I‘ve never been the best at keeping to a timeline and the gap between my first post and this one is a good showcase of that. I just didn’t want to post here without having something specific to talk about and I feel like I kinda do now.
I’ve been making art for over 25 years at this point, having started as a little guy, and I always wondered exactly when I’d stop feeling like a mediocre wannabe artist and finally feel like an actual creator – a real life artist. After twenty five years of working on my craft either unskillfully swiping at the phantoms of the images I see in my head or actively training myself with techniques that actually do something to better an artist I’ve come to one painfully inescapable conclusion to that question – never.
That’s not necessarily a bad thing, mind you and I’m not the only one who feels that way. As a matter of fact it seems like every artist I personally love that I get any one-on-one interaction with will admit to feeling like a bit of a phony calling themselves an artist. Whether it be a societal thing, or upbringing, or maybe just something intrinsic in creative people, I’ll never know, but we all seem to think we’re pretending to be great artists. That’s a bit frustrating to non-artists I hear.
Really, the crux of the problem starts as a kid I think. You spend a lot of time trying to get good and have the roadblock of starting at zero. So you try to get better. You don’t even consider yourself a student of art at that point, that comes later. And when it does come, that’s where we get stuck. You should always consider yourself a student – always learning new things and striving to become better – but we never allow ourselves to gain that new title we wanted – artist. Not really, anyway. People on the outside call us artists, creators, musicians, whatever else. But we don’t feel that way about ourselves. I certainly don’t feel that way.
I think the purpose of this post is just to remind myself, and other artists or creators who may be feeling similarly, that being your own toughest critic only helps you as a creator if you actively try to work on fixing those gaps you point out to yourself. You can never be an artist if you don’t allow yourself to be. If you don’t believe you’re one, why should anyone else? I spend a lot of time beating myself up over my perceived lack of ability and not enough time working on bringing that level of skill up to where I’ll be satisfied. Although, I’ll never be satisfied. Imagine that kind of frustration non-creator friends.
In news: I’ve picked up an Instagram page where I’ll be posting some behind-the-scenes sketches, doodles, and ideas as well as some candid photos and the like if anyone on the face of the planet would be interested in that. You can find me at instagram.com/heresjeff/?hl=en