I love to hear from the members and students of my school, and followers of my social pages. And I especially love to see their work from the projects I put together.
I get sent loads of photos of completed paintings by students, and it’s always great to see their progress, and hear about their experiences of painting. I also get a little insight into their lives too, and this makes for a great connection. Learning as a shared experience is definitely where it’s at.
Experiences vary, especially in the year of Covid-19, and many new artists are complete beginners, needing something creative to fill the time. Others have come back to painting after a busy career, or after bringing up a hectic household. Learning and sharing together has been almost like therapy, and it’s great to know that I’m in some way helping to keep the positive motivation going.
Sharing your experience to a wider audience can be a good thing too. It’s all too easy to become isolated when working on something by yourself, and miss out on the potential opportunities that will give you a boost. Artists by nature are solitary beings, and we tend to lose ourselves in our work. The sense of achievement is often lost as once finished, a painting can so often then be put into a drawer and forgotten about. It can be nerve wracking to put yourself ‘out there’. All those doubts and anxious feelings can really stop you in your tracks. If this sounds like you, here are some tips to get you, and your work out there.
“One day, or day one. You decide.”
Ways to share
Join a local art group. Here you can share your paintings and your experiences with like-minded people. Many of these groups are also quite small, and meet up maybe once a week to paint together. A good starting point to get you and your work beyond the front door.
Get involved with a society. There are loads of local, national and international art societies around now. For many, it doesn’t matter about your level of experience, and again you will get to share your work and experience with others. The American Society of Botanical Artists (ASBA) is a great society. They have annual exhibitions, are very active online, and produce a beautiful magazine throughout the year.
Take part in an exhibition. This doesn’t have to be a big international show. Many local art groups will hold end of year exhibitions by their members. Another great way to test the market for your work, and get useful feedback.
Get an online profile. A little more technical know-how is needed for social media platforms such as Instagram, but once you’re on, you’ll be away. It’s a great way to share your work via images, and the people who love your work will become loyal followers of your pages. Start by finding artists that you like, leave a comment or two on their posts, and start a connection. See my Instagram page for inspiration
Online groups. There are so many online groups, for just about every interest. Facebook botanical art groups range from those aimed at beginners, to those with just an interest, or more experienced artists. The administrators of the groups will generally be artists themselves, and there will be hundreds, or even thousands of other members just like you. Just put in a request to join. If it’s not for you, it’s easy to leave and find another group that suits you.