I have been reminded lately that there are others out there - at least other creatives - that feel the same way I do. This is not a new discovery, just a recent discussion I had with fellow artists. They also feel the anxiety of sharing artwork with others, sharing their ideas and processes, and how it does take strength and personal risk to put yourself out there. I know some people who would say that it's ridiculous to be afraid to share your work - it's not hard - there's nothing to be afraid of... but I would just guess that they've never felt it before. Never felt the vulnerability of sharing art - putting our souls out on display and asking for a critique. That's what we do with art, we judge it. It's good or bad; high or low quality; valuable or not; we talk about it as if it's not connected to the artist and we try to make sense of it through the filter of our own life. If you think of the art work as if it is the same as the artist, then you might get an idea of what I mean when I say it's personal and can be difficult to share.
I have gotten over the disappointment of rejection letters from galleries and juried shows, but it is still anxiety inducing to talk in public about my art. It's abstract. It's embroidery on cotton or linen, maybe with paint added to it. The end. But really I spend hours and hours with each piece, choosing colors based on how I feel when I look at them together. I stitch for hours, my fingers get sore. It's relaxing, meditative, and it calms me down. Which I need - I go through too many "to do" lists in my head all the time and often feel like there's never enough time. But, I'm beginning to realize that there is plenty of time for what's important. I think about how the process feels healthy and positive and I think about how amazing my life is and how I'm working on being more present at any given moment. I think about how each stitch I make is with love and how I want that to be embedded in the work and go to the person who receives the finished piece. So, even though I find it difficult to talk about my art there is a lot that goes into producing it.
It's not as if I'm super insecure, but maybe just a bit sensitive. Maybe it's the whole introvert thing, I don't want to be the center of attention, I don't want people looking at me, and I don't want to have to explain or defend my art. This might sound like I don't like people, I do. And I like talking, just ask any of my teachers from school, my friends and family - I like to talk to people I know - actually I also talk to people I don't know (I'm the one in line who strikes up conversation with anyone who will listen). But talking feels a lot different when it's about my artwork.
|A New Map - 28" x 28" - embroidery on hand dyed cotton|