Years ago, when I sang in a few choirs and took singing lessons, I decided I was "too shy" to perform. My instructor said, "Why did you join this choir if not to share your music with anyone?"
I think of that when I feel "too shy" to share my art with others. Creating art is a type of performance, just as singing is. I can make my art, just for me, and be happy doing it. But then I get lazy and stop producing. After all, the only person waiting to see it is me! However, if I make a promise to someone to give them an ATC or a twinchie, then I have to follow through.
I participate in exchanges because I think it is good for me. It forces me to create and produce.
My participate mostly in two forums for exchanges: Splitcoast Stampers and Quietfire Designs. Both yield good quality art, especially the PAT (Pick a Theme) exchanges. But frankly, I don't care about what I GET: it is what I GIVE that I care about.
Here's a card that I created this summer for exchanging. This card was used twice: I submitted it to Quietfire Designs for the Die Cuts: Inside/Outside challenge, and for the "Make Mine Vintage" exchange on Splitcoast Stampers.
The cage is a Tim Holtz die cut from SU Sage Shadow, swiped with Basic Black (looks like Black with verdigris, doesn't it?). The bird is an SU punch, edged with SU Creamy Caramel craft ink, and punched from an old copy of Jane Eyre. The flower garland comes from SU's Friends 24/7 stamp set, which I coloured with chalks. The sentiment is from Quietfire Designs (she does all the calligraphy for her stamps herself). The background is rubbed with Creamy Caramel and Soft Suede (both from SU), sprayed with water, and then stamped with SU's Itty Bitty Backgrounds and Soft Suede ink.