I still remember the resistance of creating an Instagram account, back in 2016. And the fear of uploading the first few pictures.
As an artist, one of the most intimidating and vulnerable moments is putting your work out into the world. It’s natural to feel fear and uncertainty when sharing something you’ve created in the privacy of your time and walls with others, especially if you’re just starting out or have experienced criticism in the past.
Fear and insecurity are actually an integral part of the artistic process. In fact, they can even be a source of inspiration and motivation. By embracing these feelings and using them as fuel to create and share your work, you can transform them into something positive and productive.
Giving visibility to your work even if you're afraid can actually be a good thing as an artist, here's why.
It means you care about your work
Artists, 99.9% of us do care deeply. So, if you’re afraid to put your work out there, it’s probably because you care about it deeply too. You want your art to be the best it can be, and you want others to appreciate and enjoy it as much as you do. This level of care and attention to detail can help you create better art and ensure that your work is polished and professional.
It can help you improve
Fear and insecurity can also be a catalyst for growth and improvement. By constantly striving to improve and push yourself out of your comfort zone, you can become a better artist and create even more compelling and meaningful work. Look for online or live courses (and now it's such a great time to be an artist, with all this art knowledge at our fingertips, and a gazillion of options at very different price points too!), and join what intrigues you and can add to your skills.
It’s a sign of authenticity
Being afraid to put your work out there is a sign that you’re being authentic and true to yourself as an artist. It’s easy to create work that you think others will like or that fits a certain mold, but true art comes from within and reflects your unique perspective and voice.
At some stage you'll lose the fear, but if you started for the right reasons, authenticity - hopefully - should stay with you!
It’s a common experience
It’s important to remember that fear and insecurity are a normal part of the artistic process, and almost every artist experiences them at some point. You’re not alone in your fears, and by sharing your work despite them, you’re taking a brave and bold step towards becoming a more confident and successful artist.
Let's not let fear block our experiences. So, how can you actually overcome your fear of putting your work out there?
Here are a few tips to help you take the leap and share your art with the world:
If you’re just starting out or feeling particularly anxious about sharing your work, it can be helpful to start small. Share your work with a small group of trusted friends or family members, or post it on a personal social media account rather than a public one. This can help you build up your confidence and get some feedback on your work before taking a bigger step.
Seek support and feedback
As an artist, it’s important to have a supportive online community that can provide feedback and encouragement. Consider joining a local artist group or finding a mentor or art coach who can help you navigate the challenges of sharing your work. Get in touch with me (email me at email@example.com and I'll be very happy to help you during one of my coaching sessions!)
Be kind to yourself!! It’s normal to feel vulnerable and exposed when sharing your work, and it’s important to practice self-compassion and remind yourself that it’s okay to make mistakes or receive constructive criticism. Don’t let fear or insecurity hold you back – embrace them as part of the artistic process and use them as motivation to create and share more of your work.
Remember your why
Ultimately, the most important thing is to remember why you create art in the first place. Why did you start and why do you create art? Whether it’s for personal expression, to tell a story, or to evoke emotion in others, your art is a powerful and meaningful part of your life. By focusing on your passion and purpose, you can find the courage to put your work out there for others to see.