So I have struggled with becoming the person I want to be. It took me a really long time to be able to call myself an ARTIST… but everyone around me told me I was. And finally I started to believe in those words myself. I have the work to prove it — a dozen paintings in my apartment, several others at my parents’, a couple stragglers in the homes of friends. There is even a piece in the permanent collection at my University. But all of those pieces are easily at least four years old. The only thing I have to show for myself is old artwork. I have dabbled with a paintbrush here and there… but I haven’t really completed a full piece in a long time.
“I wanna have friends that I can trust, that love me for the man I’ve become not the man I was.” – The Avett Brothers
I know the biggest hurdle is myself. I know my space isn’t ideal. My heart sinks at all the obstacles of trying to paint with oils in my current living situation –to messy, too potent, too humid, lack of natural sunlight and so on. Maybe I cannot do oils right now, but I shouldn’t stop completely. I bought a sketchpad. I have charcoals and pastels and conte. I bought a new type of paint over three months ago and have yet to try. I have made a few sketches but stopped. What is holding me back from being consistent? Why I am allowing myself to be my own worst enemy??
I know part of it is overcoming the fear itself:
- Do I still have what it takes? While I may be rusty, I fear…have I lost the skill?
- Could I produce art again that others will like? Support from friends and family is great, but limited and biased. Could I truly find a way to make a living off this…someday?
- Can I maintain my own motivation it takes to withstand all the highs and lows of being an artist?
I know resources exist for me as an artist… but can I get OVER myself to take that initial leap? One thing I know for sure, this is slowly killing me on the inside. Every day that passes that I don’t do something, I feel more distant from that label that took so long for me to finally give myself. In fact every time I sit and think about it, it brings real tears to my eyes.
Encouragement always welcome, but I know deep down, this is a battle I have to overcome myself. And sometimes those are the hardest ones to conquer.