I just got off the phone with a client who said these exact words to me, “OH NO … Not Me … I am an Artist … I don’t need to relate to people!” He hired me to help him get his art out of his studio and into the world. I then knew exactly why his Art (which is extraordinary) was still sitting in his studio vs. on walls all over the world. I found myself, after the call, revisiting the hundreds of conversations I have had with Artists that had some flavor of that very same sentiment.
Perhaps this rings a bell for you? Something you can completely relate to? It may have already shown up for you along the way like this: You worked your butt off creating and creating and creating and then you FINALLY got the exhibit/show, the gig, the part, the book deal, etc. that you have been dreaming of. WHOOOOHOOOO … your endorphin’s soaring, heart racing … all your emotions raging … elated, proud, on-cloud-9 … then immediately it hit you … you now need to perform in front of or interact with PEOPLE! Suddenly the excitement was gone.
While many of us may not be fazed one bit about dealing with people and may even love that opportunity … it creates a whole range of reactions for others … possibly even complete shut-down terror!
No matter what our medium, if we are going to get our art out in the world, and particularly IF we want to sell it, we need to be able to find a way to interact with people. I have watched brilliant artists melt into an absolute hot mess of a puddle, as they needed to present their work in front of others. Stumbling over their words, unable to communicate, panicked … reacting in a whole range of ways … all the way to coming off as arrogant nasty people haters.
As much we may want our art to stand alone … art for the sake of art … IF we want it out in the world and particularly IF we want to sell it (some of you don’t care about that so you are relieved from all of this … Yeahhhhhhh!!!) then it would be a great thing to break though our RESISTANCE to other human beings.
Human beings (yes, the ones who view our work, hire us for our gigs and performances, and even buy our work) are filled with their infinite curiosity. They want to know the Artist who created the work or performed in front of them. Art is, as much as we want to deny it – IF we want to make a living off of it – A PEOPLE BUSINESS. Until you have reached the point where you have others to handle the people for you … YOU are IT (O, and then people still want to interact with you … even more so … Sorry)!
Oh, and do not be fooled … the proliferation of the Internet and Social Media has not changed that. Many artists do all of the supposedly “right” things … they post their work & tweet about their work & build websites with their work & create videos to display their work. BUT they still hide themselves and no one really ever gets to know the artist or see or hear from him or her. Unfortunately, at some point … those people who are viewing our work are still WANTING to interact with us. (That is why Social Media has the word Social in it 🙂 ).
How are you with people?
Do you get nervous, scared, threatened, paralyzed? Sticking with some old paradigm of you as the introverted Artist? HOW IS IT GOING FOR YOU? Isn’t it time to find a way to work through that so you could actually enjoy the impact of your art on people with the very people you impact?
How would it be if you could be comfortable with and ENJOY people and their attention and their curiosity about you? How would it be if you could be APPRECIATIVE or GRATEFUL for them as your possible patrons/fans that could allow you to expand your art in the world and be able to afford to live the life you want, producing the work that you were born to produce?
Come out, come out where ever you are … your audience is waiting!
Can’t wait to hear your views on this … my bet is there will be a wild array of them …