Putting your art out into the world is scary. Very scary. In my previous life as a management consultant, I routinely responded to positive and negative feedback from clients as part of the job. On most days, listening, problem solving and being objective made my job interesting and engaging.
In the transition from consultant to artist, I find it much more difficult to respond to comments and judgement about my art since it is intensely personal and very subjective. I am completely out of my comfort zone.
I recently entered a few paintings to a fall watercolor art show at our local library. While I have shown my work on Instagram (@hilton.kw) for the last few years, entering a juried show raised my anxiety to near record levels. After waiting a week or two for the results, I took a deep breath and opened the email announcing the selection of show participants/paintings. I made the cut - two of my watercolors were accepted for the show.
I didn't win any of the show awards. But, by putting myself out there, I picked up a few new skills (e.g., art submission process, framing specs and requirements, updated artist statement and drop off protocols) and can now add this first, albeit small exhibition to my list of experience. Baby steps...