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Don’t do it alone

Okay, that’s a silly title because you’ll obviously be the only one sitting at your easel and holding your brush. What I mean by “don’t do it alone” is share the result of your labour with others. Show people what you’ve done and seek their feedback.

There are many ways to achieve this. In my case, I built a website to which I upload every piece of art I produce. Posting your work online is easier now than it was when I first started painting. Social Media is a great way of sharing your work with your friends and family. Starting a blog is an easy way to interact with people other than family and friends. Local art groups exist almost everywhere and online groups are easy to find.

The value in sharing your work depends very much on how you share it. Family and friends have a tendency to say “Wow!” in a positive way, even if your work is only mediocre. Most people believe that they couldn’t have achieved what you’ve achieved, so are impressed. On the other side of the coin, step into a group of accomplished artists and show them a mediocre offering and you’ll be left feeling quite inadequate and wondering why you ever bothered. It can be a very intimidating experience.

A middle ground can be found in a group of like-minded people who are going through the same stages as you are. Individuals who can appreciate what stage you’re at; who understand how easy or difficult your painting was; who can offer genuine praise and offer constructive criticism; and who can offer advice and guidance based on their own achievements. This is what you will find in my Art Forum. Why? Because I’ve been there, done that, and so have all but the newest of the members. It is a comfortable, friendly, sympathetic, non-intimidating atmosphere where everyone feels quite at ease showing off their latest creation.

Whichever way you choose to show off your work, the most important thing is that you share it and get feedback. Find a way that suits your own personality. Don’t put yourself into the Lions Den, and don’t put yourself under pressure to perform. Art is supposed to be enjoyable and you won’t stick at it if you’re feeling watched and judged. The feedback is helpful but not at the expense of making yourself uncomfortable.

You can read more about my Art Forum here.