They are my outside reality telling me that the most recent experiment in art making has hit its visual communication goal. They cheer me on with their glowing appreciation. They cheer me on with their wonderment and queries about “how did you think that up or how did you ever do that?” Then there's “how long did that take? WOW!” And who doesn’t love to hear, “I love it! I want one!”
They pick me up when I have fallen - fallen away from that voice within that whispers make art, make art, create. Little falls from fatigue....small failures... Big falls from that handful of times in my life when unbalanced critique such as a screaming fist-clenched raging prof reigns down like blows. My cheerleaders help me to embrace the reality check that screaming is not cheerleading….nor is it educational or even helpful. Well, maybe helpful in that when the Phoenix rises from those ashes of despair it is with a new and even grittier resolve about that whisper within….make art, create.
If you cannot hear your cheerleader within, find your own cheerleading squad. What we do as artists can be lonely and
disheartening and confusing and joyous and thrilling and, and, and ... Cheerleaders have a role in our journey.
This is a tribute to my steadfast cheerleader Piper the dog. She faithfully and patiently followed me on my photographic journeys up and down back lanes, showing huge interest in the things which caught my eye. She silently and watchfully
slept in my studio during the many hours while my soul flew free making art. She never faltered in her steadfast presence during my joy and my despair on this journey. I miss you Pipie.