Thursday, July 23, 2009

Debilitating Fear

For over a year now, I have been wanting to list some of my older art on ebay. I have been curious to see what would happen. Would anyone find it? Would anyone bid on it? Would I sell it? What would really happen??? Strangely, I kept putting it off. I mean, I put it off for a whole year!!! More than a year, even. Finally, I was sitting at the table, thinking about goals and things I wanted to do, and the ebay plan came back to me. I asked myself, "why haven't you done this yet, Karine?" When I thought about it, I realized I was afraid. I worried that no one would buy my art. I worried that no one would bid on it. I worried that having it sell for next to nothing might make me feel bad about my art. There was this endless list of things I was afraid of!!!! That list was preventing me from trying out a new selling venue.

I am sure there are others out there who can relate to this kind of fear. It stops you dead in your tracks. How often does an artist put their art out in the world, only to be rejected in some way? Maybe we enter our art in a juried show, and get rejected. Maybe we show it to someone, and they do or say something that really hurts our feelings. We might take our art to a potential gallery or client, only to hear them say they are not interested. All of these kinds of things can cause us to "shut down" creatively. I have often felt as though everyone hates my art, except me, so what's the point? Why keep painting? Can any of you relate to this?

Part of being an artist is learning how to overcome these rejections. I don't know if an artist ever becomes completely immune to things that happen with our art. I do know that as I get older and as I paint more, I learn not to take rejections so personally. There are all sorts of reasons why my art gets the big "NO" stamp from someone. Maybe this person just found out they were overdrawn in their checking account. Maybe this judge only likes paintings of small kittens. Indeed, there are reasons for rejection that have nothing to do with me or my art. Having said that, I know there are also reasons that have everything to do with me or my art. I do not yet consider myself a master painter. I know there is PLENTY of room for improvement in my work. I also know that there are many people who don't like the kind of art I create. (Which is primarily abstract or figurative.) You know what? It doesn't matter. There are people who will love my art, despite its imperfections and because of my style. I know there are people like that!!! I have met them. I have sold them my art. I have connected with them, because of my art. And when it's all said and done, THAT is worth painting for.

So after having this little discussion with myself about listing art on ebay, I decided to take the risk. I decided that it was worth it. I have way too much art to allow it to simply sit in stacked in drawers, stacked up in my closet, or wrapped in bubble wrap in the spare bedroom closet. The art needs to go out into the world. More practically speaking, I need the room for all of the new art I am going to create!

I am listing art on ebay. I have already listed three pieces. They will be auctioned, with only a 99 cent minimum bid. (I am going to charge shipping, just to cover costs.) That way, the art will definitely sell, even if it isn't for much money. The point is to sell some art!!!

In case any of you fancy an opportunity to grab some nice art for a really good price, you can check out one of the listings here.

P.S. I have started with giclee reproductions, but I do intend to list original art as well. I will be sure to mention it, when I do.


bindu said...

This piece is luminous! Very nice. I'll go take a look at the work you've put up there. I totally understand what you mean about the various fears ... it's great you've taken that first step.

pRiyA said...

karine, this is such a thought provoking post. i find that whenever I am afraid, i am so alone with my fears and later when i look back, i think what the heck was i so afraid of. i think you have spoken for all of us with this latest post.
your painting is beautiful. i'm glad its up on etsy.

Cholla Dog said...

So proud of you for listing your work on ebay and for WRITING about it! You articulated what so many of us feel, and your willingness to put it all out there will only propel you forward as a business woman (selling the work), person (surmounting the fear of rejection) and artist (opening up studio space and therefore "headspace" to allow the new work to evolve). Well done, K!

ArtPropelled said...

Karine, please don't sell yourself short.... Your work is amazing and there will be many people who think so too. I don't think we can please everyone, but I do so understand your fears and the self talks. Well done for moving forward.

Abby Creek Art said...

Thanks for the great post, Karine...I can totally relate and have had the same paralyzing fears. In fact, I've been feeling the same way about my second etsy shop...but decided to go for it anyway! I can always close it, right?!

I may follow you with the ebay thing eventually. Thanks for your honesty and for putting your thoughts out there. Makes you an even more amazing Artist.

lee said...

Karine you are an amazing artist with a great eye for paintings will sell for sure...thanks for writing about taking a risk. Lately I have been self talking to myself, about my art (not comparable to yours) should I just give it up, should I keep trying, back and forth this talk goes in my head. So many people have doubts about there work, and for sure you should not.

Melissa and Emmitt said...

hi karine!

good for you! what a great post and bravo for pushing through the fear!

i am off to see your ebay shop!


emmet said...

congrats on the etsy decision! i learned long ago that no one really cares whether or not i do what i do. i have to do it just because i have to do it. fight the fear mind!

Patricia said...

Thanks for sharing your gutsy post. My motto: Feel the terror...and do it anyway!!
Share your wonderful art with the world!!

Karine said...

Thank you, everyone, for your encouragement and support. For some reason, ebay was much more scary than etsy.