"I have been terrified every day of my life, but that has never stopped me from doing what I want to do."--Georgia O’Keefe
At some point or another, an artist comes up against the stage of the creative process called Showing. This can be one of the most challenging (and downright terrifying!) things to do with our art, because it involves making a leap from the private stages of creating to putting our work in front of an audience.
For the past several years, I’ve shown my work at SYNC Gallery in the Arts District of Santa Fe in Denver. (That's me above, at my first show there in 2011). By the time I’m ready to show, I will have been working on a series for the past year. On Third Friday and First Friday, I open the doors of the gallery and watch thousands of people come through and react to the art. Some people are enthralled by it and want to talk about my process and how they identify with it. Other people are curious and fascinated by it and want to know why I paint abstracts. Others don’t understand abstraction at all and dismiss it by saying their children can paint the same kind of thing.
Even though I am always nervous about showing a new body of work, I also love it all. I especially love the kids who come to the gallery to do papers for their art classes. and who interview me about why I am an artist.
To lessen the anxiety associated with showing, artists have to figure out how to let go of their shyness and attachment to the way things should look at this stage of creating. They have to learn how to cultivate Appropriate Performing and Detaching.
Eric Maisel outlines this process in his book Fearless Creating, by teaching us how to do such things as...
- Judging when to show
- Determining what an outcome will mean
- Choosing an audience
- Evaluating feedback.
Not easy—yet ultimately satisfying!
Having trouble managing the anxieties associated with the creative process? You are not alone! Contact Cyncie at artcoachingforyou.com to set up an initial free consult.