Own Your Work

We all have to sell something. Even if it’s just the reason we get out of bed, we are always selling things.

We all are trying to convince our boss that they should give us a raise, convince the client they should pay us, convince the teacher we should get a good grade. All of these actions are a form of meeting a threshold of approval.

What we tend to forget is that meeting a threshold of approval isn’t necessarily about what we do, but how and why we do it. In other words, it’s one thing to give an answer to a question. It is entirely another to give all the backstory to how you answered the question, and why. It's entirely different to own your work. To take responsibility for it, and for how it is handled in the world. It is after all, yours.

Many artists have found as they put their paintings up for sale for years that they sell at a certain rate. When they take the time to tell a fuller story behind each piece, they often find the pieces selling at a higher pace. It seems so easy, so why didn’t the artist do so at the beginning? It only took a small slice of time to explain the piece compared to creating the piece itself...

The question is, why do we tend to hold back? Why do we want to create things and not also create all of the ancillary storytelling pieces that go along with the thing itself? Why don’t we more than savor the moment? We can make it flavorable again and again and again.

I propose it is because we are scared and a bit prideful. We don’t want to take the time to write our stories because we think no one will read them. That injures our pride, because our internal experience is that our perspective is the only one that matters, because it’s the only one that’s truly ours. We get bummed when we think about our deepest treasures, left in the sea of the world's consumption, to rot away unnoticed. Soon, the spiral of loneliness gets out of hand and we feel we will never be seen.

There is no easy way out. The only way is through. Start trying to be seen. Every day. Those who practice the most at presenting their art, their art will be the most seen. They may not be the best artist, but they will be the best at being seen. It’s easy for the rest of us to complain and say that they don’t deserve to be seen because they aren’t good enough. That doesn’t get us anywhere. The facts remain. The person with the banner on the mountain is the most visible. So what can we do? Start practicing our sharing. Show works in progress, write stories about our days and how our consciousness’ interacted with the art, and whatever we do, we must share it. As always, I recommend building your own site or having one built and sharing there first, and sharing from there to other sites. Own your artwork, that includes all of the describing of the artwork. Own it by describing it, documenting it, and sharing it to a platform you own.

Love and Peace and Happy Owning.

Jesse Barney