It may sound cliché, but it's so true - especially for us creative types. We are always riddled with self-doubt about our work, but we must, must, must believe in ourselves. We must be willing to put ourselves out there and not be ashamed to say, 'Hey! Look what I'm doing.'
Early last year, The New Zealand Artist Magazine were looking for artists to be featured in their magazine. I thought, 'Me? In an art magazine? Who are you kidding? You're not an artist. You just paint a lot.' But I realised, I AM an artist, and I had to believe that about myself, and not just reserve that title for people earning $100,000 a painting. So, I put my name forward, sent them a few photos of my work, and next minute - I'm on the front cover! Plus a nice 4-page feature article. I was thrilled.
I recently got a fair amount of publicity which was wonderful. I did some illustrative work for Claudia Robin Gunn of Little Wild Music. She was being interviewed by Eastlife Magazine about the project and she asked me to 'come with'. While the bulk of the interview was about Claudia's album (rightly so), the journalist was also quite fascinated with my story, and arranged to meet me to run a separate piece on my artistic journey. I was thrilled, and realised how important it is to sieze opportunities with grace because you never know what doors may open.
This is the article about Claudia's album, with a bit about my contribution to the illustrations.
And this was my full 3-page article later on.
So, don't be afraid to seek out your local art or entertainment magazine and let them know what you're up to. They are always looking for interesting new stories, and while their books may be full for the next few issues, they no doubt will slot you in further down the track. You could even contact a magazine or organisation that lines up with your particular interest in painting birds, trucks, boats or whatever it may be. Believe in yourself, and just go for it.