• michaelabennison

Battling the Beige

A lot of the time I find being myself the hardest, most cringe-worthy thing to be. I can't help feeling it is somehow socially unacceptable to be anything like me; to be excited by the things I'm interested in, to laugh at the things I find funny, to speak my mind...

But, obviously, I can't not be me, and I don't want to not be me.

And I don't think I'm the only one who feels this way. Some people may hide it better or feel it less often than others, but I think we've all been there, and it's easy to forget that.

This has a point, I promise.

A little while ago, I joined in an online meetup, with other creative business owners, run by Jani Franck. All of us want to make a living doing what we love; some are visual artists, others make hand-crafted jewelry, one is an alternative wedding photographer. And we're all pretty unique in our own way (it's kind of impossible to not be as an actor, but that's by the by). But all of us have encountered artists in our fields who try to please everyone with their work:

Artists who try to be Beige.

Can't get much less beige than this...
Can't get much less beige than this...

Being Beige has it's appeal. You're not going to offend anyone. And people wanting something superficial will buy what you're selling. But it's pretty dull. No one has ever walked into a room with Magnolia walls and cream carpets and felt anything more than "well, this colour scheme is pleasantly adequate." But a room full of bright colours, bold print upholstery and Lava Lamps? That's a room you either love or hate.

All the lava lamps!
All the lava lamps!

Beige doesn't move you. It doesn't allow people to connect with you. It isn't stimulating and interesting. Beige is "Meh", in art and in life. And that can also be hard to remember.

So yes, it is scary to be myself in the knowledge that I'm not going to please everyone, and that might never change. But I'd rather be a room full of Lava Lamps any day.

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