Featured image by Susanne Nason
This week’s guest post from our community is part one in a four part series on getting your art out there. With all the talk of stretching happening on social media and throughout our new platform, the topic of students pushing their drawings out into the world is a timely subject.
Have YOU been drawing in the closet? Or keeping a daily creative habit only to brush it off among friends and family members as something you just do? From posting online to sharing during sketchcrawls, there are a plethora of ways to share your art with the world. This series of blogposts will highlight how a few different Sketchbook Skool students have taken the plunge to showing off their art in public in the form of a show or exhibition. This week, we hear from Susanne Nason, a fellow student and artist from our community.
This is the second season we are staying at Outdoor Resorts on Long Key, Florida. Every year the resort holds an Art Show, a place for artists and crafters to showcase their talents.
Last year I took in the show. It was the first time I met the artists and saw their work and it was wonderful. I still felt insecure about what I was creating. I had only been doing watercolour since 2012 and at the time I did not think anything I did was “show-worthy!” I had not yet found Sketchbook Skool and struggled with drawing.
Fast forward one year… I took the plunge. One of the artists asked if I was going in the show and out came a yes. I talked to other artists here to find where they had prints made, sources for mats, envelopes and bags. I started preparing six weeks ahead, my husband and I had everything packaged and ready to go in advance.
I had terrible anxiety the day before the show, my monkey (that negative voice in my head) brought every doubt and insecurity I had into focus. Once again I turned to my Klass Mates. They gave me the pep talk I needed pushed me back into the ring.
The two day show went fine, all of my fears and anxieties were unfounded. I brought one of my sketchbooks with me the show to share my personal experiences here on Long Key. It was fun to watch others finding sketches of people they knew and in some cases, themselves.
Everything with the exception of one painting had been done in a four month period. People asked how long I had been drawing and I explain “I painted for a couple of years but have only just learned to draw since June!” Their reaction gave me a feeling of accomplishment. This always segued into a discussion about Sketchbook Skool.
I found Sketchbook Skool last June. I was convinced every time I posted a drawing it was awful. My Sketchbook Skook community supported and encouraged me with every drawing. I see other students having a similar experience that I had. At some point we gain confidence and shake off our fears. That is when the magic happens and we start to amaze each other and ourselves with what we can create.
The Florida Keys are like no other place on earth. I started painting the people and places that were special to me. Just before the show, friends saw these paintings and commissions followed. I started a Facebook page, a place to share my art, here and business cards and an artist website is next on my “to do” list.
The best experience of the show was when the resorts activity director, Gail, stopped by my booth, she noticed a small painting of a little house by the marina and exclaimed that it was a woman named Dori’s house. She asked if I knew her and I did not. She told me about Dori, what a kind and sweet person she was and how she is the first person to help when someone needs a hand. Gail purchased the painting for Dori and told me that when Dori received the painting, she was so excited that someone painted her house. She showed all of her friends and even shared it with the people at the pool. Since then I have really enjoyed getting to know Dori through this connection.
I am grateful for the contagious happiness art brings to my life. It took a community like Sketchbook Skool to believe in me before I did. Step out of fear and take a leap of faith, your artistic life is waiting for you!
While Susanne’s story outlines only one way to get your art out into the world, stay tuned for more upcoming posts on other ways Sketchbook Students have shared their art with the world!