183 smaller pond

big cats | year of creative habitsI've gone on and on about sharing your work. I've talked about sharing the work that sucks. I've talked about how sharing builds accountability and connection. Hopefully you get the idea of just how important I think it is. Mostly what I've talked about before has been sharing your work on social media or on a blog. Today let's talk about sharing in person with real people. <gasp> First let me say that the thought scares the hell out of me. If you met me in person I would not be pulling out my sketchbook or my phone to show you this project. It's really difficult for me to talk about me! So I get it .. but in the midst of the awkwardness, here's what I've learned:

Sharing locally means you can be a big fish in a much smaller pond. The online world is HUGE and it's easy to get lost there. When you share within you're local community, you're sharing in a smaller world. You're making a connection. People like to actually know the person behind the work. They like to be able to put a face with it and talk to them.

Now I live in the 3rd largest city in Missouri. So that's not a large metropolis nor is it a tiny town. I'm saying find a smaller pond. If you live in a really big city, then you'll want to find your small part of it. Share with your neighborhood, your workplace, or even your apartment building. Build those connections and share your thing. You might be surprised at the opportunities that are there.

Here's some examples:

  • Join your local arts council or group--This has been great for me to not only connect with other creatives but to be able to show my work there.
  • Talk with local businesses that display art--Maybe it's a coffee shop or a furniture store but you've probably noticed that one of your favorite businesses display local art. I had my first solo show at a local furniture/interior design business. The hardest part is beginning the conversation with them.
  • Talk with local T-shirt companies--Many get their designs from local artists or at least would consider doing so.
  • Start your own group or host a meet up.  Yeah I know a lot of us are introverts but you can do this! And it'll be worth it.