Hey everybody, I need your help. I want to keep the artist profile series going so I need you to share a little bit about yourselves. I know many of you are feeling a bit shy and have all kinds of good reasons why you don’t want to do this.
To help convince you I present:
The top ten false assumptions about this series and ridiculous excuses not to participate
(and the reasons I won’t take no for an answer.)
1. I’m not an artist
Let’s not quibble over vocabulary, shall we? In my mind, if you make a piece of art you’re an artist. But I understand it’s a thoroughly loaded word, and one that often makes people feel pretentious if they say it about themselves. So let’s just think of this as a “meet the swapper” series, okay? You’ve swapped. You’re a swapper. We want to meet you.
2. My work isn’t as good as the other people who swap here
Oh good heavens!
If I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard that one….
This is not a contest, or a club, or a clique. This is a wide-open community of people who like to make stuff. Some of us have been making stuff for decades. Some have been making stuff for a few weeks. It doesn’t matter. Trust me. Your work is good enough. You are good enough. We want you here.
3. I don’t want to reveal my full identity
You only have to share what you’re comfortable sharing. If you don’t want to put your last name, or age, or the name of your cat, that’s totally cool. Even though we’d love to see what you look like, I won’t force you to put up a photo of yourself. We’re pretty easy going about the whole thing.
4. I don’t have any art images to share
Showing examples of your work is totally optional. It’s nice, but not a requirement. Maybe you’d rather show us a picture of your favorite place on earth. Or of your new shoes. Our your cousin Martha. It’s all good.
5. I can’t participate since I don’t have a blog or any of those other on-line things people talk about
All the more reason to introduce yourself. Some of you I’ve gotten to know quite well through your on-line presence. Others of you are total mysteries. Give us a glimpse!
6. No one wants to hear about my life
Wrong. Tell me honestly – when you receive a handmade postcard, and hold it in your hand and study it, don’t you wonder about the person who made it? I know I do. Maybe I’m just nosy, but I want to know about each and every one of you. What you look like, what other hobbies you have, where you grew up, what your cat looks like, what you had for breakfast. Tell me you don’t wonder these things too. I know you do. I bet you’re sitting there hoping everybody but you will post their life stories so you can learn all about them without having to put yourself out there. Guess what – the rest of us are here wondering about your life. It’s interesting! Tell us more!
7. I don’t know how to write a blog post
You don’t need any technical skills other than knowing how to send email. Write whatever you want in the body of your email to me. I will format it for the blog. I’ll even proof read and edit it if you want! We love to see pictures, so it’s a bonus if you know how to attach a photo to an email. That’s it. Very low tech. Lots of help available.
8. I don’t have anything profound to say
Take the pressure off yourself. This is just a friendly hello, not a college application. After your introduction, tell us a little bit about how you got started making stuff, and why you like making stuff. To you it may sound boring or small, or maybe you think it sounds weird and strange, but I guarantee there are readers out there who will say “YES! Me too!” Isn't it the best feeling in the world knowing we're not alone?
9. This series is only for people who’ve done tons of swaps
I’m the boss here, and I declare this series is for everyone! Even if you haven’t participated in a swap yet, but have been lurking around the edges, or maybe sending a little informal mail art, we want to meet you. Friendly faces and diverse stories enrich our community.
10. I’m so inexperienced, I have nothing to offer.
Your inexperience is all the more reason to reach out and say hello. We can never truly know the ways we impact the lives of others. Someone will read your post and be so impressed and inspired by your act of courage and openness, that they decide to take their own small step. Let’s say they decide to send a piece of mail art. The person they send it to is so thrilled to get it, she sends one right back. An artistic friendship, full of mutual support has bloomed. One of those people realizes that art is what she’s been looking for her whole life. She’s a much happier person and a more patient mom. Her kids reap the benefits. Those kids are in turn kinder to their friends, and those friends are now so well supported they have the strength to say no to peer pressure and don't end up getting drunk at the prom. You could be changing someone’s fate just by waving hello on this little corner of the blogosphere. Little acts can have big ripples.
You can probably see by now that I am incorrigible and will continue to lovingly pester you until you succumb. So I thank you in advance for all the profiles and introductions that are going to start pouring into my inbox now that you’ve read this.
You guys are the best.