Yesterday I spent the afternoon in the Tuilerie gardens with a jewelry designer and artist I had met at an event, a charity evening we participated in last week. She had exhibited some pieces of jewelry but most of her stand was taken over by postcards of her drawings and various notebooks of her sketches. As we sat there that day a week later and she told me her story, I found myself thinking and then saying aloud to her, “nothing ever dies.” She looked at me very strangely as if I had said something absurd or inappropriate. With the last bite of my cookie, I told her what I had wanted myself to believe for the last four years. She looked surprised. I finished, “ In this life everything is always transformed. Your jewelry has simply become your drawings. So you art has evolved.”
At the moment I said that Clémentine was somewhere in the middle of her story. She told me that she had chosen to close down her company that had for years worked well and was no longer working for her. Sometimes businesses fail, other times we just change our minds. The feeling of doing something that no longer works for you is like walking around with shoes that no longer fit. The pain is almost equivalent. She was telling me that she now felt the need to move onto something more artistic, from jewelry to drawings.
Clementine is a very talented artist and illustrator. Her drawings have a powerful delicate beauty in them that reminds you of what the world should be. Then they message about the world and about women, which is why I developed even more of an affinity. Personally I think she is trying to put more of herself, send more of a message as if the jewelry phase was a necessary step to get her to do so.
It is amazing that when you look at them they look exactly like her jewelry. The fine delicate lines and pale tones are the same. Her women are feminine yet feminist. Where outside eyes saw incoherence I only saw continuity. You would think that the two are together as if one packaged the other and she was in every piece, in every line she drew.
But that’s what’s so beautiful about life, what you let go of is always within you.
I asked her how she authorized herself to do that. She told me very honestly that she had to go very far into the direction of making plans for a business she did not want before it felt wrong enough to come back to what she wanted.
I nodded in understanding, how far along wrong paths had I gone in terms of money, time and energy to prove that I could live out the dreams other people had for me. So many times I had told myself that once I got there I could have stopped, I would have made it and I would have been happy. I could not ever have been more incorrect. Maybe none of that would have happened if instead of running away from my past I had owned it.
But when your failings match your learnings that’s when you reach the point of no regret.