In the past two months, I have started making art again. I gave it up long ago, having had it essentially scared out of me. All the externals told me I wasn’t an artist. All the externals told me I was lacking.
I wasn’t as good as my brothers (one has his degree in painting, the other has made a career as a designer);
I wasn’t as creative as my ex (an architect who made great cartoons);
I certainly wasn’t as talented as the photographers I work with;
I wasn’t, well, fill in the blank.
But what I was, was pulled to make something more… something art.
I had always made food, inventing dishes and drinks, and made costumes for Hallowe’en, and done other Martha Stewart-y kinds of stuff, but that wasn’t art. I missed the feel of a pen or brush in my hand.
But what if I still sucked? What if that part of my brain that said I could do it, that I had skills and a way of seeing, what if it was wrong?
It doesn’t matter. Maybe what I am doing isn’t art. Maybe it’s not good. Maybe those to whom I’ve given the 4 pieces I’ve made so far are just being nice when they say they love them. It simply doesn’t matter.
What matters is that I am doing it. I stopped hiding behind the fear and am making something that I might, when a little buzzed on good bourbon, call art. And when I’m doing it, I am incredibly happy. I love the doing! And I’m proud of the results, for my own reasons.
We all have things were terrified of. I hear it from my clients all the time. Afraid to make cold calls. Afraid to show potential clients their most personal work. Afraid of putting themselves out there. Whatever it is you are afraid of, I challenge you to face that fear and to do it. It won’t be as bad as you think and maybe you’ll even realize that you’re better at it than you ever would have guessed.
Moreover, you can’t grow as a human unless to take the risks connected to facing your fears. If you fail, so what? You can try again with what you learned in the process. But I bet you succeed. Just a feeling, but bet you do.