6 Reasons to share your art- NOW

By Cody Limbaugh
Featured Artist: Tracey Freeman

I have met countless people over the years, who create things in private and never allow their talents to be shared. It’s tragic really. They are missing out on the joys of pursuing their passion and the world is missing out on something that could have been great.

In this piece we will look at 6 good reasons you should be sharing your art NOW. -Keep in mind that “art” as used here, could be almost anything: A new business venture, an invention, a story, music- whatever it is that you may be creating behind closed doors.

1- Failure To Launch…

I was recently talking to a friend of mine about a workshop he was planning to present on overcoming fear. We were discussing the concept of ‘Action Cures Fear’ and I was making the point that although action does indeed destroy fear, the time you spend thinking before taking action actually fosters more fear. Taking action becomes harder and harder the longer you wait.

Time x Thinking / Action = Fear.

I see this with weightlifters all the time. Those who take a short moment to clear their mind, take a deep breath and GO, are able to throw their bodies under some big weight. Sometimes I can tell before the person moves that they are likely to miss the lift. The longer they wait, the more fear grows, the less willing they are to give in 100%.

That was 390.5 lbs. that he just threw himself under, and he weighs 182 lbs. Can you say “fear”? But of course, he’s a pro- which means he has practiced a lot. He has taken action, over and over again.

You can see this in all walks of life- even art. See if this sounds familiar: You get done with your most recent work and you feel pretty good about it. That is- until you think about sharing it with the world, then you begin to see it as something that needs to be improved…

…so you hesitate.

“Maybe this isn’t really good enough to be put out there for all to see. I’ll just share the next one! After all…I KNOW I CAN DO BETTER!”

Of course you can! Of course you can always do better! No person will ever create perfection (if there is such a thing), but it seems that perhaps we can always move toward it. The problem with your hesitation to share imperfection, is that imperfection is all you will ever have to share! So you might as well get started NOW!

Tracey: This is my first daughter Hannah, an example of when I first started snapping photos on a daily basis. Compositionally the photo is OK for a snap shot, but the flash is deployed- which is the number one thing not to do in photography. The Sofa cuts off right at the head.
Tracey: This is my first daughter Hannah, an example of when I first started snapping photos on a daily basis. Compositionally the photo is OK for a snap shot, but the flash is deployed- which is the number one thing not to do in photography. The Sofa cuts off right at the head.

 

2-Innovation is fostered from sharing, not hiding away.

I love my new Samsung Galaxy Phone, but I will refrain from gushing about all the cool stuff it can do. Let’s just say… it is freakin cool!

Remember the first iPhone? It wasn’t that long ago, but it sure feels like it. The reason it seems so long ago, is that we are all now so familiar with the concepts of a ‘smart-phone’. The release of the iPhone is a perfect example of sharing imperfection. They knew at the time, for instance, that the camera was not up to par. I remember many critics that just couldn’t get past this- “sure, it’s amazing but my flip-phone has more megapixels!” Steve Jobs knew it was not perfect, but he knew it would never be perfect, so he put it out there and changed the world of smart-phones forever.

The expectations we have for phones now are ridiculous! We see innovation at every turn, but I wonder where we would be if Apple had waited for perfection? -I’m sure Apple wouldn’t be where it is today!

The fact is, getting your art out now will foster innovation, not only in other people, but in your own work as well. If, somewhere in the back of your mind, you know no one will ever see your art, there is not as much motivation to make it great. There will be less of a spark to innovate beyond what you currently believe is possible.

Begin to stretch yourself- and share your art NOW!

Tracey: This is Emma, at Disney Land on her birthday. Dang! If I understood light just a little bit better, that darn ISO would have been bumped up to a higher setting, for a faster shutter speed. I would have focused more into the eyes and cracked a joke to get her looking into my direction for more interaction. I should also have come down more to her level with my camera. Experimenting here with white balance would have benefited the color and temperature in this photo as well.
Tracey: This is Emma, at Disney Land on her birthday. Dang! If I understood light just a little bit better, that darn ISO would have been bumped up to a higher setting, for a faster shutter speed. I would have focused more into the eyes and cracked a joke to get her looking into my direction for more interaction. I should also have come down more to her level with my camera. Experimenting here with white balance would have benefited the color and temperature in this photo as well.

“The time you spend thinking before taking action, actually fosters more fear.”

This is one of my first shoots. First off:  the HORIZON, hello! Trees are coming out of their heads! Also, who thought that it would be ok to shoot at 11:00am? The sun is too harsh! For optimal photos the best light is right around sunrise, and right before sunset. Also, this photograph is very posed- not as much my style anymore.
This is one of my first shoots. First off: the HORIZON, hello! Trees are coming out of their heads! Also, who thought that it would be ok to shoot at 11:00am? The sun is too harsh! For optimal photos the best light is right around sunrise, and right before sunset. Also, this photograph is very posed- not as much my style anymore.

3-Build Self Confidence

This is the other side of the coin from #1. Self worth and confidence comes from ACTION, not goals or desires. Not possessions, or recognition or position…or even achievement. Even BEFORE you accomplish anything, taking action will build confidence.

The moment you step out and begin, you will immediately feel empowered.

Our brains are just wired this way. Fear of the unknown turns to assurance when acted upon- and confidence, when acted upon frequently (practice).

Ahh... starting to find my light! Gorgeous natural light before sunset. I could have bounced some of that light back on the left with either a white reflector or foam board.
Ahh… starting to find my light! Gorgeous natural light before sunset. I could have bounced some of that light back on the left with either a white reflector or foam board.

4-Practice, and build value.

If it seems too soon to be sharing your art, consider it practice for when it is better. You will gain valuable experience and feedback, and you will be inspired for your art through the experience.

If your art is to ever have value, it can only be increased through sharing. What you’ll find is that sharing will become more valuable as it is practiced.

I love this one because I embraced the soft light. The walls of the room were all white and light bounced beautifully.
I love this one because I embraced the soft light. The walls of the room were all white and light bounced beautifully.

 

“…imperfection is all you will ever have to share… so you might as well get started…”

I love the display of lifestyle, and the light in this shot!
I love the display of lifestyle, and the light in this shot!

 

5-Build a following

Even if you can get good without sharing, what happens then?

The best artist in the world will not be noticed if they have no audience. If your new venture is to ever have a future, then it must have a NOW! If we build your tribe now while you are still learning, when you become the master you want to be, your people can celebrate and promote you!

There is a shared sense of accomplishment, even in art, when a fan can say, “I knew them when…”. Sharing your art now, even if it’s not very good, can begin the process of building connections. And connecting with people, is what art is all about!

As people stay with you over time and see your improvements, several exciting things take place.

-you will connect on a deeper level with your people.
-your earliest fans will be your most loyal advocates, to share with even more people.
-you will celebrate successes together. Once you have ‘arrived’, “WE made it!” is always sweeter than “I made it!”.
-you will have an audience available to you when you finally do your best work.

I love this photo because of the focus, and compositionally she is following the "rule of thirds". Her pose is very natural, where she is moving slowly, but still interacting with the camera.
I love this photo because of the focus, and compositionally she is following the “rule of thirds”. Her pose is very natural, where she is moving slowly, but still interacting with the camera.

 

6- Prove growth to yourself.

This girl wanted to prove growth to herself, and now she has a great story to tell:

I see people improve all the time, who never see the growth in themselves. Not quantifying improvement, fools you into thinking there is none.

If you play guitar, you should record yourself from day one, because you would not believe the crap you were playing two years ago!

If you write but do not share, it is unlikely you will go back and see how far you’ve come since you began.

If you are working toward fitness, you need to take measurements and track the work you are doing. Even as a coach, I can fall into this trap. I feel like I should be further along than I am, but if I consider the weight I used to lift and the distances I could go 7 years ago…well, I guess I’m doing pretty good!

Sharing your art NOW will create a public record, and serve to prove (mostly to yourself) that you are indeed progressing. You are growing and improving. How tragic would it be if you lost inspiration, only because you didn’t realize that you were making progress all along?

Time NOW, for action:

I hope I have convinced you that no matter where you are in your pursuits, that you really should be sharing your creations with the world.
So let’s do that NOW- leave a comment on this post and include a link to your creation. It could be an instagram, a music file or a facebook post. Or, you could just tell us what you are up to! There are countless ways to share your art, but there is only one time-

NOW!

5 Comments

  1. Great post, Cody.

    My take is that many creative types, being smart, have trouble knowing when to apply analytical tools and when to turn them off. That is to say, thinking about a heavy clean while you’re gripping the barbell is counter productive. Thinking about a heavy clean while watching a video of yourself failing the rep can be productive.

    Here’s a link to my writing blog.

    http://sprintingmuse.blogspot.com

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