George the Printmaker

“Show Your (Art) Work”… 10 useful tips

As artists, most of us, along with our creative talents, have been endowed with a good dose of insecurity about putting our work out into the world. Is it good enough, are we good enough… what will people think etc. etc. But vulnerability is something that everyone who is in the public sphere need to find ways to get around. I love Rafi and Klee. I have been following their work and have bought their books. In this chat on “the imposter syndrome” they make some very useful suggestions. It’s worth a watch 🙂

As I mentioned in my inaugural post, the book that has recently inspired me is Austin Kleon’s book Show Your Work. I can’t believe all the excuses I have made over the years waiting until this or that is right before I can share my work. The inner chatter of self criticism fuelled by feelings of inadequacy won’t completely go away but there are strategies that we can learn to minimise it. The important takeaway is to recognise that we are not alone.

I recommend buying Austin’s book but I want to share a few takeaways that really spoke to me; 

  1. “You can’t find your voice if you don’t use it.”
  2. “If your work isn’t online, it doesn’t exist.”
  3. “You don’t really find an audience for your work; they find you.”
  4. “The best way to get started on the path to sharing your work is to think about what you want to learn, and make a commitment to learning it in front of others.”
  5. “Share what you love, and the people who love the same things will find you.”
  6. “Whatever the nature of your work, there is an art to what you do, and there are people who would be interested in that art, if only you presented it to them in the right way.”…
  7. “Become a documentarian of what you do… Start a work journal: Write your thoughts down in a notebook, or speak them into an audio recorder. Keep a scrapbook. Take a lot of photographs of your work at different stages in your process. Shoot a video of you working. This isn’t about making art, it’s about simply keeping track of what’s going on around you. Take advantage of all the cheap, easy tools at your disposal—these days, most of us carry a fully functional multimedia studio around in our smartphones.”
  8. “Don’t worry about everything you post being perfect. Science fiction writer Theodore Sturgeon once said that 90 percent of everything is crap.”
  9. “Small things, over time, can get big.”
  10. “If you look to artists who’ve managed to achieve lifelong careers, you detect the same pattern: They all have been able to persevere, regardless of success or failure.”

So… here’s to implementing as much of Austin’s ideas into my art practice as I can in 2023.

Come back again soon to see how I’m getting on.

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Ciao for now, GG

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