I’ve always been an artist, but it was only within the last few years that I began sharing my artwork publicly. I like to spend my days in the garden, taking hikes, enjoying a cup of coffee, and painting. I find socializing, especially with new people, exhausting. Creating is incredibly personal for me; a lot of my emotions go into my work. This, paired with my introverted personality, made divulging my paintings a herculean endeavor.
Meeting and interacting with people is how we become successful professionals; no one makes it to the top alone. So what do you do when socializing is mandatory but draining? Is it possible not only to succeed, but to thrive? Here are a few creative tips to put yourself out into the world, share your art and cope with excess socialization.
Sharing on social media
Aside from the multitudes of criticism that social media receives, it’s a great way to break out of your shell and show the universe what you do. We live in an amazing technological era where we can share anything with the touch of a button. If your version of introversion comes from lack of confidence in social situations, social media is a low-risk arena to practice being assertive, expressive and approachable and it may give you the confidence to connect in person.
Begin sharing where you feel the most comfortable. Take your time and choose whether or not to respond to comments. Keep in mind, that if you plan on making a career with your art, you will eventually have to personally interact with other humans. Social media is just the beginning, but hopefully it’ll give you the confidence to connect in person.
Introversion doesn’t always mean socially awkward. Perhaps you’ve got the confidence in your skills, but prefer to showcase your charm only when absolutely necessary and, like me, need periods of solitude and introspection between interactions. In this case, knowing yourself is key. If you start to feel drained, it’s a good idea to take it slow.
Don’t succumb to the pressure of having to be present for every party, every exhibition. Try to work on a schedule that includes breaks. Take the time you need to feel refreshed and come back. If taking the physical time is not possible, use meditation to de-stress. If you’re not into meditation, try listening to music that you find relaxing, looking at photos of loved ones, or watching videos of dancing mantises (it’s a thing).
Stretch those socializing muscles! It might sound funny, but some level of introversion is related to being a slow starter. I’m typically early to meetings because I realize that I’m a slow starter, and because even though I might be confident, I need to prepare myself for socializing. Basically, it’s a warm-up exercise for social situations.
I arrive early to mentally prepare myself for interacting with people. In retail, although it took me five minutes to drive to work, I’d arrive at work an hour before I was scheduled. I didn’t arrive early to impress but to get used to my surroundings and mentally prepare myself for the good, bad and ugly. If I didn’t, I’d be overloaded and met with untimely mental exhaustion. So take the same approach with collaborations, meetings and exhibitions; don’t skip the warm-up.
Success in your creative calling is possible although it may take some time. With discipline and tenacity you can be a flourishing, sociable creative without overburden. Use social media to wet your feet, know your limits and when you reach them, take time to yourself. Arrive early for gatherings and encounters to mentally prepare yourself. And, above all, stay creative. Even if you don’t end up sharing with the world your creativity, if you love doing it, keep doing it and feed the hustle.
Are you an introverted creative? What are some ways you’ve found are good for effectively managing introversion?
Featured photo by Deborah DumontSharing is caring!