Look At Me!

Robert Genn, a famous Canadian artist, recently wrote a piercing letter on “humblebragging,” which, according to Urban Dictionary, is “when you, usually consciously, try to get away with bragging about yourself by couching it in a phony show of humility”.  Although Genn focuses on the combination of humility and pride, what caught my attention was the last part of the word, “bragging.”

For the past year, I have been blogging about my life, my interests, and my sketches.  After reading Robert Genn’s letter, I wondered whether The Hipping Post was a creative outlet, or just a venue for me to show off –  Look at me!  I can draw!  Should I blog, or, as the tattoo on the arm of Vancouver-based painter, Ross Penhall, reads, should I “shut up and paint”?

Whether or not you are an artist, in order to pursue your passion, you must actually do it, and not just talk about it.  But there is value in sharing.

I would not be sketching as much as I am had I not encountered Urban Sketchers and its correspondents like Pete Scully, Marc Taro Holmes, Eduardo Bajzek, and Paul Heaston (among many others).  I would not have the same motivation to paint if my mom’s friend had not introduced me to Jack Turpin, or suggested I visit Robert Joyner’s website.  I am inspired by a community of artists because they choose to share their art online.  Intentionally or not, by sharing, they help me and others become better.

These artists encourage me to draw and paint.  Accusations of bragging may be a consequence, but if I can give back and inspire someone else to pick up a pen, or a guitar, or revisit whatever sidelined passion that’s been nagging at them, then sharing will have been worth it.

P.S.  Each time I blog, I post a link to my Facebook profile page.  Instead of only delivering my posts to my “friends,” I created a THP Facebook site.  For those of you who would rather use Facebook to access THP, please click the Facebook “Like” icon in the top right corner of this page.  For my Facebook friends who don’t click “Like”, you will no longer be bothered by my bragging on your news feed.

P.P.S. The sketch above is a self-portrait I recently used as my Facebook profile picture.  It was done using HB and 2B pencils in a Moleskine sketchbook.

6 responses to “Look At Me!

  1. I find the online art community very encouraging and full of inspiration =) and it kinda drives me to go on when I feel like putting my pencil down…

  2. Doug, You are not bragging. I love to see your sketches and reading your blogs. I want to continue them so hopefully I clicked the correct icons. We enjoyed taking care of the boys last week-end. Love you

  3. Hey Doug, really interesting take on something I’ve also recently been feeling…starting taking pictures a couple of years back, perhaps the only artistic bone I have in my body, as evidenced by my failed attempts at playing music (my real unrequited love)…those close to me have been imploring me to “share” some of my photos more publicly, as they seem to truly enjoy them….but, there was always something holding me back, and that was the struggle between the two voices in my head, one cautioning against the reality of potential rejection (no “likes” for a pic), the other worried that it would come off as “showing off” or “bragging” if indeed they did garner a lot of “likes”….in a weird way, when you elect to share what is ultimately a part of you and put it up for public review, you’re almost damned if they do like it and damned if they hate it!!………I for one really enjoy your art and your musings, really ballsy to put it out there and I admire that….keep it up!! cheers, Marc

    • Thanks for the note, Marc. I like your comment about the “reality of potential rejection.” I’d be lying if I said I didn’t look forward to checking how many “likes” I get once I publish a new post. But I try not to get too proud when I see a lot of them, nor beat myself up when I see none. I just remind myself of what Roy Lichtenstein said about his paintings: “What was important was that I was doing them.” I may not have “liked” a lot of your photos, but I do enjoy them. Likewise: keep doing it! Cheers, Doug

  4. Pingback: Mistakes | The Hipping Post

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