Over the years I have seen a lot of different ways that artists portray themselves and their work. Some people I know are very private about their processes and others are not.
So what’s the difference and why does it matter?
Well, let’s start here.
Some people are private out of insecurities. They might be too worried about the feedback that will come as they share their work; it could mean they might have to change their techniques. It could be insecurities due to a lack of experience or comparison with other artists.
Sometimes art might be so close to their hearts that any negative feedback is taken personally and is too emotional for them to process positively. Maybe they’ve shared before and the bad experiences have only made them feel more insecure and that their creations won’t ever be good enough.
I’ve met people who don’t share their art secrets because they are afraid if they do someone will steal all of their ideas-and for some people this would also take away their business and way of making income.
Are these valid reasons to not share your work? Maybe to a degree they are. BUT….they don’t have to be!
Here are some things that I have learned about sharing your art secrets:
1. Those who share their secrets seem to be more successful.
I’m not entirely sure how this even makes sense, but I’ve seen it happen a lot. Those who share their processes, techniques, time, and skills with others can still have a promising art career. They build trust with those they are sharing information with, building a relationship even on a small level. I’m sure there might be times when others take advantage of those who share but overall I see more good come to those who share.
2. Those who share their art secrets learn and grow more as an artist.
When you share information with others, things that you’ve learned over time, or a small tip here and there, others are also more willing to share their info with you. No one artist will ever know everything about their particular medium. I’m not a pro at any one thing and I want to keep learning and progressing as an artist, which can only happen as others share their art secrets with me. Sharing what you do know might seem venerable but it opens doors for new experiences. Are there limits to sharing? Sure, but keeping everything a secret doesn’t help you or anyone else. You have to be open to new experiences to move forward and make your art better.
3. In reality, there aren’t any art secrets!
Everything has already been done by someone, somewhere. Once you learn to swallow that pill it takes a lot of pressure off the creative process. You can look online and find every video or article under the sun about this or that. Discovering something completely new is rare, not impossible but not super common either. You can try your whole life to be truly unique but the only thing that will make you stand out is by creating what you want to create simply because it’s yours. You did it, it was a little of you mixed into the process. It could look nearly identical to something created by another person but everyone has a different personal touch. It might be the colors you use, the brush strokes you make, or the way you portray light in your photograph.
So what is my big secret?
I don't keep secrets!