Art is a lovely, cozy kind of an act when a person is alone in his or her room, with the cat quietly purring or the tunes playing or the soft breeze of summer floating in through an open window. Yes, in those situations, art-making is a relaxing, breezy delight; the process of creating something without the disturbing thought of sharing it with "the public". No critic to deconstruct or criticize or minimize its worth. I know that there are books galore that expound on how to deal with the 'inner critic' and it's true, we all have an inner critic that sometimes needs to be silenced. But in fact, there are external critics as well. (Or perhaps worse, there are those who simpy do not care a fig about art or artists.) This is the place I struggle; the place where I must move from the little room in my mind and bring it out beyond the borders of the safe place where that story or art piece was first born.
Today I did just that very thing. I took something which, until lately, has been kept safe in tea rooms and conversations with one dear artist friend. And now I've opened it up for others to participate and join in. Interestingly enough, creating the invitation itself was a joy. (There's nothing more fun than collage.) But the moment I began sending it out through all those various "social networking" sites, I felt an anxiety creep into my mind. Oh, don't I know it so well, this anxiety. However, I will welcome it, this nervous fluttering of the heart. I will add it to my ongoing list of what a creative process involves. I can't all be warm summer breezes. There has to be the odd blast of cold air to keep us all awake!