Hello world. This is the first code that most people will produce when they begin to learn coding. There are a lot of technical reasons for “Hello World”, but let’s look at the emotional impact—there is a successful sharing with everyone (who can see it). You succeeded.
“Hello World”—is the coder’s refrigerator art. It’s the, “Hey! Look at what I’ve done”. This gets more difficult the older we get. As children, we share freely. We grow (or we are stunted) by the response to our art, but we continue to share. That child-like sharing becomes discombobulated over time and we lose boldness to share our art and our heart.
Yet, this discombobulation is only in our head. Our definitions of good or bad are being made in the dark. We can’t know how well we progress once we quit sharing out loud because we have cut off all critical feedback. Forcing ourselves to refrigerate our art again opens us up to input and insight. This then allows us to grow a thicker skin around our heart (in a good way) and grow with foresight into our weaknesses.
This week I want to address a question I have had or have been asked, but first…
I’m opening up five more commission spots! Due to a reorg and a miscommunication between my last employer and the recruiter, I was working for, my contract job ended. I ‘m leaving on good terms but I have found myself without a job a month earlier than expected. I am thankful to have found some freelance in the meantime, and I am opening up commissions in this in-between.
More about that below.
You say I should keep putting my work out there, but I only want to share my best. So, why share if I’m not fully satisfied with it?
I get it. I want to put my best out there too. But how do we know what our best is without sharing? When we don’t have a critique group the only voice we have is our own. This creates one of two problems: thinking too highly of our skills or not thinking highly enough.
On the first note: The failure of perfectionism is that it keeps us out of the “spotlight” and light in general and that keeps us from needed course corrections and a humble evaluation of our current skills. Our tendency in this situation is that we are better, in our head, than anyone else. The “I could have done that better” bug litters our brains and we never strive toward true betterment—because somehow we already are great.
This was my attitude through much of my youth. It tried to plague me when I returned to art, after a 10 year hiatus, 2010. I remember seeing children’s book illustrators and thinking, “I could do that better”. Maybe I could have, but I wasn’t. I was afraid to share—and I knew it.
The people who were doing children’s books—were doing children’s books. They were doing it and sharing their art—in whatever state they found themselves in. They were going to grow. I determined that the “I could” bug was not how I would live. (Honest insight here—yes, sometimes it still hits me. I’m sorry.)
On the second note: productive feedback, which we get from putting our work out there, frees us from the fear of imperfection. It builds us in confidence and leads us toward clarity of voice.
When we are stuck with only our own voice our work, skills, understanding—nothing will ever be good enough. We get trapped in revision and reevaluation with a tendency to never put anything out because we are afraid that we aren’t good enough—whatever that means. It’s a lie.
This fear isn’t healthy. When we enter into our first job as working adults, we don’t know it all. We learn openly and make mistakes openly. Sometimes, those mistakes affect the world, sometimes they affect no one. But we learn publicly and become better for it. This is our refrigerator and our successes and failures are on display. If we are humble, we become better for it.
If this feels hard to you, I get it, you are not alone. Check out last week’s post: Practice Leads to Mastery.
Create. Be happy today with the art you make and share it. Then, aim to create something better tomorrow.
Keeping with my hypothesis that in sharing we will grow: Here is another (I have shared this one before, but I am going through a compilation of stories called, “Consider the Ravens”) short “story”:
The day grew long as the hunter came upon his prey: the last dragon of the valley.
He made taut his string and nocked the arrow. Everyone believed this thing should be killed and in doing so they would rid the valley of evil forever.
The hunter paused.
With the last dragon gone who would they blame if evil persisted?
The dragon woke.
The arrow flew.
A deadly stroke
The hunter knew.
photo by Raynna Myers
As I said above, here’s more info on the commissions I am opening up, due to a reorg and a miscommunication between my last employer and the recruiter, I was working for, I have found myself without a job a month earlier than expected. As I look for my next steps I am thankful to have freelance and I am opening up commissions in this in-between.
Here is what you will get:
An 8×10 watercolor on watercolor paper (cold press 140lb)
Your choice of:
- Woodland Wanderers (any scene of one or more characters in a woodland setting)
- Homemade Heroes (you send a photo of your child in their homemade hero outfit and I will capture their essence, not portrait. I will email you for a photo.)
- An all-age character of your choosing (this could be a superhero, a film character, etc. will email you regarding which character)
Each painting will be bagged, protected, and shipped as soon as it’s complete.
If you follow my any of my networks, you will see process shots of the project (ex. I am currently working on the one above.)
All of this will only cost $100 for Woodland Wanderers and $75 for Homemade Heroes & Character of your choice, shipping, in the USA, is included.
It would be great to get 5 commissions. Thank you everyone for your support!
I have set up a commission spot on my store and it is available immediately.
Even if you choose not to share widely, share with someone. Don’t let your voice and eyes be the only ones who see your work.
Have a great week everyone. Create, be happy, create more,
P.S. As I mentioned before, Raynna and I have been concocting something that we’re hoping to announce soon. Thanks for being here everyone!
Also, get the free one page PDF: Fourteen Commitments for Artists to Cultivate Inspiration. My wife and I have packed it full for you.
Please share this with anyone else you think may be encouraged by these kind of updates. Thanks!
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