Ignoring Self Doubt
In my post Adding A Sense Of Direction to the Adventure I wrote that I was going to experiment with selling my paintings. One place I came across that seems a good place to start is Fine Art America. It’s an online Print On Demand (POD) site where you upload pictures of your art and then buyers can purchase prints in a variety of sizes (depending on the quality of your image) from greeting cards to large canvases.
The great thing is you can start with a free account so there’s no outlay to get started and you don’t have to send anything anywhere.
The site gets thousands of visitors every day but that has to be balanced by the fact that there are hundreds of thousands of photographs and pieces of art for sale. Even so it seems a relatively easy way to dip my toe in the water. But first I had to face the internal critic who thinks I’m stepping out way beyond my ability and fooling myself to think that anyone would like what I paint.
To help me get started, a friend of mine offered to take photographs of my paintings so I could upload them to the site. When we first spoke it seemed like a great idea but then the doubts set in and I started to feel concerned about what he would think when he saw my paintings. And then what anyone else in the office would think when they saw them. In the end it took me 3 weeks to pluck up the courage to actually deliver them to him.
But all that was was unhelpful thinking and not a reason to not have a go. I was making it a bigger deal than it was.
For example, I started writing a blog post with the words “I took a big step forward today in the possibility that I might, one day, sell my paintings.”
But that’s not true. Not really. If I look at it literally, without the fear inducing thinking, all I did was take some paintings to a friend who’d offered to photograph them for me. That’s it. That’s all I can truly say about it.
It’s only a big step when I choose to see it that way and project into the future.
Without the stories I make up around this simple action all that remains is a bunch of paintings sitting in an office waiting to be photographed. Even that I don’t know for sure. Maybe they’ve already been photographed. Maybe they’ve been stolen and are no longer in the office. Maybe someone’s spilled coffee over them and they’re now ruined (or improved ha, ha!).
When I take a step back I am amazed at how many stories we weave around and through our lives and how often we let those stories stop us having a go.
I’m determined not to let that happen here. If my paintings don’t sell they don’t sell. So what?
I’ll never know if I don’t give it a try.