It’s been an eventful four months and I have not heard from anyone that my submission for the CADD x Maddrey PLLC Artist Prize, for Black artists living or working in Dallas, did not make the cut. No email. No text. No postcard. No nothing. I did sort of expect to be notified with a "Thank you but another Dallas artist is our inaugural recipient of this $5000+ Artist Prize. We appreciate the courage it took to submit your embarrassing entry. Here’s a link to the deserving prize winner. Enjoy.”
Everyday I have been afraid to confirm what I already knew was true. Before myself and God, I feel embarrassed that I dared to enter in the first place. I wasn’t ready. Not as an artist.
The journey it is going to take for me to feel worthy, I am still on for a long while. I suppose someone out there is saying, this experience, Jackie, is part of that journey. Yes, that’s true. But there is more at stake here than winning a prize or not winning a prize. What I am feeling right now is the humiliation of my submission being the victim of a wannabe artist. I should have known my feelings would be this hurt, but I didn’t. Entering took courage I really didn't have. But not winning is not as serious as I make it sound. I didn’t want to win. I wanted to be acknowledged. Truly, the experience of trying is suppose to be my prize.
Proverbs 18:16 reads, "Your gifts will make room for you.” For the past few years, my celestial movement through this space and time unfold my gifts, and it has been hard work. And during this unfolding, I’ve raised and met my inspiration. Not all of them in person. They are teaching me to blaze new trails of my own. Being a creative is such a mind-fuck, and it hurts sometimes. But I like it. It lifts my depression at the end of the stress. Even though I know I haven't failed, I cannot lie and say I’ve enjoyed the process.
And do not misinterpret this; Now that I’ve seen the work of the prize winner, I feel so much better about myself as an artist. Our work is comparable. We are equals, not competitors. Her excellence is my joy, and I support her in her artistic expression. What was I afraid of? Not of being a loser, but of not being acknowledged by a jury of my peers, and not knowing what I was up against. Ego crisis averted.
Congratulations to my sister, Ms. Ciara Elle Bryant, Artist. Inspiration.
Anyone can teach you about love. I can make you good at it.
| Photo & Prose by Jackie D. Rockwell |All Rights Reserved © 2008-2021 |