Sharing is one of the most difficult things an artist can do. Sharing your art is sharing yourself, and it’s scary to be vulnerable. So how do you share when you doubt yourself or have fear?
There’s no easy way around it: You just have to share it.
Get it out there! Post it! I know your finger is hovering over that “post” button, so do it already!
Did you post it yet?
Good. Now, as you share your work, here are some really important things I want you to remember:
1) Be confident and humble.
If you expect people to make fun of you, it’s probably because you are making fun of yourself. Be confident in your abilities and efforts! You will improve if you continue to work hard. Be careful not to get cocky, though. It’s possible (and ideal!) for confidence and humility to work together. You can be confident in yourself/your abilities and still have the humility to want to learn more. You don’t know everything and there is always something to learn. There is no shame in asking for help.
2) Don’t justify your work.
I REALLY struggle with this one. When I post something on Instagram or share my work online, I’m tempted to say things like “I’m not great at drawing people yet” or “I just started figuring out how to use a brush pen, so this is rough.” or “This drawing didn’t turn out like I hoped.”
Don’t justify your work because your work doesn’t need to be justified.Artists should show their work as they progress whether or not they, or anyone else, think it’s “good.” Showing your art isn’t about showing off how great you are, it’s showing that you create.
Besides, people have more grace and encouragement than you’re giving them credit for. No one is expecting perfection (except for maybe you!).
3) It’s time to move past your fears.
I used to be scared to post artwork because of what others might think. Would they judge the subject matter? Would they critique my technique? Would they dismiss me as a person because of my art? Would posting “bad” art now diminish my chances of opportunities later? I was searching for my identity and approval in the thoughts and opinions of others- something which never works out in my favor. You have to separate your art from yourself.
You might also fear negative reactions of others or a specific person. Instead of being fearful of negative comments, prepare to address them. Words do hurt. Some people are mean. It’s an unfortunate reality, but luckily we have the unfollow, block, and mute buttons. Use them. Anyone who drags you down is not someone you need in your life. I don’t care if it’s your family or your so-called friends- If anyone is dragging you down online, you don’t need to listen to it. You spent your time and energy creating, they are spending their time and energy to demean. Who’s the real winner here?
Note: Constructive criticism is not “hating on you” or “mean.” Constructive criticism is rare, but don’t be to quick to dismiss it as a negative comment directed at you (instead of your art). Remember to separate your art from yourself. If you do good or bad art, it does not make you a good or bad person. You are not what you do.
- Share your work.
- Approach your art with confidence and humility.
- Don’t justify your work.
- You are not what you do.
- Move past your fears. Stop avoiding them and address them!
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