Capturing what is in the heart and splattering it all over canvas or paper is what artists do. Facing what others say about that heart is what happens with every work of art placed into the public arena. The risk of acceptance or rejection of what’s in the heart, what comes from a place that in most other people is only rarely exposed, is the daily life of an artist. Some are more able to handle the daily unveiling than others.
For many artists, facing the big “F” word is a major challenge. Fear! And with fear comes the tag, “of failure.” These two big “F” words pack a major punch. What if no one likes my art? What if no one wants my art? Why am I risking my heart if no one wants to see what’s in there? Maybe its better to just keep it hidden. That’s the safe thing to do. Keep it all inside. Don’t let it out to play. That way it can’t get hurt. It stays safe, tucked away deep inside where the outside world can’t get to it.
In her blog, “I paint, I write” Pamela Hodges says, “The little girl wants an A on her paper. A shiny star on top of the math page for not getting any problems wrong.” That little girl or boy is inside the heart of us all. We go into protection mode to shield the child from hurt. So we erect the barriers. For people whose life work does not require the continual heart exposure this is no problem. For the artist, it can be a daily problem.
Dr. Bob Tobin, in his blog, states, “artists show the courage that many of us could only begin to imagine.” This daily pumping out of what’s inside is a courageous undertaking. Pamela Hodges states, “Creating takes courage. Courage to stand out and be seen. Courage to risk failure, and to risk success.” To do less is to give in to the big “F” word. Do we allow that to happen?
No! The courage to conquer the big “F” comes from the same source as the art. Courage comes from the heart. As the art is allowed to flow from the heart, so must the courage. To open to one, is to open to the other. Like the Cowardly Lion in the Wizard of Oz, it was there all the time. It just has to be acknowledged and out it comes. All the Lion lacked was a medal, an award of courage. Go to the studio and make a medal. You’ve earned it! Then stand aside and allow the courage to flow along with the art as you allow the heart to come out from behind the safety barricades, and step into the sun.