I love speaking with artists and offering helpful tips to improve their art businesses. Recently, I spoke with an artist who quit his graphic design job to pursue selling fine art full time. We discussed the importance of having a portfolio with consistent artwork and building a network. With a startled look on his face, he asked, “how do I grow a network of people when I’m an introvert?”

For some introverts, the thought of going out and meeting new people and sharing their work is worse than sleeping on a bed of nails. The reason they became an artist was to escape and stay in their studio to create.

Harry Potter creator, J.K. Rowling identifies as an introvert often feeling most creative when she is alone. On a delayed train to London, she had the idea for the book but didn’t have a pen. She was too shy to ask another passenger for  a pen so she sat with her thoughts for four hours and allowed the details to fill her mind.

Another self proclaimed introvert is Tory Burch. The owner of a multimillion dollar fashion empire. When interviewed by Forbes, Burch advised entrepreneurs to “Thicken Your Skin”. She didn’t have a business degree or a fashion degree. Naysayers said she would not succeed. Being a sensitive, thoughtful person opens you up for criticism.

When you believe your talents are more important than your discomfort, you will continue to work hard, produce and share.

Make an effort to meet one new contact a day, instead of attending a large networking event. Social media is also a great place to share your work and thoughts without feeling overwhelmed.