I recently sent out a poll on Twitter asking why people might be scared, hesitant, or embarrassed to share their drawings with others.

The most popular answer was “I think my drawings suck,” next was “I’m a perfectionist” and then “What other people might think.”

To put it plainly, people are scared to show their art because of unrealistic standards.

“I think my drawings suck,” or Unrealistic Standards on Yourself

There’s a wide spectrum of people with this response, from those who haven’t drawn since grade school to those most people might consider a good artist.

Was there a rule implemented that says art has to be “good” for you to share it? No one told me.

“Good art” is subjective. Just because you think your drawings suck doesn’t mean everyone will. What you see as flawed and imperfect could inspire someone. Wouldn’t you rather share and risk the possibility of feeling a little foolish for the chance to inspire someone rather than to keep your creations to yourself? Personally, I believe that creativity and creations should be shared. Sharing our art and ideas is how we get new technology, inventions, processes, laws, artwork, movements, etc.

Let’s play devil’s advocate and pretend your art really DOES suck… so what? You are not what you create. Separate yourself from your creations.

“I’m a perfectionist,” or Unrealistic Standards on your Art

“Don’t pat yourself on the back for your perfectionism and high standards. Without the discipline to ship, you’re a glorified procrastinator.” – Sean McCabe

No one expects perfection when it comes to art. What is perfection anyway? Perfect to whom? Again, art is subjective. As a perfectionist, your 90% effort is probably most people’s 110% effort. You’re always striving to be better, but that can also hold you back. The best way to get better is to practice and iterate. Leave something imperfect, learn from it, and move on to the next thing.

Was there a rule implemented that says “perfection” is the standard? No one told me.

Do you think the average person will be able to tell the difference between your 95% done and 100% done? Who is the perfection for? You or others? If it’s for you, let it go. If it’s for others, they won’t notice. I promise you.

“I’m scared of what other people might think of me,” or Unrealistic Standards for Others

Don’t let the yet-to-be-formed opinions of others stop you from sharing. You cannot control the thoughts or opinions of others. All you can do is create and be true to yourself, and anyone who doesn’t appreciate that shouldn’t be in your circles anyway.

Was there a rule implemented that says everything you share has to be approved by society and the internet? No one told me.

In all three scenarios, YOU are the biggest obstacle when it comes to sharing your work. It’s not about your level of ability or how your work will be received. So take a big breath, share your work, and breathe out.

What do you have to lose?

Questions to ask yourself:

  • Am I afraid to share what I create with others? Why?
  • What is one thing I can do this week to share more?

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