…reader comment and fraud

“I’ve only been painting furniture for about a year (you’re my main inspiration) however I often feel like a bit of a fraud.” – Melissa

Dear Melissa,

Thank you so much for your vulnerability. I think we all feel like frauds at least a few times every single day. I know that when I lay down my yoga mat and pretend like I am trying to get into Crow pose, I’m really just trying not to fall on my face. Quite literally.


I think there is something to the phrase ” Fake it ‘Til you make it.” It sounds trite, but I do think it’s a way to trick our brains into believing that we go this. When we don’t feel confident many times it is based on how we think others will perceive us. We are worried that they will find fault, be disappointed or even turn and run from us. We are scared of the rejection that we could potentially see in someone’s face and we don’t want to feel that pain. I know I don’t.

My advice to you, Melissa, is to practice, practice, practice at what you are trying to become good at. Then when you are ready to show the world what you have been working on, act like you’ve been doing it your whole life. If you fumble and can’t answer a question, it doesn’t mean that you are a phoney, it just gives you an opportunity to say “Hmm, I really don’t know.” And there are many smart, successful people that really don’t know everything either.

The good news for you is that art is open to interpretation. When I started out I used lots of dark wax. The past 2 years I have not used dark wax once. But, I look back on those images of those pieces and I love them still. It worked and they carried their own look.

When you are ready to sell I want you to stand confidently next to your work. Make sure the craftsmanship is always the best it can be (this is one place not to leave to chance) and then tie a price tag on it and know that it is worth someone else’s money and space.




  1. Amy Davis Dees says:

    I just love every piece that you do. Very well put on your response. You have a great personality and I love that!

  2. Ann Chute-Jacobs says:

    Thank you for all of your heartfelt insight.

  3. Melissa Donegan says:

    Thank you Christen.

  4. Well said Christen, you are such an inspiration.

  5. I’ve been thinking of starting a small business “flipping furniture”. I have been painting furniture for 22 years (just tried chalk paint a few years ago and I’m hooked!) but just for myself, my family and friends. I actually flip houses (one at a time) and figured flipping furniture would fit nicely with that…and it’s something I do to destress. I have read your last few posts and don’t think it’s a mistake that I stumbled upon these right at this time in my life. Thank you for sharing!

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