If at first you do succeed, try not to look astonished."
My wife and I came across the above quote the other day and it gave us a good laugh. You know one of those tension relieving laughs that you really need to break the mood? Well it was one of those. Anyway you had to be there...
Of course you are familiar with the original version that says: "If at first you do not succeed, try, try again" This is often quoted by well meaning folks when you have struck out and suffered a setback. It builds character and you are supposed to pick yourself up, dust yourself down and start all over again. True enough, but does it encourage you? Maybe it warns you about the perils of doing something risky and scares you off? After all once burned twice shy. Okay no more cliches!
I prefer the anonymous quote. All too often I am reminded that good things do happen when you do the work. The positive work that makes you feel good and helps other too. This is not mere sentiment. Real work whether it is painting fine art or restoring a chair or anything that you want to do really well. It is all art in the broad sense. It is also self evident to the viewer what has been done with artistic soul and what has been knocked off without a care.
All of these great moments of artistic endeavor only have true meaning when they are shared with others.
To share your art is risky, but necessary for the artist and for the viewer. It is not pride or ego. It is the absence of pride or ego that makes us share art. That is important for the artist. The other part is what the viewer can take from the experience. Either move on if the art does not appeal or learn from it and share the energy and enjoyment.
Above all - do your art!
Set aside the time and do not trust anyone who tries to persuade you not to. Many feel threatened by your desire to create - to these it would be more agreeable to watch another movie or browse in the mall than seeing you spend a few hours on your art. Persist - we all need you to create and for the love of art - show someone, because that is when the art is complete.
It is easier than you may imagine.
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