Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Heart-to-heart: Green-eyed monster.

Hello there, it's Painfully-Honest-Me again. :)

Ever since I saw the wonderful outpouring of support for my previous heart-to-heart blog entry, I realise that hey, I have indeed more than the 5 readers I originally suspected haha. (no, but I'm serious.) There's so much of my life I want to share with you, it's way different from the lifestyle of the regular Singapore office-girl, along with the mental tribulations I go through. If you've ever been curious about what happens after one takes the advice of those popular Pinterest slogans like the one pictured below, then you'll be interested in my heart-to-heart entries.

Today, let's focus on one nagging horrible flaw I have, which I've never publicly admitted. 

-breathes deeply.

I find it difficult to be truly happy for others. 

There, I've said it. 

Okay wait, I AM truly happy when my friends get married and start families etc, and I honestly want my friends to be happy and would gladly do things to get them there. 

What I'm referring to are people in my trade. Which is the tiny circle of miniature food crafters. Not a lot of them in the world, as you can imagine. Definitely not as many as the circle of doctors, lawyers, or any other regular profession.

I'll let you in on a secret, I've been consciously steering clear of the other food miniaturists' blogs. Well I used to surf them back in the days I just started AiClay. But I noticed that this growing sense of bitterness would just swell in my heart, and I'll feel so discouraged that they've managed to perfect some food I couldn't, or they've achieved some success like have massive good sales or be invited to some overseas exhibition etc.

So I stopped going to these blogs, just so these terrible feelings would quit surfacing.

I've tried to be open and positive, and I'll head into someone's website consciously repeating to myself like a mantra, "Wow, that's amazing texture. Now I have to improve on my techniques to perfect my food miniatures. Ooh, her weekend sales rocketed? That's wonderful, hopefully I'll be able to achieve that too if I keep working hard at my craft."

Apparently you can't MAKE yourself feel positive, because I felt the same afterwards even with the consistent pep-talk. Just a tad more silly.

I have a suspicion that it's my insecurities acting up, and I am slightly better with handling other people's success now. I attribute that to AiClay having gained a small, okay tiny level of success too, which is why it's a lot easier for me to accept that others are successful too. But I wish it didn't have to be like this. I do want to be happy for others EVEN if my own sales was down or if I lost subscribers/readers.

Now every time the green-eyed monster rears its butt-ugly head, I'll bury those negative emotions and simply refocus on something else at hand. But who's to know if all that negativity would just snowball and unleash itself with a fury one day.

I'll like to know if you struggle with these emotions as well, and how do you deal with them?

If you're a food miniaturist as well, please don't think too badly of me and hopefully you'll consider it flattery that I'm so jealous of your successes haha.


  1. The green eyed monster is a dangerous one...that visits me also from time to time. You should be very proud of your work. Keep on being the best you can be. Remember your success and most of all your little victories. IndyPoppy

  2. Honestly, I think the green eyed monster is probably helping you!!

    I read all the time that if you want to be creative you should stop looking at other people's blogs... because it's either discouraging or then you just get too caught up in their ideas...

    So really, the green eyed monster keeping you away from other blogs is probably helping you to continue creating your wonderful, original pieces!!

    Really though, I feel the same thing. I see something someone has made and think, "Why didn't I think of that?" or "How did they do that??"

    Miniature food especially, I have no clue how you guys do what you do.
    Please let me know if you ever offer online classes!! :)

  3. Wow! The green eyed monster almost kept me from reading your blog today! I am glad I didn't!

    What I get MOST jealous about is the people who get to actually take classes with you and I can't. I really feel if I had a great teacher such as yourself I would be better at clay foods.

    Glad you shared this. Now I can tame her a little better. LOL

  4. Hi Jocelyn! Long-time reader, first-time commenter. I love how real and honest you are, what a great post! I feel compelled to say that your creations are actually my standards of comparison when I look at other mini food blogs, videos, etc. I'll think, "Hmm, that's nice but AiClay's [insert creation here] was neater and cuter" or something of the sort. I'm not saying that what you feel is unwarranted - it's completely normal. I just wanted to let you know that this is how I feel about your creations, they're all so beautifully crafted!

  5. Please do not think so lowly of yourself for having these kind of emotions :( it makes me feel like I'm an extremely bad person for growing up that green-eyed monster and I don't do anything to shoo it off or something. My way of dealing with it is I repeat my father's quote over and over again "BE POSITIVE" (though it's very hard to do so in many occassions, sometimes even repeating it makes me extremely sad for forcing myself to be happy when I'm actually not) so my advice for you is, when that green-eye monster comes, ignore him and do things that makes you genuinely happy. That works a lot of time for me, like when I look at your insanely detailed creations I just tried to make other crafts to keep me occupied, just until the monster goes away, then I'll keep on stalking your blog #oops. Just kidding :) and please do be happy for yourself, you only live once right? ;)

  6. Sometimes I feel like my work is so amateurish when I read other mini food blogs. It does make me feel like giving up - but it also made me feel like I should keep improving my skills. I have tremendous respect for your work because I know the amount of hard work required to achieve such a high level of quality.

  7. Me have similar feelings too, which explains I have yet to start a blog to showcase my work. Regardless, I still peeped at other people works and admired how they have honed their skill to perfection. Why we felt the way we feel about others work was because we know we are always learning from them and this process will never stops. Most importantly, we are enjoying what we do, like taking a casual walk in the garden and admire the beauty of other people's flowers, so to speak.

  8. I definitely know how you feel!!! I think I end up doing the same thing as you - wishing to be positive and yet secretly fearing that I'm being petty and mean.

    I usually try to think of myself as being in a more fun position than that person. It's kind of like when older people reminisce about high school or college, and you're in one of those grades - they're seeing it as a mountain they've already climbed, where during the toil they didn't get to enjoy the view.

    If I haven't achieved as much success/haven't made a product as nice, I feel like that highschooler, rolling my eyes at the story of my grandpa's glorious youth. But I try to tell myself that I have all this potential to make something even better, or pioneer a new method, or be inspired by something totally different than that person, and by the end of all my processes I'll have made something different but just as good. Or I'll sit there and pretend that I made the item, and usually I end up seeing it in a different way - I wouldn't have used that material, that color won't go with anything, I would have made the product in a different width, etc. Sometimes after that I feel like I have a new direction to take my next product because I found flaws with something similar that was already made.

    Feeling a forced sense of superiority isn't really any better than being jealous, but I try to remind myself that I'm not actually saying or doing anything to that person. Were I to meet them in person or anyone who knows them and their work, I would be careful to not let that jealousy govern my comments or actions. So where's the harm in using my thoughts about them to shape my own budding products?