Monday, July 21, 2008

Failure - Not an Option

An excerpt of an interview of Carla Sanders,, by Mel. Edwards for the Votre Vray Creative Women project.

When Carla Sanders began following her truth, her husband was afraid for their future, and he said, “You can give it a year and then you’ll have to admit you’ve failed and you can get a job doing something else.” Sanders knew he had done his job for years with plans of retiring and handing the earning reigns over to her when the time came. He never banked on her choice and wasn’t prepared. It came down to Carla having to select her passion or give up her spirit by doing something else. Her spirit won, even if her marriage didn’t. “I like the line that Tom Hank’s character says in Apollo 13, ‘Failure is not an option.’ I’ve adopted it as my motto.”

I asked if it was scary for her to honor her truth. “Yes. If I said it wasn’t I’d be kidding myself. I’m mature, in my 50s, and I’ve been doing this for a long time now. Some busy years, and some light years when no one sees me. Is that fear?” I offered that her slower years maybe she was filling the well. “Maybe. That’s it. I need to fill the well.”
Still, Carla likes to keep her work around her, “to prove I’m an artist. Once I had a business card, and a one woman show, I still didn’t believe it inside. I had to learn it from the inside out.”

It also helps that Carla has had plenty of others support her path. “The director of the Temple of Women is my biggest collector. I have a lot of friends who support me, and my greatest feedback comes from people who are not yet my friends (strangers) who say, “You don’t know what you’ve got.” It is all important, regardless of how it landed on me. Still, the sincerest form of appreciation is when they pull out a checkbook.”

How does she stick with it now that she’s an adult orphan, and her marriage is gone? Sometimes it is a fight through a thicket with a machete or it is like rising to the surface for air as you challenge yourself. Sometimes it can be very fragile, with everything seemingly stacked against you. I just know now that it (my truth) is written on my heart. I have something treasured to give and what I offer means a lot to them (her customers). My work has transformed, inspired, healed.”

When she falls down the rabbit hole, how does she climb out and get back into her groove? “I give myself permission to create really shitty art. Some pieces I’ve just made (in silver) are going back to the refiners. I just work in fits and starts. Then, it just happens because you’re in the flow somehow.”

Carla also is willing to share the flow of her passion in other ways with women artists. “I’d love to see…love to hear, what you perceive your struggles are right now, and hear your triumphs. They go hand in hand.”
Readers may reach out to Carla through her blog, and view a 39 minute video of her titled “Love Medicine” located in the upper corner of her front page of her website. Tell her Mel Edwards’ Votre Vray sent you.

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