Art and Fear

More on art and fear.  Why am I dwelling on fear this month? Well simply put, it is something we all experience and at some point we must all face it. Perhaps the first step in facing it is to talk about it.

Fears often don’t seem quite as bad ……..

art and fear photo

when bought out into the light of day and examined with a little rationality and a dose of common or perhaps should I say – ‘uncommon’ sense. Generally our fears in relation to our art fall into two categories.

  • Fears about yourself.
  • Fears about what others will think.

One thing is certain, fears about your self-will prevent you from doing the best work you are capable of doing. – what sort of things might these fears look like?  Well for example, have you ever felt or said to yourself any of the following?

  • I’m not really an artist.
  • No one will want my work.
  • Others are better than me.
  • No gallery will ever want to show my work.
  • Nobody will understand my work.
  • Worse even, people might laugh at me either to my face or behind my back.
  • People don’t think being an artist is ‘real’ work
  • What if I wreck the work?
  • Artists are always poor.
  • I’m no good.
  • Why would other people want my work – even I can see it’s not any good?

Shall I go on?  Well I do believe that I’ve probably said every single one of those things to myself at some point.  And now my reply to all of that as I’m having those discussions with my self is to simply say “SO WHAT??!!” 

Do you know that every single one of those statements is an excuse to stop ourselves from doing ‘The Work’  They all let us of the hook if we believe them and give them power. THE ONLY DIFFERENCE between an ‘ARTIST’ and someone who thinks they aren’t one is;

  1. That the ‘Artist’ has these thoughts and continues the work anyway. Isn’t that how we define courage.  ‘To feel the fear and do it anyway.’ 

art and fear : bungee jumping photo

People don’t generally think of artists as courageous people, do they? But in fact, being an artist is probably one of the most courageous professions that one can be involved in.  Why?  Because every single time you show up at the easel, the foundry, the film studio, you have had to conquer some of those art and fear demons, just to even start work.  And then, once you’ve begun, you are constantly afraid you’re going to stuff it up…..

The only way out of this dilemma is to learn to trust your instincts and ask your self what is the worst that can happen…..  Even when that means you must rub off the area you just spent all afternoon working on! After all as I like to say to my students, ‘It is only canvas and paint!’

Look For Thursday’s Post:  Out of The Darkness

Next Monday’s Post: Birthdays

Posted By:  Kadira Jennings

Photo by Kevin B 3

Photo by SJByles

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