Bad day today. Still battling something, not sure what, but woke at four with a headache, then again at five, and finally gave up at about six fifteen this morning. Worse yet I was battling some inner demons. Remember “not good enough”, the evil little tormentor that resides inside my brain? Well he made a return appearance today. I haven’t heard from him in a while, but he must have managed to slip out of his hiding space while my head was pounding. I started out the day investigating print and matte prices in order to sell my work. I was feeling confident, and artistically self-assured. I took a break to take Brian to urgent care. (Sitting in a cesspool of illness I’m sure did a lot for my already not feeling good self) I came home with an even more horrible headache. I decided to look at local art groups with the idea of joining one. I began to look at the work of some of the members, and worse yet began to look at their credentials. That’s when the self-doubt began to creep in. I read the educational pedigrees of these artists and felt inadequate. I thought I was past the chip on my shoulder, but I think maybe I had just learned to turn a deaf ear to the voice inside my head. Today it was loud and clear reminding me that I have had no training. Shortly after that exercise in self-destruction I began to organize my work from this project. I opened a separate file on my computer and began to sort through what I felt was “good” work, and copy those pieces into that file. I came up with forty-eight. I have been working on this project since the thirteenth of April and could only come up with forty-eight pieces that I felt were worthy. I went to Dan and told him how disappointed I was in myself. He immediately disagreed, and told me how much he admires what I have been doing, and that the work was good. After I talked to him I revisited my work, the number grew to one hundred and four. I have come to understand that my new-found artistic confidence is more fragile than I realized. I need to remind myself every day that I have talent, that not every piece will be perfect or turn out the way I want it to. It was a long struggle to get where I am, I’m not willing to lose the progress I’ve made. Tonight I attempted a watercolor portrait that honestly I am not that happy with. It falls under the “I should have left well enough alone” category. It seemed to be headed in the right direction, and then…self-doubt. Not good enough, add more paint, try to subtract more paint (tough with watercolor), in the end I added ink, in the end I think I should have left it alone. Tomorrow is a new day, a day to start over and remember that confidence I was building. One step back, two steps forward.
I feel like you are describing me in this post too. Especially the bit about comparing myself to artists with such credentials and pedigree. Who am I to call myself an artist and put my work up there with theirs? It is a tough road artists walk and we put our most personal selves out there in our art. It is no wonder we feel so fragile and vulnerable when so much of ourselves is on display. But you are not alone and you deserve to be right up there with them.
Thanks, it means a lot for someone to understand where I’m at.