Dienstag, 20. Oktober 2015

All the roses... between research and art and not enough sleep!

Right now, in this very moment, I should prepare several presentations. I am doing this but my brain needs some rest in between. If I would really rest I would just fall asleep and not wake up i time again (who needs sleep? ;)) so doing something different is also a kind of rest. Actually my brain has to process and reset somehow so I finally get the story line I want to tell and preset finished in my head. 

I am sorting my slides for introduction, data and so on after I know what kind of story I want to tell. Research is really deep and detailed so it is easy to get mixed up. If you only have ten to fifteen minutes you can't tell about all the stuff you and your group is doing. You need to show one piece and represent it in a good story with a red line everyone can easily follow and enjoys (hopefully) to listen aaaaaaaaaaaaand understands it well enough to ask relevant questions, discuss more deeply and (I know most hate it but you should embrace it!) offer profound critics. If you lose your audience in between, you'll also lose all of this and in the end you'll lose the reason why there should have been a talk after all.

Is it easy? I am getting better and better in it but still no. But it is not really a talent but rather an ability you can learn and train. In a good group you're helped on your way, in a bad one you have to figure out everything by yourself. This includes how to stand, how to interact with the audience, what not to do with your hands and hair (especially the women), even what to wear and getting the balance right between too shy and too arrogant (men and women quite often tend to fail in different extremes).

Oh and especially for women: Stop making yourself small and stop apologizing. There is always an experiment not done, data not perfect, and so on. Just be honest, discuss your data, show the strengths without hiding the weaknesses and don't undersell your work and yourself. Just don't. Please. Also as hard as it is: Don't expect motivation from someone else and also don't put your own self-esteem in dependency on the critics of your supervisor/boss/... Nobody will ever give you if you don'task. You're an adult after all. Also nobody will ever see the work you do. Most often women in the lab are super hard working but often don't get credit for it. Why? Because they don't tell it. I am not very far from the lab and even I don't see how much and what my students are really working. Yes, I see the data but no, this is in no way representing all the hours, days and weeks that went into. In the end you are grown up and have to stand up for yourself. Nobody else will and it is definitely also no-ones task than your own. 

Strangely enough... you could switch researcher to artist here quite easily, no?

It never should mean that you're blind to good and constructive critics, that you don't take other opinions into account, no... just that you're not depending on them and also reflect your own behaviour and how much you're creating your (let us be blunt) misery yourself (or enhancing it). Take care whom you give the power to judge over you, really, be careful. Also on which level: Your supervisor for your thesis should be the critic for your work but not for your self-wroth and esteem. Your close friends and family may give you personal critics and they are allowed to do so because they love you. But what a stranger says? Why should you? 

I started writing about the earrings, no? That was the original intention and then I drifted away. I am tired. Oh, I behave the same in real life: If I am really tired, I will start talking like a waterfall...! ;)

The roses were made with different kinds of polymer clay. Actually they all were the test flowers for the wedding jewelery I made some time ago. The last critics was: Too small. So I made bigger ones and had these tiny ones left. Since we have family over here, I had to try to reign in my chao a little bit and stumbled over the roses. I cut down the backs, glued on silver filed posts and there we go! Love them!

Also a new ceramic pair (I have more but no pictures... sorry!) and a new colours for my little dots of colour earrings!

Maybe I will even manage to get them into my shop in the next days with all the overload of work I have. In case you would like a pair of roses first, just write me (they are 15 euros per pair plus shipping).


  1. Claire, this post was so inspiring! All the ideas about not making yourself small and not giving other people power to influence your self worth...just exactly what I have been wrestling with lately. Thank you thank you!!!! The tiny tiny roses are amazing, my favorites are the semi translucent. I hope you got your presentations finished and didn't fall asleep!

  2. Ich verstehe alles und ja, die Röschen würde ich sofort nehmen.

    Liebe Grüße

  3. Ahhhh, I love this so much! The roses are so otherworldly, do delicate, so real! Of course you know I love your dots of color earrings, I wear mine often. Your passion and commitment to your creative side is really inspiring. And you're so right - motivation comes from deep within - it's the only way. xo - julie



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