This post is by Luann Udell, regular contributing author for FineArtViews. She's blogged since 2002 about the business side--and the spiritual inside--of art. She says, "I share my experiences so you won't have to make ALL the same mistakes I did...." For ten years, Luann also wrote a column ("Craft Matters") for The Crafts Report magazine (a monthly business resource for the crafts professional) where she explored the funnier side of her life in craft. She's a double-juried member of the prestigious League of New Hampshire Craftsmen (fiber & art jewelry). Her work has appeared in books, magazines, and newspapers across the country and she is a published writer.
Help your readers take a step forward, just like someone did for YOU.
(4 minute read)
In last week’s Fine Art Views article, I wrote how the gift of laughter is a precious commodity in our world right now, and how easy it is to share. This week, let’s talk about sharing what’s helped US move forward, in our art and in our lives.
Today, let me share another writer/artist from the FAV team, Thea Fiore-Bloom, PhD, creator of The Charmed Studio blog. I first met Thea through her Fine Art Views columns. (Actually, Thea just reminded me that our paths actually crossed years ago, before either of us wrote for FAV! Thank you for the memory reboot, Thea!) I found articles both endearing and powerful. She gets right to the heart of what she writes about, and all of it is geared to helping artists and writers get better at writing/making.
But what really blew my mind was her website.
It’s not just filled with generous helpings of articles, offering insights for creatives. She also shares links to websites and articles she’s found to be game-changers. She’s opened a window on how we can create more powerful and connect-able blog posts and newsletters. (Disclaimer: I just found out I'm on her resource page! Thank you, Thea!)
The generosity of this, Thea sharing what’s worked for her, is a game-changer in and of itself.
I’ve written blog posts of how-to’s in the past. Some of them I published, others languish in the sea of forgotten ideas. But after discovering who Thea is at heart—authentic and generous—I find I now want to follow her example.
I’ve given little ‘peeks’ into my process from time to time. Lately, I’ve gone a little deeper. On Instagram (which reposts to my Facebook biz page, Luann Udell, Artist and Writer, I’ve shared more of my process (restoring vintage and antique wood boxes for my shrine series). A reader messaged me, asking me for my sources for these boxes, and I wrote a reply that will probably become a future blog post.
Why have I hesitated to do this in the past? Perhaps it's the fear we all have, that someone will snag our ideas and make them their own. That someone will take our process and do it even better. That someone will gain more fame and fortune than we do.
But isn’t that what I’ve done? (Albeit on a good level of integrity.)
I did not invent my faux ivory technique. Tory Hughes, who unfortunately died in 2018, was a pioneer in exploring and creating imitative techniques with polymer clay: Faux ivory, turquoise, amber, coral, etc. Yes, I’ve made my own adaptations and created some of my own as well. I’ve taken it new, very personal level, too.
But I have always acknowledged Tory as my first inspiration and as a great resource for information. Now I’m realizing it might be even more inspirational to create my own Resources Page, to honor her memory, and those of others who have helped me ‘up my game’ over the years.
Also, in my humble experience, it’s really hard to exactly copy another person’s techniques. And it’s almost impossible to copy another creative’s story. Our energy is better spent on our work, and the knowledge that a copycat can’t create new ideas like we can. They can only follow, and therefore, will always be a step behind.
To reiterate: This isn’t about ‘having to share’ our ‘how’.
It’s about sharing what helped us get to where we are, today, through inspiration, clarity, insights, and okay, a couple trade secrets here and there, and/or acknowledging where we got OUR trade secrets from, especially f they’re actually public knowledge. Share a teacher, a class, an art organization, where we grew our own skills. Share the writing that inspired us, and kept us moving forward until we got where we are today—or will be tomorrow.
Be a big-hearted person like Thea. Share what makes you, YOU.
Your words may help another creative person move forward with THEIR work, and bring light, and good, and joy into the world. What a beautiful gift!
If you enjoyed this article, share it! Link back to it here on Fine Art Views, or my blog at luannudell.wordpress.com.
If someone shared this article with you, and you'd like to read more in this series, visit my articles at FineArtViews.com.
And if you decide I would be a good fit for YOUR resource page/next newsletter, go for it!
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