Tuesday, September 23, 2008

I'm No Expert

I have a confession, I was a geek. Well, that's not quite true, I was actually a nerd. A stringy haired, thick glasses wearing, too smart for my own good nerd. While I eventually grew into a, shall we say, freak, I spent most of my youth firmly planted in Nerdland. I was mocked, tortured and teased, but none of that kept me from being a know-it-all. I had no problem sharing knowledge with anyone no matter how inappropriate the situation or how much I actually knew. As I grew, I learned to qualify my statements so that it was clear that I knew there was a chance that I was wrong. I now try my hardest to not talk down to people and to never mislead people into thinking that I know more than I actually do.

I believe giving you this background will help you understand why it is that I am so confused. You see, people keep thinking that I am an expert or authority on both tatting and jewelry. Etsy is full of people with amazing resumes, they've attended fashion and art schools, been published and taught, they've gone through apprenticeships and earned their knowledge through years of hard work. I am not one of them. I taught myself tatting just a few years ago with the help of a book and the Internet. I have zero education in the jewelry field. It took my months just to figure out what a headpin was for and I know nothing of color theory or design fundamentals. I am just simply muddling through.

I continue to get questions and comments that infer that I know much more than I really do. I find myself wondering how it is that I have given the impression that I have all the answers. I really have tried to be upfront about my qualifications, yet they keep asking. Oh, I do answer the questions, but not without a thorough Google search. I do have the skill necessary to find the answers, but I am still perplexed. What is it that I do or say that inspires this faith in my knowledge? I suppose I should be happy that people trust me and look to me for answers, it is certainly better than being called four eyes every time I answer a question.


Gina said...

Whether you have the answer or not, you appear to or to know where to get the answer. I'm often asked questions that I have to go searching for an answer to. What I don't understand is how people don't know how to find the answer themselves. Yes, asking someone who appears to be the expert is always a first and easy choice, but how about doing a little research on their own? That's where the majority of my answers came from and it doesn't mean it's the only answer.

twenty pound tabby said...

"What is it that I do or say that inspires this faith in my knowledge?"

You have TALENT! and it shows. Your work speaks for itself.

fly tie said...

i went to school for design and still have to search for answers and instructions on techniques i want to do. and what i do know of this clothing design thing came mostly from me just "muddling through" like you stated. for me school was fine, but it only gave me so much. (and this might have something to do with the fact that it wasn't a design specific school...just a design program at a regular 4-yr. university. not sure)

i know where you're coming from , though. i have no experience in making pants, really no formal training in making formal type dresses (but i've working my way through several), and only a little training in tailoring. of course that doesn't stop people from asking me questions about making all these items. (and add curtains, rugs, bedspreads, etc. to that list, lol!

i agree with gina that to people who have no experience whatsoever in certain areas, those who *appear* to become their go to guy..or gal.