Sunday, October 05, 2008
Some may ask, "Isn't this shameless self-promotion?"
My answer; "Absolutely!"
Some time ago, when asked to contribute some thoughts to someone who was writing an article on how artists can "use a website to promote their artwork", I found it quite interesting to examine my own motives and to consider what role my use of a web site had played in my art, and whether it had met my original expectations. I would like to share my conclusions.
When I first started to display my art, photography and personal views on life in general, I found it hard to put my work on such public display. It was hard to break through the barrier from within myself that my work is "not good enough", but once I started I have not stopped. I enjoy adding more and more content, as I find more reasons to do so and the time to do it.
This whole experience has been a useful discipline, as it has forced me to logically think through what I am presenting and why. I have found that if I can’t present my ideas to others, I probably don’t have a good idea in the first place or at least don’t understand it.
So, is there anything wrong with self-promotion?
Why would I be shy (as I have been), about putting my work on display? I have had a professional career where part of my job has been at least some aspect of self-promotion - selling my goods and services to clients.
This feels different somehow. For me, raised in a Christian tradition, it almost seems to fly in the face of the Scripture found in the Gospel of Luke, chapter 14 and verse 11;
"For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted."
This principle, even if not specifically the circumstance referred to in the full context of this verse, seems clear. Add to that the insecurity that all of us feel to one extent or another, and perhaps a good dose of "my work's not good enough", and you start to get the picture.
The thing is, I think that I have started to understand a little more about humility. My view is that the beginning of humility is to have an objective view of oneself. I have often felt misunderstood, and inferior, and have taken comfort in the thought that at least God truly knew and understood me. In extending this thought, for many years I have tried to see myself as God might see me. Overcoming my shyness, putting my work (and thoughts) on display and then receiving unsolicited feedback has for me been an important part of seeing myself more objectively than perhaps I ever have before. It has been uncomfortable, but the rewards have been worth it.
While I am saying "I am here - look at my work!", I am not trying to be anything that I am not. I am prepared to be quite open, and in the process of doing so, am learning more about myself. I hope that as you explore my personal web space that you enjoy your visit.
All Scriptural references quoted are taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.