There comes a time when we have to make a big decision with our creativity....whether or not to share it. I have noticed this is a big issue for many people in creative recovery....I hear a lot of people rationalizing why they don't share their work.
But in the back of many people's minds is really, "I don't feel confident about sharing my work." Or "people are going to trash it." And of course, "my work doesn't look as good as. so and so's."
Gaining the confidence to share your work is a process that takes time and patience. I always tell people to be gentle with yourself with this and to trust your intuition as to when and how you will share your creativity. But once you gain the courage to share your work, you will find that it will be one of the most rewarding and freeing feelings that you will ever experience.
It took another artist friend poking me ever so often to share my work. I was more known as an art curator than an artist at the time, and didn't feel confident putting my work next to the beautifully talented artists that I worked with in exhibitions. My friend and I were co-curatoring an exhibition at a coffee shop in Baltimore, Maryland and she encouraged me to make something for the show. I did and it was a proud moment for me to place it on the wall and place a label beside it. After that, I had the courage to submit my work in a few exhibitions and next thing I knew, I was exhibiting regularly as an artist. When I first sold my first art piece, I really gain more confidence to create more work for exhibitions. Even today, after over ten years of exhibiting my work, I get just as excited as I did with my first sale.
But how do you get there? Here's a few tips that may help you move from hiding your work to getting it all out there.
In conclusion, I thought I would share the following advice that appeared on on a blog featured on Life Hacker on the topic of sharing your creativity by Leanne Regalla, a Freelance writer and content marketer:
Have you recently started sharing your creative work to others? What steps did you take to get the courage to share your work? What would you do differently?
Okay, when you read that heading, you scratched your head and said, “yeah right, a DAILY practice? You are out of your mind.” We might be, but we bet we're not.
As a busy professional, it may not be easy to keep up with a creative practice. At times, you might longingly look at your studio space and feel guilty for neglecting it…after all that is what it is there for right?
How could you possibly fit one more thing in a day that is packed with meetings, appointments, social activities, gym work outs, family, pet duties…the list goes on and on….art will be there when it all “settles” down. The sad thing is…we both know that it doesn’t tend to settle down (if you are anything like us, it tends to revive up even more!).
One way you might want to explore is online creative challenges. This keeps your mojo flowing, allows you to experiment with different mediums and that you may not normally focus on in your own art practice.
For example, Art Everyday Month, a 30 day challenge started by artist Leah Kolidas occurs every November and encourages you to create something, anything, related to a daily prompt. HeArt Space facilitated by art therapist, Kate Leppard is another one of our favorites. It is an ongoing creative challenge with different topics each month to spur your artistic practice.
The additional benefit is that most of these challenges create community….a community of like-minded artists and creatives that are working through the challenge with you. You may find yourself making many friends and colleagues from across the country through the process since most of them include a private Facebook group to show your work or even at times vent about your creative process.
There are virtually 30-day or daily practice challenge in just about every creative field, whether it is writing, poetry, culinary arts, etc. you name it. A google search on any of these topics with “daily challenge” or 30 day challenge will open you to a world of other creatives and can help jump start your practice. There is nothing like seeing how others are juggling careers, kids, etc. and posting every day of their progress with a challenge. If they can do it, you can too!
What creative challenges have your tried? How have they enriched your creative life?