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Live boldly, laugh and make art

Why artist’s need to believe in themselves

Last week I saw on a friend’s  facebook post that the Freyberger Gallery at Penn State Berks was taking art submissions for a gallery exhibit. They took submissions that Saturday, and were open for one more day, the following Monday, to take in art.

It was a juried show, which means, they don’t hang all the art that is submitted. A jury looks at all the art and they decide what they will show and what they won’t show.

The last time I took a painting to a juried show was in 2002. When it was my turn to drop off my art one of the judges said, “Why are you even bothering to drop that off?”

That piece didn’t get accepted, and for the next fifteen years, I never entered another juried show.

I kept thinking of excuses of why I shouldn’t try to enter the show at the Freyberger gallery. The gallery was so far away. What if the roads were bad?  I wasn’t sure how to get there. But, what was really bothering me was, Could I deal with the rejection if they said no?


Let people see your art

I asked my friend, a painter, about entering work in juried shows, He said, “One year I got best in show, and they next year they didn’t accept any of my paintings. My art didn’t change, they had different people judging.”

Create the art you want to create and not the art you think people want.

It’s important to believe in yourself.

I took two paintings to the Freyberger gallery,  one of my pieces was accepted to hang in the show, and one of them wasn’t. The show will be juried for prizes.

Believe in your art, even if it doesn’t get accepted in a juried show. Believe in your art even if it doesn’t win a prize. Keep painting, singing, baking, writing, even if you get a one-star review.

Create art because it gives you joy. Create art because it helps you breathe. Create art because it is who you are.

Believe in yourself.




About Pamela Hodges

My name is Pamela Hodges. I am a writer and an artist. I write to encourage and to bring laughter. I paint cats, draw cartoons and write books for children and grown ups.

You are an artist. Yes, you are. Really.

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Get the FREE illustrated, sort of a comic book, “You Are An Artist.” Believe in yourself and your ability to draw. xo Pamela

  • Susan W A

    Dear Pamela,
    The painting you posted and the encouragement you shared give me joy. Congratulations on your painting being accepted into the show! I’m proud of you for creating your art and creating ways to share it!

  • Berdeane Bodley

    That is so funny, for years Ed thought your name was Pamela Jane, one day I called you Pamela Berdeane and he said, “why are you calling her that?” I said, “Because that’s her name” to which he replied, “her name is Pamela Jane”!! I guess because that’s what I wanted to name you & I just say it so often, he thought that was your name. Thank goodness your Dad wanted you to have my first name for your middle name. Those are pretty big names for a little baby!! 🙂 xo Mom

  • Great message, Pamela! We must have faith in our art!

  • myowncalcuttablog.com

    Keep on creating your art! Wonderful, encouraging blog post. Thanks!

    • Hi myowncalcuttablog.com,
      Thank you for your kind words. So happy I could encourage you.
      Wishing you all my best.

  • Berdeane Bodley

    Pamela Berdeane, when they didn’t except your art for their juried show, it was their loss, not yours. You are the very best, EVER!! I’m sure by now they realize their mistake. xo

    • Hello Berdeaner Bodley,
      You actually got my middle name right. You always call me Pamela Jane, I forgot what my actual middle name is. haha
      Thank you mother of mine for always supporting me.
      You are the best,
      Your kid

  • EmFairley

    Congratulations, Pamela. I love your art… and you!

  • kathunsworth

    Gosh I love your art and can’t imagine anyone saying that. How unprofessional off that person. We are putting our souls out there when we display our work, its not easy. But we must do it. I agree I have learned the hard way that when I paint to try and figure out what sells it never works. When I paint what i love, the art usually finds a home. This year I do want to break into galleries instead of selling at markets/etsy. But I think the attitude you experienced is everywhere and it stops me from approaching galleries. LOVE this art Pam keep creating these divine cats.

    • Hi Kath,
      I don’t understand why he said what he did, maybe he forgot to eat breakfast that day, or his coffee pot was broken.
      Maybe that’s why it’s hard, what you said, Kath, “We are putting our souls” out there. It is not a painting, it is us.
      I agree, paint what we love. I love your birds. I see your soul in them. Full of life.
      I must remember, I am my art, but my art is not me. Negative comments have to be kept away from our muse. From the joy of creating.
      Your art would shine on a gallery wall. Full of life and love.
      Thank you for encouraging me with my cat art.