I figured out a while back that I write here really more for myself than anyone else. It’s my little public notebook. If someone finds something in it that helps, that’s a good thing. But I’ve found that the act of putting it down solidifies it somehow, makes it more real. As it turns out, some other art dude just wrote something on self-confidence in art and I thought, “Well, I can’t do that one now.” But then I figured, this is for me anyway and besides, my angle is a little different… it’s what I call the spin cycle.
This is the daily roller coaster of confidence and doubt. Self-confidence is vital to being productive, it’s the thing that turns inspiration into motivation and then into action. Too much stunts your growth and too little causes paralysis. It’s the daily up and down of this cycle that needs to be tamed a bit. Or at least understood for what it is. For me it’s like being on a 24 hour manic-depressive bender. Every day is a mix of highs and lows. The highs may be euphoric, but admittedly, they don’t come very often and the lows are stifling, making up the majority of my waking hours. When I’m not painting, it gets worse. I know that without action, there is no improvement and without improvement there is more room for self-doubt.
I made a pie chart because I spent almost two days trying to figure out how to do it in Illustrator and goshdarnit I’m gonna get my monies worth by making another one. Your results may vary. Art is hard on the psyche, at least for me. I have a lot of doubt but I’ve learned that this doubt is the motivator for being a better artist. I temper doubt with hope. Being an artist is a life long journey, a long path of learning and a slow boat to China toward improvement. I’ve learned not to judge myself by my last painting because there’s the hope that the next one will be better. And though I will allow comparative thinking, viewing my work against someone elses, rather than allow it to become a barrier, it becomes more of a bar that’s set before me to get over until the next bar shows itself.