By Jerome Dixon

When we’re children, in the early stages of life, we create for the shear joy of it. There is no self-consciousness about our artwork. It’s just fun to draw, paint and create stuff.

Then things change. Socialization, hormones, adolescence and maturity come calling. We long to fit in. Be liked. Accepted. Maybe even admired and respected.

How people see us, and how they react to our creative efforts, begin to matter a great deal. Because we’re not fully formed yet. We need the validation and approval of others.

During this stage of our lives, it becomes difficult to put our creative work out there. Entering competitions, approaching galleries, seeking publishers, or even sharing our work online, can be hard.