I have a problem designing for contests.
I was thinking about this in regards to the quilt I just finished making for the Empire Quilters' Urban Inspirations Show and I spent much of yesterday working on a layout for Creating Keepsakes' Hall of Fame. Over the last month, I've also entered four or five other contests. But, I've been dissatisfied with my work for all of them.
I think that when I design for a contest, I'm too busy trying to (1) be what I think they want, and (2) impress them -- blow them away -- and I get lost in the meantime. I am reminded of the famous opening song from A Chorus Line, which has resonated with me in my theatrical life for years. Here's an excerpt:
Who am I anyway?
Am I my resume?
That is a picture of a person I don't know.
What does he want from me?
What should I try to be?
So many faces all around, and here we go.
I need this job, oh God, I need this show.
In contrast, I found this quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson:
"Insist on yourself; never imitate. Your own gift you can present every moment with the cumulative force of a whole life's cultivation; but of the adopted talent of another you have only an extemporaneous half possession... Do that which is assigned to you, and you cannot hope too much or dare too much."
And I am reminded that I should let "me" be more present. I guess the question is, why do I think that "me" is not enough?