Ah, modesty among artists. Sometimes it makes me feel like I'd be prying if I asked to see more of their work—and so I hesitate, or I swallow my curiosity and let it itch.
And as an artist myself, I've certainly been on the other side of it and could guess at the causes:
- I'm reluctant to display the work that doesn't meet my own standards.
- I'm hesitant to expose in full the emotions that fueled a work.
- I'm afraid of coming across as a show-off/attention-seeker. (Then again, what musician isn't one?)
- From my perspective, people just don't seem to ask all that often.
I'm not sure how long I've been aware of it—probably as long as I've had artist friends, which is probably as long as I've had friends. What got me thinking harder about it was a moment of uncertainty this summer—in which it seemed inevitable that I'd be perceived as at least one of a show-off and a recalcitrant artist, if not both.
Half a year later I saw this post, in which a writer notices she's suffering from Impostor Syndrome and resolves to trust her readers' judgement of her work. Perhaps I'm not dealing with Impostor Syndrome with regard to my musical work, but I'm still dealing with uncertainty about whether I made the right choice in July. I do think I would gain something from remembering more often that I can trust you all when you tell me a piece is worthy of an audience.
Stepping back a little, that I have to deal with this at all is a reminder that there are some of you out there who actually like my work. You have no idea how happy and fulfilled that makes me!
...then again, at least half of you seem to be artists and the other half of you can probably extrapolate—so on second thought, you all probably know exactly how I feel. :)