I'm new to the whole "making yourself vulnerable and putting yourself out there with your art" thing. I know there will be those who love it and those who do not, but on my first day, I get a comment on Facebook, "I'm sorry!!! What the heck is it??" to my first piece that I ever sold.
My first instinct is to ban the person. Three exclamation marks and two question marks: how rude. My next reaction is to delete the comment. My next thought is to just ignore it. Which is usually my best thought...let it sit, walk away, and give it some space.
I concluded, at 3 am, that as an artist, I should be ready with words to explain my art for those who ask about it. As an introvert, I don't verbalize a lot. And I have a hard time thinking in the big picture. But I need to be ready at all times to help bring understanding and appreciation for what I do.
And btw: I think it is always ok to ask the artist, but let's phrase it as a question with the intent of understanding and not as disgust cloaked in a question. Something like "Can you tell me about this piece?" We really do put ourselves in every piece of art we create. ♥
So for those of you who were thinking "What the heck is it??" but were too polite to ask, here is my response (edited slightly because it is now 7:30 am and my brain is functioning clearer)
"As the artist, my intention is to represent abstract ideas, in this case, faith and love. For me as the artist, it represents my faith in Love (Christ): the love He has for me in the nails, in the bruises and the blood. It represents having faith that His Love will never leave me, even when I am a hot mess. It also represents our own personal relationships and having faith that love will win. When relationships are hard, when we are bruised, when we are asked to sacrifice, there is a call to continue through the hard times with a faith in the love that is there, that it is bigger than the circumstances. To the woman who purchased this piece, it could represent something totally different, which is the beauty of art in general and abstract art in particular. And it is ok if you prefer a more realistic style of art. Like in ice cream, that's why there are so many different flavors and styles. Find the art that speaks to you."
Be ready at all times, friends, in every circumstance. Find your voice, for whatever you need to shine light on, with the intent of bringing peace and understanding.
May our LOVE be victorious, our HOPE tenacious, our JOY contagious.