Advice to New or Wanna-be Artists

Many new artists worry about creating their own “style.” Trust me, it will come. And it will change over time. Instead, concern yourself with the world – look at life, look at art, experiment with materials and techniques and get your art out into the world as much as possible. It simply comes down to experience. Observation will inform your art. Experimentation will determine your preferences and develop your skill. Showing your work will grow your skill and confidence. Share it with friends and family or post it on social media.  If you’d like to sell your work, enter local art shows or craft fairs.  If you’re interested in galleries, submit your work to a show. All of it will make you stronger as an artist and as a person. Rejoice in your life and art. Share yourself with the world!

If you decide you would like to approach galleries, be aware that you will probably not get into every gallery or show you enter. Do NOT take it personally. It’s not a reflection on you or the quality of your work. Here are the facts:

  1. There is usually more artwork than space to display it in a gallery, therefore some of it will not be accepted.
  2. A gallery represents art itself. There needs to be a cohesive sense of design. Some work will not be accepted because it doesn’t fit in with the aesthetics of the particular show or gallery.
  3. A commercial gallery needs to make money to stay open. If the gallery doesn’t think it will sell, it won’t be accepted. This could for any number of reasons: they already have something similar, the subject matter isn’t right for that gallery or that part of the country, your prices are too low or high, it could even be because the person looking at it was just in a bad mood.
  4. There are people who will love your work and people who will hate it. Most importantly, there ARE people who will love your work. Keep making art and putting it out there!

It takes courage to open oneself up to criticism and to determine whether it is instructional or just plain cruel. More often than not people are enthusiastic and encouraging. When you receive negative criticism, it’s usually intended to help improve your skills and delivered kindly. Then there are a few who will be hurtful. There is some strange trick of the brain that gives more credibility to those voices than the kind ones, but they can only kill you if you allow them to. They almost killed me. Despite all of the encouragement, praise and awards I had received, I gave three cruel people the power to stop me from making art. I lost many years before I finally woke up and took my art and my life back. I was a fool.

If the creative urge is calling you, it’s there for a reason. It could be the answer you need or, by sharing it, help someone else find the answer they were looking for. I believe that somehow God manages to make it both.

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