Just do it.
Taking the first step and giving yourself permission to “do it” is a big deal. I have often experienced how self-censorship is one of the biggest obstacles standing in the way of moving forward. Through the years, however, I have come to recognise it and overcome it.
I remember being paralysed by fear whenever I had to attend live interviews or give presentations to a large audience of senior people. Giving a speech at the launch of a major exhibition would fill me with dread. But thanks to help from the PR team at the Design Museum and supportive colleagues, I learned how to calm my nerves and feel more in control of my shaky voice, so that the nervous tremble has nearly disappeared.
(Above: Alice opening Azzedine Alaia The Couturier
exhibition at the Design Museum)
More recently, before launching ArtULTRA, I experienced what many women experience… imposter syndrome. What a self-sabotaging process! It was hard to work on developing my ideas whilst being plagued by the thought ‘what’s the point of it all’?
I hate to sound like a Nike advert, but honestly, there’s nothing else I could tell myself other than: ‘just do it’.
I know that the same often goes for artists and particularly for those at an early stage of their career. The act of creation is a lonely one, and one in which artists invest so much of their own emotions and personal experiences, that understandably it is a very big step to share an artwork that captures such intimate reflections with the rest of the world. 'How will it be perceived? Will people get it? How will people judge it? How will they judge me?' These are terrifying questions for any artist.
In my experience, I have learned so much from taking a risk and confronting a new situation. As an artist, you might think your art is just not good enough, or, you may fear the critical gaze of others, but don’t forget how much you will gain if you put your work forward and encounter your public. You might find that people love your work; you might meet a group of like-minded artists to draw inspiration from; or you might get feedback and get new ideas to improve your practice. The worst that can happen is that people won’t pay much attention... That's ok. Conversely, exh