I’m a part-time artist. Well more of a quarter-time artist. It’s a hobby for me really. But ever since I was a child it’s all I’ve wanted to do with my life. I remember playing with the neighbor kid and being excited about rainy days when we couldn’t play outside because it meant we could grab the crayons and some paper and color our little hearts out. I also remember several times this suggestion being met with groans of “No, we did that already” I guess it was then that the thought that being an artist was just something you did some times and not all the times. And if not all the times then not really for a living.
But as I grew up I turned to art when suffering through those crazy foal years of being a teenager and adolescent. That time period in your life when no matter how good things are you are still dealing with the massive amount of changes, hormones, and emotions coursing through you. I won’t get into it much. But I will say that I learned a valuable lesson at that point in my life about being an artist, even if I’ve only realized it just now. You can’t be an artist if you are shy. Err, let me rephrase that because there are tons of artist that are introverts and are shy (it’s typically where a lot of inspiration comes from) But you can’t be an artist if you hide. Hide your work from other’s eyes. Hide your desires and aspirations from others as well as your self. Hide away from those scary events that could propel you into something new. You can’t hide from your fears. because let’s face it, all artist have fears that they put on display. Whether it’s portrayed in the subject matter or the fear of rejection or the fear of happiness. We all have them. But to be successful as an artist…as anything…you have to push through them. You can’t worry about other people not like what you do. Because they aren’t going to. Lets face it you will always have people who don’t like your ____ (fill in the blank – art, writing, baking, thinking, etc) either because it’s good and they can’t deal with that or because in their eyes it’s bad. It’s inevitable. No one will ever please everyone and that is OK.
So with that being said you have to put aside your worry about people laughing at you, and the remarks of “your not an artist” “my four-year old drew something like that the other” and so on. And it really is easier said then done. In college I started to pursue my degree in studio art (though didn’t finish due to other things) during that time I really felt out-of-place. I was surrounded by all these people who I felt were so much better than me. But being in that type of community and being forced to put on display things that I would have previously hidden really helped me to grow. It held me accountable. It made me try harder. But I was still afraid of selling myself. I still lacked the confidence to put my stuff out there without being forced to do it.
And that I believe is the first step in being an artist. Putting yourself out there. Sometimes it feels like you are pushing yourself on others. And a lot of times I don’t know how to deal with complements. I worry about coming across too aggressively and egotistical. I know better than anyone I have lots to learn and a long way to go. But I’m starting now with a small step. Two small steps actually. I am making the New Year’s resolution to drawing something, anything, each day (I figure if I start now it will give me time to give up on it and guilt myself back into following through by the new year) and the second is to post those drawings and stop hiding them. Perhaps next year I will learn to take a complement better.
Currently you can see my art work at Deviantart
and also on my facebook page Winter Foxes Studio
As I work on setting up a better way to display stuff I’ll pass the info on.