It has only been 14 months since I decided to pursue a career as an Artist. At first, I didn’t realize how much work went into being one, especially the part where you had to promote your own work. I am a naturally shy person. There are times where I get plagued with social anxiety. Talking and revealing myself to others can be a daunting task to overcome. But over time it has gotten a little bit easier after each attempt.
The first time that I admitted to being a Painter to another person was at an Open Studios event at my favorite local art store. There were a few artists presenting their work and even demonstrating what they do. I was so nervous but I managed to have a great conversation with Carol Aaron, an artist who specializes in encaustics. You guys should look her up, I thought her work was so cool! I even asked for her advice in how to get into the industry. She told me to be “stupid brave”, which still sticks to me today and motivates me to put myself out there.
I think the problem with being an Artist is that you have periods where you are a total recluse, completely inspired by whatever you’re working on. Slaving away at your craft in the space that is your studio. But then you have to eventually come out into the world and shout “I’m an Artist! Here is my work!” Those are polar opposites that become extremely difficult to balance.
It is 2017 and we are inundated with the ease and accessibility of data sharing. Due to the progress of technology, we can reach millions of people through social media through applications like Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. Where once a website was considered a novel idea now is deemed a necessity. Where artists post videos on YouTube or make blog posts like this one. I guess what I’m saying is that I didn’t know that I had to be a painter, a people person and a computer guru all at the same time! Through a bunch of trial and error and consistently tweaking my website, I finally have something to show for it! I’m gradually building up my portfolio and hopefully letting more people into my world.
I think all this effort is definitely worth it. My problem is that I’m terribly impatient. I’ve grown up so motivated to achieve at the most efficient rate. Slow was not in my vocabulary. But that is what is necessary for me to hone my craft. It is extremely unrealistic for me to expect to gain hundreds or thousands of followers on Instagram overnight. As paintings take time to create, so does my career.
Scrolling through Instagram can be a mood buster for me sometimes. I follow so many wonderful artists and I sometimes get the green eye of envy. I end up comparing myself to their work and wonder about my achievements. But then I pinch myself because I am hindering myself by comparing whatever I do to some person I’ve never met. So then I resign myself to admiring those artists I follow and to work and be the Artist that makes me happy. I don’t expect to become a Master Painter or get famous and have a brand of paints named after me like Bob Ross, but I do want to make a mark on this world and show how I see things in my unique way.