I’ll show you mine if you show me yours.

Don’t embrace the myth of the lone genius, toiling in solitude in his garret, undiscovered. Don’t turn “I’ll show you when it’s good enough” into a day that never comes. Don’t dismiss the contributions of other people to making your art better.

Art, like all living things, doesn’t thrive in a vacuum. It needs something to push against, something to react to, the grain of sand in the oyster.

It could be a community of people with whom you collaborate. It could be an audience who shares your work and reflects new perspectives and energy. It could be colleagues who help you polish your creations and see it anew. It could be the long procession of great artists who preceded you and whose work can inspire yours in a thousand ways.

Be brave. Step out. Invite response. Share your gifts.

Art is a conversation. Make sure you’re not just talking to yourself.

9 thoughts on “I’ll show you mine if you show me yours.”

  1. I hear ya Danny. I have a lovely group of artist friends online at Everyday Matters, Every Day in …., and a couple other Facebook groups. They share, I share and we encourage and inspire one another. Like many others, I approached the sharing hesitantly but in no time, it became a joy I look forward to every single day. It’s all so darn wonderful

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  2. That looks like Danny, I said as I scrolled down then went back to see why he was smiling and the others were not then realized the trick you played – sure made me smile. Your message is good but there are some that don’t know how to constructively criticize and it can blow out a dim light of some beginning artist. There is nothing quite like getting a real great opinion of what could help make your art better – since good criticism leads to wonderful results. We NEED others to provide input if we want to grow. Thanks for your message!

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  3. I love this: “Don’t embrace the myth of the lone genius, toiling in solitude in his garret, undiscovered. Don’t turn “I’ll show you when it’s good enough” into a day that never comes…Art is a conversation. Make sure you’re not just talking to yourself.”

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  4. I am learning this lesson slowly that art is not in a vacuum and is best shared…I have moved out of my safety zone into the realm of volunteering to be a Court Room Artist for the Mock Trial that our University will participate in December so my daily sketching will find a way to share. Thanks, Danny.

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  5. SO true. That’s why I share my work on my blog. But I know about fear for sharing what is not ready yet. And sometimes I fear sharing because someone may pinch the ideas. But community and sharing is what gets us wonderful, encouraging and critical response. And that helps to get better. So I share. And from September 1st I start a year of daily creating, or to make it bigger: My Year of Daily Creating. I will post every day, at least for the first 21 days. Also the bad ones, the yuck art. That’s scary. It scares me to bits. 🙂
    Thanks for reminding us to share, invite response and make art in community. I hope many more people will do so. Thanks for your lovely blog too! Corinne

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  6. Hi Danny, I am huge fan of your work creative and literary both. I like how you relate different fields and find that common thread holding them together.
    I am glad you inspired us all to share our work and you are very right when you say that its often the fear of failing or not being good enough that holds us back from sharing our work with others.
    I am going to go ahead with your advice (hopefully) and start sharing more. Thank you so much for inspiring us in ways more that one.

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