Making art is quite a challenge on it’s own.
Almost every artist I ever speak to says they struggle to find the time, don’t have a suitable space, struggle to find money or other resources and just plain lack the energy and motivation to create as much as they would want to.
So if you are feeling the above – you are not alone!
In fact, Bik and I have been in the New Forest this weekend filming a workshop on how to overcome these very issues and it’ll be heading out to my mailing list in the next week.
But let’s assume you’ve already made the art, and it’s art for sharing.
(There is another type of art, just as important, which I talk about in the free workshop)
How do you get over the sometimes paralysing fear of sharing your work? What if you don’t think it’s ‘ready’, or you fear criticism?
Here are some real-life techniques I have used over the years:
1) If you are feeling very vulnerable about sharing, do it in stages
Start with people who already like you or what you do, and gradually share more widely. We all need to share with people we don’t know, or our audience is going to be very limited, but it’s OK to start with a smaller audience and work your way up!
2) Protect yourself from negative feedback
When you share work more widely, some people may not like it – and may say so. There’s no rule that says you have to listen to them at all, or even know what they have to say. Sure, all feedback can be useful and once you are more accustomed to sharing your work, it’s as handy to hear the negative feedback as it is the positive – but at the start, you really don’t have to.
Turn off the comments, if you are sharing online! If you are a performer, choose safe and welcoming places (like The Art House is, I am proud to say!) to share your work at first.
If you are submitting work to a competition (which isn’t a move I recommend for your very vulnerable first time, but you may feel brave enough – and I salute you!) then get a friend to open the letter or email.
3) Don’t set yourself up for failure by expecting everyone to love your work
You don’t expect every single person you ever meet to like YOU, right?
Well, why put that kind of pressure on your artwork?
Accept from the beginning that some people will love it, many will like it, many will be neutral or indifferent and some folks won’t like it at all.
That’s perfectly OK.
Some folks aren’t great at expressing their liking of something creative (especially here in England with our classic reserve!) so don’t read too much into less that enthusiastic responses.
I have been amazed to see people who sit stony-faced through a gig come back every time our band The Shimmering Bees plays, and have people who didn’t seem at all interested buy my paintings.
You never can tell.
5) Release unfinished, dodgy and imperfect work
Hear me out!
I KNOW, right?!
Anyway, I asked how on earth he was managing it, as #4 is due for release any day now, and work has already started on #5
He said ‘I just release it, whether I think it’s ready or not – I don’t worry about whether it’s good, I just get it made’
That’s how it’s done, you know. Fact is, especially at the start, you are not going to think your work is all that good, frankly. If you wait until it’s perfect to share it, you may never get around to it.
I hope these tips help you!
If you want to access my secret stash of resources and get an invitation to join my private member site, please sign up here – I’d love to send you more resources to help get your work out there.
Perfect or not.