Fake It til You Make It

I always resented people’s assumption that because I’m an artist, I must know how to do _______. I considered myself an illustrator and little else, so when I was asked to do things like…design a business card or a logo, for example, I would bristle. That’s not what I did. That wasn’t my craft, my specialty. Nothing in color and on nothing but white paper — that was the old philosophy. And so I shied away from any project that didn’t fit that criteria, and then the assumption became that I was being modest. The truth was that I was frustrated. Afraid. I’m constantly terrified of not meeting expectations, especially my own. Unfortunately I also have a neurotic desire to be liked by everyone, so I’d eventually break down and do whatever it was they wanted.

And you know what? I really am kind of good at just about everything artsy fartsy. Really good, even. It may not come as easily as sketching Sailor Moon, but it DOES come.

I can’t say exactly when it happened, but somewhere along the way I started trusting that fact. If someone needed an artist for a project and it was something I didn’t know how to do or have never done before, I just Googled the shit out of it and practiced enough to feel confident, then I’d go out and do it (and ideally make money). It’s been working for me thus far, case in point…the door.

Practice door rummaged up by loving husband. (Plus some primer I was getting cute with as I applied.)

I was asked to paint a decorative door. After a bit of brainstorming, the client and I both decided it would be really cool to have the door look like a panel of tile in the same room.

The tile.

Even as we were talking about it I began to worry. I had a feeling Google might not have the greatest recommendations to the search query of, “how to paint a door to look like marble but not really marble more like cloudy, colored tile.” But I smiled and nodded and tried to trust that I would figure it out.

Thanks to my resourceful husband, I got a door to practice on. With the help of a coworker who worked for Sherwin Williams for years, I got some paint color suggestions to try out. And then Google scraped up a few different tutorials involving cheesecloth and feathers, so I was good to go.

Round One.

I quickly found out that cheesecloth and feathers were a waste of time and a MESS to work with. I was very pleased with this first result that ultimately came from me just manhandling my trusty paint brush. But the color was off… Very cool but not quite what I was going for. Now I was actually excited for round two, inspired by my own happy accident. The next rehearsal happened far too late in the evening and with much wine, so I have no great pictures, but it was enough to prove to myself that I (kind of) knew what I was doing. Then it was show time…


I’m pretty fucking pleased. I don’t know how much it looks like the tile, but it’s super cool anyway. And now I’m going to do all the doors in his house the same way, different colors. Then I’ll have to move on to the doors in my house because it was quick, WAY fun, unique and attractive. So the moral of the story…fake it til you make it. Then make the shit out of it!!!

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