On a slightly overcast weekend afternoon, overlooking Owasco Lake in Auburn, NY, I had a conversation with two new acquaintances whose creative experiences rested in writing and painting. The retired English teacher maintained a periodic blog articulating travel adventures and tourist discoveries. The other person had won a few local photography and painting contests and enjoyed capturing nature on canvas or digitally with her camera.
As I talked about aaduna and our Mission of discovering new and emerging artists, as well as publishing work by established folks, I became haunted by the “characteristics” that prompt some people to ‘put their work out there’ and the countless others who remain anonymous to the general public while maintaining their artistic sharing on social media sites for family and friends. And before Facebook, YouTube and other sites, these anonymous people just stayed in the shadows or behind closed doors, not sharing their work for fear of…rejection, ridicule, or being labeled no good, not worthy, less than….
Days after that afternoon discussion, I still grapple with the reasons so many talented and creative people shy away from putting their work out there. And I have settled on one reason. Of course, I realize that my analysis and conclusion may not hold water with others or may be simplistic solution to a complex, multi-layered problem. However, I need you to contemplate one word and interject it into this conversation and think about
We do that with children, some elderly, often people who are in emotional distress. We validate their worth, their feelings, their view of the world even if we feel differently when we compare our perspectives to theirs.
Maybe if we make the portals to validation easier, more constructive and provide supportive evaluation to engage creative people in discussion about their work, we can facilitate their willingness to expose their creativity to the public. Who knows, maybe we can decrease the number of creative folk who eventually abandon their “art” for more conventional career pathways that eventually become life experiences in drudgery and dislike. And when and if these individuals find their way back to their creativity the validation issue becomes a looming pervasive obstacle that makes it harder to share and expose their creativity to others.
As publisher, I know there are works that we are not able to bring to the public. I know that there are works that some people like, and others who dislike the same piece. In our world of diversity and free-thinking, that is part of the world scenario. It is how we interact with and share those differing opinions that can shape and help further validate a creative mind. Aaduna will continue to try to a foster an environment that validates and supports even when we rest on a different plane of thought.