Does it matter what I look like? Is it important? Does it matter what sort of person I am and how I appeal to people?
I’m beginning to think it might…………………..
Last week I had quite a bit of correspondence going back and forth between me and the library where I am hoping to exhibit next year. I’d met the woman I’m corresponding with at Stuarts Writers group, as she is part of it, and she also works for the library and thinks my erotic art would be fabulous at her library. Great!!! Very exciting, and a delight that she was so enthusiastic and positive about my art, and about me too. BUT, she and I both knew that I do erotic art, and some people struggle with it, and they might struggle a lot with it in a public library, if they are of a sensitive nature – or, of course, children. Some of my art is not at all suitable for children to view. I understand that. So, for that reason, I was asked to send some erotic images to my new friend at the library for her to check with her colleagues that it was “acceptable”. No problem. I sent 30 of my more “acceptable” ones, 29 of which only had a single woman in the picture, so there was nothing sexual going on between two people in any of the pictures. The answer came back that whilst all the work was considered good and accomplished, some of it was deemed to be a little risque for the library, but if I would like to get together a collection of my other art, and put in some of the tamer erotic stuff, then that was fine by them, and I could ring up to book a date for next year. So, I rang to make the arrangement, and had another positive and upbeat conversation with my contact there. She made me smile when she said that some of the little old ladies might complain about some of my art and yet they took out “Mills and Boon” books by the dozens, and those books in particular are FULL of erotic goings on on EVERY page!!! I’m imagining all these fevered old ladies now getting all hot and bothered by the muscular thighs, square shoulders, tight buttocks, chiselled jaws but sensitive hands of Peregrine or whatever the hero’s are called as they rip the clothes off the heroines in a frenzied and heated passionate embrace!
But, there was something else she said, that made me think. She said that she had shown my website to her female colleagues for them to see what sort of work I do. And whereas the art was considered acceptable as most of these women in their 50’s and 60’s had “seen it all before” there was one burning question they were intrigued about……………
They wanted to know……………………… what I looked like. Was I young or old? Was I a punk with spiky hair? What was I like as a person? It REALLY mattered to them.
And that’s got me thinking. Because last week I went to the annual art festival at Patchings and had a lovely day there looking around the arts and crafts being sold there, buying a few art materials, and chatting with the artist friends I bumped into whilst I was there. But there was one artist whose work bowled me over, it was stupendous. It was stunning (I’m not chosing these words lightly, I truly was *stunned* by them to the point of losing my words to start with, then after having a long and very positive chat with the artist in question, I had a strong feeling of the other art there being of a far lesser quality, and therefore not so important for me to spend my time looking at it afterwards!). But when I told other people about her, I said “The artwork was stupendous, the technical ability was fabulous, the way it was painted really spoke to me, the choice of composition called me, and the artist was a really nice person, she was lovely to talk to, and look at, and I really liked her!”
So. Have I answered my own question. Should I put more about myself on my website? Should I put a photo of myself on it? Would it make a difference to the people who like my art? Could they relate to me better because of it?
I’ve always presumed that I don’t need to put more personal details on my site, because “the art talks for itself”. But does it say enough?
And as a post-script: One of the reasons I haven’t put my photo on my website is because I do erotic art. And I’m a woman. So, if I put my photo on my website, am I going to get aggravation from it?
What do you think? And I know some of you know me in real life, and some of you don’t have a clue what I look like.
Does it matter?