I have never counted how many times I have started something and have ended up hating it - or I don’t even finish it because the “middle part” of the process, I know, is a difficult one for me. Or how many times I have stared at a blank piece of paper…
Now-a-days I am sure the pandemic and its evolution has a lot to do with creative block. But many times, for me, it’s plain fear. Fear that I won’t be good enough, fear that people won’t like what I come up with, fear it will not be perfect.
Through time, I have come to notice that the majority of times I am going through this creative block, this fear, is mainly because I tend to compare myself with artists I admire.
In the last few days I have heard this same fear of “I might not be good enough” from many others, seasoned artists, my amazing students, and in very young grade students - I had the honor and privilege to talk to grade students from a local school and this topic also came up.
I am not a psychologist but I think this has loads to do with, well yes, being human! but also how maybe we weren’t reinforced as kids that we are unique and imperfectly PERFECT! In my case, I tended to admire (still do so, very very much!!!!) my sister’s intelligence and wanted her brain (lol) and get the grades she got. Then she went off to med school and I to design school and I thought, “wow, my sister is off to save lives and what am I doing?”. What I know now, a gazillion years later, is that we all have our own journey, let it be sisters that go to school to become a doctor one, and the other a designer, or 2 young designers exhibiting at a trade show, one goes back to El Salvador and the other to New Jersey - years later the one from NJ is a well known artist in the Surface Design community and the Salvadoran is, well, walking her own journey ;) We must understand we cannot compare ourselves with others... we all have our own talents and we are all capable to develop them to their highest potential! (Now, when my sister, the doctor with an MBA from a prestigious school, says "I am proud of you hermana..." My heart sings!!)
We have to be very aware that we have our own personal journey. That we must embrace our selves, our own styles, our line quality, our skills, practice like crazy if we want to get better, etc. And be very aware that all this make us “US” - makes me unique. If there is an artist we admire, know he or she went through the same process we are going through and let his/her work and journey motivate us to keep on going! LEAP! Show up and just create! I am sure you’ll be surprised many many times! I know it’s happened to me… Tell that little voice in your head, your fears, to come along your journey and watch you accomplish your goals and dreams! I do that often!