If you Make Art, Share It
In the last post, I talked about back to back art shows in my Fall exhibit season, and one of the topics I heard over and over again from visitors at art events this year is related to identity and fear of showing their own art. Lots of artists visit festivals and exhibits to get inspired, stay up to date on the art scene and meet other artists. I’m no Sherlock Holmes, but I can *usually* sense an artist is in my booth when they’re nose-to-glass, furrowed brow, studying watercolor application and paper, etc. So, I ask: “Are you an artist?” People almost always say “No, not really.” So, I reply “Not really can mean sometimes, so when you sometimes make art, what do you create?” That breaks the ice and I discover all sorts of artists that make pottery, watercolors, acrylics, mixed media and oil paintings… but not one of them answers “yes” to the question “Are you an artist?”
Are You an Artist?
Whats up with that? PEOPLE, I’m here to tell you this fact: If you make art, you’re an artist! It’s truly that simple. Do you draw? Paint? Sculpt? Do you sketch with pen and ink? On a tablet using software? In a spiral bound, lined paper, coffee stained notebook? Yes? Okay then, you’re an artist! If someone asks you, Just Say Yes. For Pete’s Sake. Art-making is not a hierarchy where you’re not allowed to don the moniker “artist” unless you sell work in galleries, or have an art degree. This isn’t Karate with a sequence of accomplishments awarded in belt colors. It’s just art. If you visit me at shows this Spring, and I ask you if you’re an artist, make your grandmother proud, tell the truth, and say yes. Capisci? Good.
When Should an Artist Show Their Work?
The second part of the conversation that’s frequent among my visiting Not-Really-Artists is about showing art. People often have a pile of art, but they’ve never shown it to anyone – not in a local exhibit, never entered in a competition, never shared online. When I ask if they’d like to share it in any of those venues, most of the time, the answer is “Yes, but how?” So, I’m asking: are you in that camp? Are you interested in showing your work (anywhere at all) but after you make it, you’re not sure where to start? I think every artist already showing has been there, and a whole chorus of us would sing (in four part harmony) You Can Do This! If I can do it, so can you!
Baby Steps to Showing Your Art
I’m thinking about doing a short video course on best studio practices for artists that would like to dip a toe into showing their work. Do you think it would be helpful? Are there particular aspects of showing your art you’d like pointers on? Sharing it on social Media? Organizing your studio inventory? Starting a blog? Matting and framing tips? Submitting to local shows? I’d be grateful if you’d leave me a comment with some feedback and ideas. I’m convinced that many of you have lovely art hidden away in a cupboard, just dying to see the light of day. Your work is probably craving the gaze of appreciative faces smiling at those pigments. 🙂
Thanks for stopping by today. Don’t be shy – leave a comment and share your thoughts on this idea for a video course on best studio practices for showing your art work.
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I have my own philosophy about confidence that I can offer, which is basically that life is too short to be self-conscious. I feel like we owe it to society to express ourselves via our gifts of creativity. It just amazes me when someone can make something out of nothing, and I know I’m not alone in this. ~Cherie Dawn Haas