Monday, September 7, 2015

Promote

  I know little about the mechanics of promotion but I can tell you somewhat of the spirit. 

Let me begin with a recent experience. Friday I had my first Instagram meet-up with Patty Waite. I traveled two hours on a gorgeous highway, along water and through densely populated trees to meet her at a restaurant which was showing her artwork. The next day she was opening her show with an reception for the general public. We talked about sharing our work. I really don't remember using the word promote but she has done it often. 


     Connecting with other artists in groups and classes has given her knowledge and a venue for promotion. Nourish, the restaurant where her work is currently hanging, heard of her because she brought her work to them and asked if they would like to feature her.



She stood with her work. She acknowledged that she felt it was good. And it does speak to me. That is why I follow her on Instagram. Her work has heart and speaks to my heart.


"We are good and therefore we are capable of shining forth through our resistance to write well and claim it as our own. It is not as important for the world to claim it as it is to claim it for ourselves. That is the essential step. That will make us content. We are good and when out work is good, it is good. We should acknowledge it and stand behind it."
    Writing Down The Bones- Natalie Goldberg  


Putting our work in front of others is terrifying. There we are, unfinished, flawed, and vulnerable, saying read my words, look at my images, but we do. We do because we are wired to make connections with others. 

" Connection is the energy that exists between people when they feel seen, heard, and valued, when they can give and receive without judgement, and when they derive sustenance and strength  from the relationship."
Brené Brown


   The critics in the world of artistic expression are loud and brutal. Why would I want to show myself in that world? I recently read a piece online by someone whose named I've blocked out of my mind, who made the case that in a world where everyone can publish, show, and promote their art the quality and real talent drastically plummets to the ground. My instinctual first thought was, "they don't make art." They don't get that the writing or painting process changes us from spectators in our lives to being fully engaged.


  My artwork has been on local gallery walls. I have talked to people about what I've made, first in hushed tones but then a little bolder. I write because I get energized and excited. I paint because I love color and the magic of seeing the synthesis of canvas, paper, and paint come to life. There will always be performance anxiety but if I don't try I may miss out on being healed. I mean healed in a wholehearted way but I also mean the healing that comes from my a divine source. Christ turned towards those that risked exposure. Like the woman who touched his hem, Or the brave sister who asked to wash his feet in a public setting when she was shamed. 


                        Being healed requires a new posture of the heart.

   We need a heart that is willing to turn away from ourselves to promote our work with love. Not everyone will like our writing. Not everyone will see something uplifting in our painting but there may be one who feels stronger because they connected to the heart you revealed and deemed it good.





 I am joining fellow writers on Kate Motaung's blog who are doing a bi-weekly online discussion group.We are using On Being a Writer: 12 Simple Habits For A Writing Life That Lasts by Ann Kroeker and Charity Singleton Craig. I am personally reading Writing Down The Bones by Natalie Goldberg as inspiration. 

13 comments:

  1. Lots to think about in this post. I like your point about "being willing to turn away from ourselves to promote our work with love". I think often we can think of promotion as self-focussed but actually it is often when we are too caught up in ourselves that we hold back from promoting our work because we fear other people's reaction. It is pretty scary to risk exposure and criticism by standing by our work and saying we think it is good but I agree, if we are doing our writing/ artwork etc. wholeheartedly we should be willing to stand by it even if others don't like it, and putting it out there leads to a greater connection with others. I love the artwork in your post too.

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  2. What a great quote here: "It is not as important for the world to claim it as it is to claim it for ourselves. That is the essential step. That will make us content. We are good and when out work is good, it is good. We should acknowledge it and stand behind it." That's one for my journal. Thanks for sharing it.
    And thanks for sharing your work here. I can sense the spirit of your sharing and your desire to glorify God. And these lines moved me: "Christ turned towards those that risked exposure. Like the woman who touched his hem, Or the brave sister who asked to wash his feet in a public setting when she was shamed. " Amen. Thank you!

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    1. Turning outward is serious stuff. Thank-you for your comment.

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  3. Yes, I like that same line Karen mentioned. And I like your art too! Maybe we shouldn't think of it as risk as much as faith. Thanks for sharing your work and thoughts.

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    1. You are right. It is faith. Gotcha.

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  4. Oh, I have many thoughts but will try to condense them... First of all, your saying that my work has heart - well, that is the nicest compliment I could ever receive. Seriously, all I could ask for. Thank you! Next, I just want to say that I LOVE your spirit of enthusiasm! Blogging, doing art, taking classes and putting it all out there. Bravo!! Makes me miss my blogging days a little.... 5 years and lately I'm pretty inactive, letting IG fill the social media space, but I do miss the chance to write in depth. Maybe someday I will get back to it.

    "Few of us can keep our faith if we work in a vacuum or void. None of us can convey our stories, pass on what we are here to pass on, if we do not create for ourselves a circle of listeners. As crucial as it is to reach in and find the words we need to speak, it is equally crucial to extend ourselves outward, to believe ourselves into that next act of sharing our work." Jan Phillips, in Marry Your Muse. I loved this book so much! After I read it, I had the pleasure of meeting Jan and then organizing an art show with her around the theme of "Hope and Healing". Amazing experience.

    Sharing on this topic also makes me miss the retreats I used to host in San Diego. So magical and powerful to bring women together around the theme of creativity. Seriously, my favorite thing ever! When I left, I left behind my little "tribe" and I think it will take some time to re-establish that in a new place, but hopefully in the future, that can happen again!

    Anyway, keep doing what you are doing! The enthusiasm is contagious. So glad we got to meet in person and I look forward to seeing your future endeavors!

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    1. Wow! Love that quote and appreciate knowing about your retreats.

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  5. I needed to check out "Writing Down The Bones" Your artwork is beautiful! And I loved this line: "Being healed requires a new posture of the heart."

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  6. Gabriele, I've read this at least five times now and every time I find something new in it that just speaks to me and makes my heart want to sing! Thank you. [Am not going to leave a 'deeper' comment as I wouldn't be able to do my feelings about it justice; I hope a heartfelt 'thank you' will suffice]. I am going to print this out and stick it in my writing journal (hoping that's OK)....it's one of those pieces of writing that arrived to me at exactly the right time (and for that I will always be grateful). THANK YOU.

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    1. As you have mine every time I've read this.

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