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.