Sometimes being an artist can be amazing. Those are the times to hold tight to your heart. You create because you have to do it. It’s love. It’s something that has to come out. Your art makes you a whole person. This is not a post for those times as an artist. This is a post for when you (I) need a pick me up as an artist. A pep talk, if you will.
Sometimes being an artist can be difficult. It doesn’t matter what kind of artist you are; sometimes it’s really hard. There are times when what you are creating is crap. Those times when it’s not crap but it feels like crap. There are times when you wonder if you’re ever going to be successful at your art; will I ever earn a paycheck off of my art? Were my parents right (nope) when they told me to have a backup plan? What if I’m the only one who loves this art? Being an artist means being your worst critic and getting stuck inside your head. You can’t help it. That’s what the art does to you. You hold onto it, because you love it. It can be tough being an artist. Sometimes.
I think it’s necessary as an artist to have some kind of fleeting self doubt; to lose hope in what you’re doing for a little bit. It’s healthy to question what you’re doing. Some humble pie isn’t always a horrible thing. It’s when that self doubt becomes paralyzing and starts to feel like you’re stuck, that it’s a problem. It’s also something that every artist goes through at some point in their career. You can get through it.
Just remember, these moments are what make the lows of how it feels to be an artist… a maker… a creator… You need these suck moments to help illuminate the awesome parts of being an artist. There’s a weird balance that we have to figure out between hating what we’re doing, doubting our talents, feeling like a butt sandwich, and those moments where you are so psyched by what you have created; the moments of success, whether it be creative or financially. Part of that balance is knowing when to put your head down and create. Part of it is to stop looking at what the other artists are achieving. Your path is going to be completely different, and I promise that they have their moments of suck also.
Keep doing what you love, even if you hate it at the moment. Maybe you need to step away for a while, take a hike, have some coffee with someone you’re diggin’, or something NOT ART. Whatever it is, always return to the art. It will be there waiting for you, and it understands (as much as something that’s not alive can) that it’s not always pretty or right. Eventually you’ll figure out what you want it to be, and it’ll be the greatest feeling in the world. Then you will remember why you are an artist in the first place… and all the success or money in the world wouldn’t be able to change that you are, and always will be, and artist.
“Love is the answer. At least for most of the questions in my heart. Like: “why are we here?”, and “where do we go?”, and “how come it’s so hard?” It’s not always easy, and sometimes life can be deceiving. I’ll tell you one thing; It’s always better when we’re together” – Jack Johnson (Better Together)