Each of us possesses a unique combination of life experiences and talents. My college friend wrote a riveting full-length screenplay and my work colleague blended her love of art and food to capture a 200 photo collection of her food art creations. These friends have never met, but they have one thing in common.  The screenplay sits in a box at the back of a closet and the photos are saved on an old computer.  These creative gifts are tucked away and hidden from the world.

Our friendships have a common bond, as I too have hidden away my creative side.  For a decade, I collected embellishments, fancy papers, beading, and vintage finds along with a rainbow of art supplies rivaling the inventory of an art supply store (just ask my boyfriend).  Pages and pages of my notebooks are filled with artwork and lettering.  Handmade greeting cards and tags are photographed and packaged ready for someone to gift to a loved one.  And almost none of it has seen the light of day.
 

And then there was the video…

 
During the 2018 holiday season, Apple released a three minute animated video that captivated my attention each time it appeared on my screen. The impact on my resolve to pursue my creative projects was no surprise — Apple long ago mastered the ability to appeal to our emotions. With intricate animation and a fairy tale color palette, the video tells the story of a young girl keeping secret her creative project, only to find that when her work is accidentally shared with others, they love it!

 

Another message about sharing your gifts comes from the music lyrics.  Billie Eilish, a 16-year-old songwriter, provides the song “Come Out and Play” to accompany the video, which nudges the listener to set aside their doubts:

And you don’t have to keep it quiet

And I know it makes you nervous

But I promise you, it’s worth it

To show ’em everything you kept inside

Don’t hide, don’t hide

A piece of advice

 
Advertising and marketing rarely make such an impression on me. The inspirational message from the video combined with my love of the holiday season, wintry snow scenes, and good music likely did the trick.

Unfortunately, there are a lot of us “creative types” out there who hesitate to share our gifts. We often hold back our point of view due to a fear of rejection or receiving negative feedback. We may avoid putting ourselves out there just in case hours of work are rewarded with nothing but a chorus of crickets. And I confess: my perfectionist tendencies sometimes mean I would rather discard a creation than share something less than perfect.

It doesn’t have to be this way. We should all share our gifts and be proud of what we have to offer.

This morning, I awoke to the first snowfall of 2019

As I write this, snowflakes are lightly falling to the ground and creating a winter wonderland outside.  Just like the story in the video, my respective window is blowing open and unleashing my creative side while giving me the motivation to forge ahead with this blog and my artistic projects. Welcome to The Dotted Jay.

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