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Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Showing your artwork

Some people don't seem to have any doubts about their artistic abilities, but most of us go from day to day wondering whether we'll ever be good enough to get in a show or sell a painting. Or just to have someone admire something we've done. Should we hide in the safety of our studios or step boldly out of the studio into the light of day? Should we timidly offer our work to be seen or blow trumpets to gain an audience?

While we're doing it, we believe in our work completely. It's only when we make it public that our doubts surface. Showing our work makes us feel timid and insecure. Artists say they paint for the joy of it, but in the next sentence they say, "I have to do a commission," or "I have to paint a show entry." Suddenly, the fear of failure kicks in. Or maybe it's fear of success that frightens us with its associated publicity and loss of privacy.

You may be worried about taking an ego trip when you step out boldly to show your work. Don't let that stop you. You have filled yourself up with a lifetime of feelings and these same feelings are felt by many other people. Someone will come along who resonates with what you've done. There may be many, there may be few; but that isn't the point. If you don't take a chance and put your work out there, how will they know that someone else understands and cares? Once your work is made public, eventually you'll have the thrill of knowing that another person experiences the joy you found in doing it.

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