Something inspired me to write/ think about this today, just because it is something I go through and I know a lot of other creative people go through it—and that is doubt.
Doubt has been an insidious participant in my creative journey and everyday life and artists I feel tend to be more attuned to it. I don’t think it’s because we are more vulnerable but we are more honest and aware of our “competition”. I say that because as a visual learner to see someone’s work that is technically “better” than yours causes an immediate categorization of yourself in comparison.
It’s similar to a teenage girl and everyone has a Juicy Couture bag and you have a bag from TJ Maxx. Bad analogy, but I hope you get my point. An artist is prone to immediately rank themselves among their peers. This happens in other fields as well, but I think with creative it’s…more present/ accepted behavior.
Obviously, this can be extremely unproductive.
In my case, I am aware I am my own worst enemy and have been making a lot of changes in order to try to combat this. I don’t think anyone realizes that the quality of work is more often than not a reflection of where you are at/ how you feel. Don’t get me wrong: if I worked at for example a graphic design firm or a job where I had to produce I would do it. And be great at it. It’s the self driven stuff that becomes difficult. More often than not that is why my work sometimes goes through a manic/ depressive sort of flow.
When I first got to California I pretty quickly got some work and produced daily. Then we moved into our apartment which was a good 2 hours away from my source of work. Work stopped coming because of distance.
In crept doubt and for a good two weeks I found it really difficult to produce anything. I was forcing myself to draw things I didn’t like and wasn’t really making anything I was happy with. Queue the presence of doubt.
I went to a networking event and got some inspiration to work: I sketched everyday making those portraits. I revived an old project to get some new material and downloaded Zbrush. Things settled.
Where I’m at now: I got a new job and I find it difficult to be inspired again because now my excuse is time and resources. Again this leads to doubt creeping in this time. I am told I need to revamp my portfolio: not a big deal but the weight of it is heavy when you wonder if there is an end game. Point is I feel resistance to it instead of accepting where I am at.
A friend asked me today what is holding me back from getting into my career path. Answer? Doubt.
On my way home from the gym I thought about this. Why do I believe this is hard or I’m not doing enough? The craziest part is I don’t think I am being hard on myself at all. Basically because I haven’t been actively thinking “Oh that’s crap” or outwardly critiquing my work. It’s an engrained sense of unworthiness. I know it’s been there and it’s shared by many of my friends. At this point, it’s the only thing holding me back.
So, I am working on this. Sorry for rambling. I’m not sure if that resonated with anyone or if anyone really cares but I think it’s important to chronicle a bit of the rollercoaster. For the month of June I will be enacting a few things to help me combat my doubt and will be hopefully sharing it here and in my Instagram. If anyone wants to join me that would be cool too. Here are my daily goals:
-workout 5 times a week
-meditate 10 mins a day
-learn something new for 30 mins
-read a book by the end of the month
-15 extra hours towards artwork a week