Sometimes for an artist, as with any other profession or lifestyle, one finds it necessary to do some gardening.

What do I mean by that?

Well, as any gardener knows, a weed is really just a plant that is growing where you don’t want it to.  There is nothing inherently wrong with this plant, many weeds are beautiful wildflowers, and many are useful to humans and animals alike.  However, if you have a plan for a garden that calls for tomatoes to grow in this particular patch of earth, and instead you find dandelions and grass, you decide to take action.

That is the place I found myself in today.  I belonged to artist group on Facebook that was supposed to help artists figure out how to market their work.  However, the group was generally not that helpful.  Several times I posted links to my website asking for advice on the appearance and structure of the website, and found myself not only not getting helpful answers, but also having it implied that I was just trying to promote myself on the group.

Well, why would I promote myself to other artists who are all trying to market their own art?  I was simply asking for help, which was the stated purpose of the group, help with marketing.

If today’s incidents had been the first problems, I would have shrugged it off, apologized for my “mistake”, and moved on.  But it’s happened before, it seems like any attempt to share any part of your own experience on that group is viewed as self promotion and is against the rules.  I am not one to make trouble, and I am not one to knowingly violate the rules, but with this group I just seemed to not be able to understand how they wanted things done.  I grew weary of innocent requests for help being removed from the group wall, and I began to wonder what was the point of belonging to the group if I couldn’t ask for help.

I decided that trying to figure out what was allowed and not allowed on the group was simply more a cause of stress to me than it was a help.

In the garden of my life, unnecessary stress is a dandelion in my tomato patch.


So, like any smart gardener, I decided to tend my garden and pull that weed.  Now, I don’t have any hard feelings toward the group or the administrator.  Like a dandelion, which is beautiful at the right time, and in the right place, and can be useful for certain purposes, this group is good for some people in some circumstances.  But also like a dandelion, you don’t want it in your tomato patch.

Right now in my life, this dandelion was growing in my tomatoes.  So I left the group.

Hopefully, nobody there thinks I have anything against them, I’m just busy growing tomatoes!

6 Responses to Weeding

  1. Good for you that you were able to decide what was best for you and your growth as an artist without any angst about it. I loved the analogy. This was a great post.

  2. It sounds like you made the right decision. I appreciate how you likened the situation to weeds. It’s feels good to pull those weeds out, too. (I like your drawings 🙂 )

    • Barbera, Yes, and now when I share to facebook groups, I’m not having to constantly ask myself if its okay. None of the other groups I belong to have a problem with sharing links, part of what we are there for is to look at each other’s work and give feedback!

  3. Your reaction to the group is right. So often, people, organizations, or even social groups like Facebook or Twitter, mistake our meaning. The example of pulling weeds it so apt and very clever.

    • Francene, thank you. Yes, it is pretty common to see meanings getting misunderstood. I’m not sure with this group how it wasn’t clear I was asking for marketing help, but oh well… at the end of the day they can go on with their group the way they want it, and I can go on working on my website on my own.