Share (verb) :
4. To tell (as thoughts, feelings, or experiences) to others
Sharing is a hard thing for children, doubly so for the artist.
And I think I know why.
Good art: art that has been worked, re-worked, revised, critiqued, trashed, fished out (of the trash), cried upon, and revised again…is personal.
It’s a crafted piece of ourselves.
Children haven’t been flayed by rejection nearly as much as adults, and so mosaic-ing fridges with crayon drawings is a thing.
This is interesting.
Because it isn’t guts that a child has to possess in order to submit their work for the public forum provided by the kitchen. It’s trust. Early on, art is celebrated and accepted, but at some point that acceptance gives way to criticism. Perhaps they see another child at school that draws better than they do, or maybe even a parent or sibling begins to point out that they aren’t perfect.
And so the refrigerated submissions stop.
And a tweet suddenly requires less vulnerability than a refrigerator magnet.
And so the sum of an inner critic is the voice of the outward added to the inward, and then fully believed.
Soon we choose to swim in a lake of comparison, rather than taking a gel-cap of it (twice a day, and only after meals).
It’s true, art that stays in the water beyond the energy of belief to keep it afloat – drowns.
In the professional world there’s a good reason why not every story gets published, not every painting gains notoriety, and not every song gets recorded. After all, the standards are there for good reason, and comparison and taste help us calibrate our work with an honest eye.
But this isn’t about art as its disseminated to the rest of the world, this is about art as its disseminated to your kitchen.
Until you and I are willing to put something under a magnet and face it every time we go for milk and eggs we will remain a hurdle to ourselves. We must learn to be OK with the incomplete, the imperfect, and the raw because this is the starting point.
And if we can’t even get there, we’ll never be able to move on to getting a qualified critique, revision, or re-working to change that raw into something finished. Something beautiful.
We must learn when to go swimming, when to take our medicine, and when to get out of the lake.
This week’s challenge comes before lakes and gel-caps. It’s a simple step that any artist can take:
Create something, and put it on your fridge for a week.
Let me know what you did in the comments!
If you would like some support, share it on Twitter or Instagram and tag tp_creative #tpcFridge