Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Inside the Mavens

I don't think I'm the only Maven who wonders "Do I belong here? Am I good enough?" In fact, I know I'm not, because it's been voiced behind the scenes, one thing we Mavens seem to have in common is self-doubt, maybe me more than most because I only started bead weaving two years ago. I have times when I can hear a voice in my head saying "Who is this little upstart who thinks she knows about beading?"  "Why should she be a Maven?"

Well....I had this idea to bring a group of beading people together, people whose work I admire, I'd like to work with and learn from and surprisingly they all agreed. I'm known for my big dreams so I don't see this being limited to just the six of us....there are so many great instructors we'd all like to see join us but you have to get things going first or total chaos will set in.

The thing we all liked about the word "Maven" was the interpretation of being knowledgable but more importantly....sharing that knowledge as we are all determined to further and keep alive this wonderful artform.  I think something else we all believe is that we all have things to learn, and when you teach you learn as much from your students as they learn from you.

I was listening to some show about pilots and how many hours of flying they have to do to reach each level of professionalism and it got me thinking how many 'flight hours' have I logged with beading.

A sport pilot has to log 20 hours of flight time.
A private pilot has to log 40 hours.
A commercial pilot has to log between 190 and 250 hours.
An airline transport pilot has to log 1500 hours.

So I totalled it up, using a conservative estimate of 50 hours a week (cos I typically am doing something regarding beads at least 10 hours a day, seven days a week) and mulitiplied it by the 104 weeks I've been doing it.....5200 hours...eek! Wow...I could be flying a 747!!  :-)

I posed the question to the other Mavens and Nancy came back at me with 29,200...double eek!
Cindy and Linda couldn't even estimate because they've been doing it for so many years but I'm thinking a zero added to Nancy's number wouldn't be too far off.  Color me inexperienced...lol!

I was also curious about the hours it takes to get a degree (I'm English, so I didn't know) 64 credit hours for an Associates degree (dang I had to do two years of 40 hour weeks for my English one on top of a 'foundation year')  approx. 120 credit hours for a Bachelors, and an extra 35 for a Masters.  That's what Google told me anyhoo.

Of course it's not all about hours either because you could spend a lot of hours making the same thing in different colors and different beads, you have to have range and mastery of all the stitches. And you have to know you don't know everything because as soon as you think you do, someone will create something new. Thank goodness! Because I believe the Font of Knowledge is Fountain of Youth.

And you know what....it doesn't get rid of the self doubt but it does make me feel a little better, that maybe I have learned a thing or two, that I do have something to offer the beading world. It gives me something to tell my students too...that you don't fly around the world on your second day.

It doesn't just relate to beading either, I think many of us don't give ourselves credit for what we know and have the demon of self doubt sitting on our shoulders telling us we're not good enough. And some of us have more real entities telling us or hinting to us the same thing.
So...if you're having one of those days take some time to really consider what knowledge you do have, total the hours of experience you have....you may well be surprised at your knowledgeable, experienced little self .....and reward yourself with your favorite treat :)


  1. A wonderful and insightful post, Mikki - and so true!!!! I love that you added in that we learn from our students, and that you have done more than you think you have - I bet that's true of every one of the beaders out there!!!!

  2. Very thought provoking post Mikki, I think a lot of people mistake an artist's need for reassurance with an inflated ego - the two can look the same, but I think there are a lot less egos, and a lot more underloved artists out there than you would expect!

  3. Great post! As a constant self-doubter, I was shocked to realize just how much time I've been beading - but yet, there is so much more to learn - I wish I had seven lifetimes to do it in.

  4. Great post Mikki. I suffer from self doubt, especially where my beading is concerned and only just posted an article on my blog about my issues in this department as a beader... be sure to check it out if you have the time :)


    What I have realised lately is that no matter how experienced one is... we always have something to learn. My little mantra at the moment is "focus on how far you have come... not how far you have to go".


  5. Great post! I sometimes tell customers when they ask why is it so expensive? It's "only beads", that it isn't only beads. It's 5 years of art school, many hours of practice, a whole studio of implements needed to create the item, and a working knowledge of what's in style combined with a sense of what will always be in style. Keep up your awesome work, Mikki!

  6. I will work for a pittance if its something I truly love doing, but I'd rather be paid well for my time!