Sharing art – overcoming the fear of judgment

Sharing art
Sharing Art

Why is Sharing art Hard?

Sharing art is one of the biggest obstacles I face as an artist. My finger hovers over the “share” button, hesitating. Is everything spelled correctly? Do I sound like someone I would want to listen to? Is my message valuable? These thoughts that loop through my mind whenever I am about to post something online. It’s honestly embarrassing how much art I have, but don’t actually end up sharing. Mostly because I’m not sure if it’s good enough, but also partly because most of the art I’ve created doesn’t fit neatly into a specific style or niche.

“Here I made this…these four words carry with them generosity, intent, risk, and intimacy.  There more were say them, and mean them, and deliver on them, the more art and connection we create. And we create change for a living.”

— Seth Godin, The Practice: Shipping Creative Work (p. 56)

How do you make and Share art?

But the truth is, I don’t do art—art does me. And part of surrendering to that process is learning to trust that sharing myself is the first step in creating more connection and community. I’ve also learned that hesitation is a natural part of sharing yourself with the world. Hesitation is a result of the fear that whatever you’re about to share will be judged harshly by others. It’s natural for the physical body to respond with anxiety when you choose self-expression over self-preservation. It’s safe to hide. It’s safe to be unknown and unexposed. It’s safer to not put yourself out there for fear that others’s might not like you.

Overcoming the fear of Judgement

So, You could use excessive amounts of bravado and confidence to smash your way through conflict and fear, OR you could learn to slowly accept yourself—insecurities, bad art, typos, and all. I’ve chosen the latter option. None of us are perfect. We are all on a journey towards being kinder and more compassionate humans. And it’s not going to make you a kinder more compassionate human to point out how someone else could be doing better.

If I am to judge the value of my work, by what others think— I fail to acknowledge the inherent value in the act of creation itself. Art isn’t about the product, but the process, and sharing your artwork rather than hoarding your artwork, reflects an understanding of this. So with that in mind, I take the fear of criticism as a reminder to stay humble and appreciate the gift of art that continues to express itself through me.

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