I’m going to share with you a different reason for why a lot of people find it hard to share their art with the world. It’s not always down to a fear of what other people will think of their level of skill or perfection. I really feel that in a lot of cases it’s down to what is being depicted in the art itself
Art isn’t just a job…in fact it’s seldom seen as such by people who don’t really understand it. Instead it’s a way of being, a way of living. It’s like you wear your heart on your sleeve and not everyone is capable of doing that. It’s a bit like standing in front of a massive crowd of people and singing. Some fear that they could be judged by the crowd. Others feel they HAVE to sing, in fact they are compelled to, despite possible criticism. Others feel more confident when singing in front of family or friends. I personally prefer sharing things with total strangers…or with a significant other, but very little in between. You may wonder why this is. Well, in my view I tend to think that I think a little more differently than friends and family. There seems to be a sort of "chasm" that seperates creative people, or dreamers, from the more "rational majority". If it is does not exist in actuality, it is certainly imagined anyway by many artists and creative people. I would never willingly express this side of myself to them publicly because I think it would be out of place. I used to think it was down to being insecure, but as I grow older I feel it’s more to do with it being rather pointless. What would be the point of discussing the universe, or romantic ideas with people who discuss the football scores or the weather? My mind is wired a certain way. Therefore presenting your art and your ideologies has their time and place.
Now, to be clear, I’m not talking about those artists who decide to paint a picture of their house, or the view from their window. I don’t feel that kind of thing really applies to what I’m referring to. I’m talking about the kind of art that leaves you open to interpretation, the kind of thing that can get you into trouble from girlfriends and ex-girlfriends, or from people who thought they knew you but really hadn’t a clue. You know those kinds of things where people will say, “why did he draw that” or “why did she write that”. In my case I’ve drawn things that actually deeply offend religious people from time to time. One word. Tarot. The very name itself can upset highly religious people. I don’t set out to offend. I have Christian morals, Christian leanings myself. I just see a bigger picture, but I don’t usually flaunt it around all that much. No one asks me my own personal opinions on the matter so it seems slightly irrelevant at times to divulge anything. Then some might ask why I should care what people think. I don’t really know. I guess I am sympathetic to their feelings. If I wasn’t in the least bit sensitive, I doubt I’d be creative at all.
Then comes the question. Do you attempt to cover up this kind of expression like it was some sordid deed? Or do you own it and be proud of what you’ve accomplished? Many Christians support war and the bombing of innocent civilians so you have to wonder to yourself whether you are overreacting in your analysis that they might actually be offended in a legitimate way by your Tarot art. Possibly not.
So I say own your art. If it sits right with your conscience, own everything that you do and don’t shirk from it. I guess that’s a note to self too.
Putting your creativity out there for the world to see however can be a very strange experience. In the online world today it reminds me of some kind of digital akashnic records that we all willingly contribute to. At any moment someone could look you up and see what you wrote and illustrated five years ago. You participate or you don’t, but if you do you naturally run the risk of family and friends sifting through your various attempts at trying to understand why the art is in your veins. So you have to be proud of what you do. You have to love what you do.
I grew up bullied in school, like many people who turn out to be creative. I’ve been seeking for some kind of connection ever since and for me, it's achievable through the feelings that people get when they admire your art. Even better of course when you are blessed with a significant other who "gets" it, who feels it. For me, that's what it's all about. I’ve learned, and indeed many do as they progress through life, that you have to own everything you do, regardless of how you think the world will perceive you.