When I first began as an artist I wish I had known the benefits of sharing. Sharing your art and knowledge is one of the most important things an artist can do to build a following for themselves.
Putting your artwork up where others can see it and getting feedback is the best way to learn and grow as an artist. Likewise, writing blog posts about your process and sharing things you’ve learned is one of the fastest ways to build a good following. If I had only known this when I first started out, I wouldn’t be sitting on a mound of old drawings that no one has ever seen. These drawings have just been sitting around for the “right moment” and many have been sitting so long I don’t know when the right moment is or if it will ever come. I guess fear played a big part for me when I came up with this idea in my head. I would say to myself “someone might steal my artwork” or “I don’t want to give another artist an idea that they could use and get a job that I want.” Although this is a possibility, it would have been good to have someone to tell me that this is the wrong way of thinking about it. I’ve learned that good artwork and hard working artists normally make their way to the top in this profession. You do need to network and do all the other things that build your presence, but for me I found that sharing my wisdom is one of the fastest ways to earn respect and grow a following. When you’re first starting out your number one priority is getting better at your craft and sharing your work with a helpful community is the fastest way, I’ve found, to accomplish this. This is the great thing about the internet age. There is so much information out there and all you have to do is have the courage to ask and someone will help you. You might not get it on your first try, but keep trying.