Did you ever have a problem starting projects? I want to draw things and make a million things but then, for a reason I don't understand, I just end up not doing them. Do you think it is laziness or perfectionism or fear or what? I think about art all the time, I love it so and I think my skills are at a decent level (I didn't use to have this problem, it just showed up one day). What do you think? Thanks
I think that everything we do is fraught with fear.
Like, I just tweeted that I’m afraid that my Photobooth is actually streaming when I’m taking awkward reference photos of myself. That’s dumb, but the underlying fear is that I’m a fraud who has somehow rolled down a hill fast enough to have some modicum of success and that my process, or lack thereof, will somehow reveal that.
I’m afraid of seeing my receipt at the pharmacy, because my health insurance sucks and it always costs more than I think it will. I’m afraid of undercooking meat. I’m afraid that I’ll get sideswiped by an 18-wheeler on the highway when it’s windy out and I can see the truck bed wobble. I’m afraid of my cat dying. For the most part, I’m afraid of asking girls out.
There are a million things that I’m afraid of. Some of them are legitimate, some of them are neurotic. Almost all of them aren’t really that bad, probably.
Making art is tricky, because it’s an unknown. We can’t say, “oh, it’ll be OK” because there is nothing to point to. Think about a full-sized sheet of crisp, pristinely white Rives BFK with no marks on it save the watermark. That makes me sweat just thinking about it.
The unknown is scary. It’s uncomfortable. It’d be much easier to do something else that’s a little less pathfinder-y, don’t you think? Like playing Final Fantasy on your Gameboy, or going to trivia night at the bar. Or nursing.
Most people seek comfort. If you’re asking this question however, then you’re not most people.
Bernini said, “Never have I felt an errant stroke.”At the Academy, Sterling Hundley said, “get comfortable with being uncomfortable.” It’s uncomfortable trying new processes, or drawing new things, or taking risks with your finances, or putting your personal stories out there, or walking into a magazine’s office for a portfolio drop-off, or getting rejected, or botching a job. But every time you do them, and especially every time you fail, you get better. There’s always the next, and then the next.
Until there’s not. And that’s the greatest, most legitimate fear of all: not having enough time.
Chris Payne said, “time is the most important resource you have.” You can’t buy more of it, you can’t rent it, or whatever cliche you want to apply here. But hey, guess what:
You can control if you get up and make some damn art today.
Also, no one ever died from a bad drawing (yet). So there’s that.
In this life I want to:
- make something worth a crap
- buy my mom all the stuff she deserves
- then die, probably.