Don’t forget, January 15 is the last day to send me a cute photo of your pet and enter to win a free custom pet portrait!

Some of us are better than others at ‘sharing’ (spoiler alert:  I fall into the ‘others’ category here).  No, I don’t mean that I won’t give you a bite of my cookie (because I totally would).  I mean to say that declaring one of my projects good and finished and then putting it out there for the world to see isn’t exactly my strong suit.

Yes, this is a post for all my fellow perfectionists.

Here’s the thing, if you’re waiting until your product is perfect to send it out into the world, you’ll never take that next step.  And while it’s not easy to give up these ideas of perfection and worthiness, I think we’d all do much better without them.

I, like many other good suburban girls, grew up learning the value of perfection.  My handwriting was always neat, I hosted Saturday study sessions and worked my buns off for top grades, and sometimes in class I even wrote and edited my comment on a scrap of paper before I dared to raise my hand.  It’s true — I wasn’t exactly your poster child for the tortured and impulsive teenage artist.

Even now I struggle with the thought of putting a piece of my artwork ‘out there’.  The dialog in my head goes something like this:

Rational me: “I think the painting’s done.  Shall I post it on my site?”

Perfectionist me:  “Well, are you sure it’s done?  Wouldn’t it be better if you first took a few more painting classes, then honed your skills for a few more years, and then repainted it?”

Rational me:  “You’re right, that would make it better!”

If my perfectionist brain got its way, I would exclusively study art and practice my skills until some mythical day in the far future when I magically transform into a ‘perfected’ artist.  Then I could go public with my work far and wide, without fear of disapproval or dislike.

Hmm, that sounds like a long time to wait.

So, if you want to be an artist today and not some mythical day in the far future, there’s a simple solution.  Share your art with the whole world right this very minute!  And here’s why:

Reason #1: If you’re waiting for a sign that you’re ready to show your art to the world, you could be waiting for a long, long time.  Enough said.

Reason #2: Once you’ve shared it, you can sit back and let the valuable feedback start rolling in.  I can guarantee that you’re your own biggest critic, and that you will be delightfully surprised by the warm reception your art receives once it finally leaves the nest.

Reason #3: When you share your creativity with the world, you inspire others to do the same.  In the weeks before I launched my website, I spent more than my fair share of hours browsing the sites of other artists and getting inspired.  Wouldn’t you like to inspire someone else to take that next step?

There, I’ve shared.  Now it’s your turn.

Hi there! I'll be taking maternity leave during the summer of 2018. If you'd like a pet portrait during this time, feel free to drop me a note (awillsie@gmail.com) and I'll let you know as soon as I'm back to the studio. Thanks!