How to get your art into the world

So you have LOTS of artworks. Maybe yours or your kids. Some are great and you love, some are ok but you don’t feel like pinning them to the wall, and hey the fridge is already crowded. You don’t know what to do with them but you love them and don’t want to put them in the recycle bin. Here are 15 ideas for ways to share your work (even if you’re not ready for an Etsy store, market stall or exhibition):

– Take photos of each of them and share them on an art group on facebook
– Take photos of them and get them printed on nice glossy photo paper (hint try Kmart, officeworks or electronics stores) then stick onto folded coloured cardboard to make all your birthday and holiday cards for the year
– Cut up the originals, punch holes in them and use as gift tags
– Cut up old pieces on paper and do a stencil or Lino print over the top to make a new artwork
– Cut artwork into stripes and use them to create a new HUGE artwork. Everything looks great turned into stripes
– Use them to cover mixed media journals or day planners or blank notebooks with them – apply a layer of varnish to seal it
– Frame them and hang them as a group on your wall
– Upload them to Redbubble or similar and get some cushion covers made for your grandma or mum
– Make a step by step tutorial showing someone else how you did them. Share it on you tube
– Wrap them nicely and give them away to strangers as part of ‘Art Abandonment’ (see the group on Facebook for more info)
– Donate them to a school fundraiser
– Give one nicely wrapped with a Thankyou note to 5 people who helped or supported you last year
– Photocopy them on A3 paper at a copy store and use it as funky wrapping paper
– Scan them and offer them as screen savers to friends or clients
– Glue the originals or copies to flat pieces of particle board (you can buy from craft shops) and turn them into placemats for home

Your artworks will create much more joy being enjoyed and looked at than hidden away in boxes and folders. And even more importantly it will open up something in you to take – even tiny- steps to share your tender creations with world. You may find that you feel safer, more connected and more joyful when your gifts are out in the world rather than hidden away out of fear or shyness. Or at least that’s been my experience.

You might also find that as you step forward to share your work in this way you hit some resistance. Resistance is sometimes called procrastination, and sometimes good old fashioned fear. It can take many shapes; you might see it come up as ‘oh maybe that was a bad idea, I’d better go eat ice-cream and sit here and do nothing instead’… it can come up as ‘actually I’d better not do that, people will think I’m silly/ arrogant/ stupid/ indulgent/ crazy…(whatever else)’. Barbara Sher, my coaching teacher and all round muse, is sometimes called the resistance whisperer. She says that it is completely normal to feel like this – your body is trying to keep you exactly where you are and any change that somehow is exciting and important to use because it aligns us with our dreams, can also feel terrifying.

I know this first hand because when I first wanted to make some of my paintings and drawings into greeting cards I was TERRIFIED. It seemed like a giant leap, a huge step out into the unknown that I couldn’t quite explain. It felt like I would be altering the shape of reality in a way that made me feel exposed, anxious and unworthy. To someone else it might seem like a ‘simple’ almost no-brainer task. Something to tick off the list before lunchtime and then get on with something else. To me it was Mt Everest. I worked with a creativity coach to get support to explore the fears and dreams behind my stuckness. Eventually I made my cards.

And I was right, my sense of self and what the world was like did shift a little. You see it wasn’t just some cards I was making, it was my sense of myself and what I was capable of, and my sense of the world and how safe and kind it was that I was making afresh. And that’s big work.

So you if you need some company on your journey, a friend and ally with you as you move towards a creative goal consider getting in touch! From starting that book, to getting back into a long lost craft again, the reasons why we don’t move forward are often deeper and more significant than we think. Trying to do it alone, in isolation while telling ourselves off for our weaknesses rarely helps us move forward. Try a new way – where you are accepted as you are, we make the project safe, you move at your own pace. Get in touch and see if coaching might be for you! 

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