I know what it takes to overcome fear and thrive

as a self-taught artist.

I can’t be the only one that has struggled with fear, doubt and even anger when it comes to my art, right?  Especially when comparing myself to others. I used wonder how on earth I could ever think I could be a successful artist.

Let me share something with you…

When I tell people I am an artist, it’s always the beginning of an interesting conversation.  I have come to expect that at some point while the two of us are talking, some form of the following sentence will be spoken aloud- “I just don’t have any artistic talent.”  I have come to hate this phrase and all forms of it.

First of all, it took me so long to even start introducing myself as an artist.  I felt unworthy of the title.  It’s been a huge challenge for me to just start thinking of myself as a professional.  But since I’ve started having these conversations, I’ve realized one thing-

Talent is overrated.

I’m not saying it’s not important, but I feel that the word has become twisted. People misunderstand what it means to have talent.  They see the end result of a lifetime of hard work, practice and commitment, and say “Oh, you are so talented! I could never do what you do.”  They are right, but it’s not because they don’t have talent.  It’s because talent takes time, effort and passion.  Perhaps there are some that are more naturally prone to creative understanding, but for the rest of the world this is a fact-

You can become a great artist if you are willing to put in the time and practice.  

I believe so strongly that anyone that wants to can develop a creative talent.  The hard part is overcoming the natural fear that always comes when you begin something new.  Knowing where to start can also be a real challenge.  I know because I’ve been there.

Being a self-taught artist, I’ve spent so much time simply admiring the work of others, wondering how they did it, and being completely convinced that there was no way I was ever going to be able to do what they were doing.  But I started experimenting.  I started creating.  Most of my initial projects were absolute crap.  You can still see some of them on my blog if you go back to my very first posts- I shudder when I look at them.  But those projects were so important!  I was not only learning how to create great art; the creative process was helping me overcome those fears and nagging doubts.  I became more confident, I started applying for shows, and my journey has led me through learning not only about art, but also about business and countless other things.

Basically what I’m trying to say is I get it!  I understand the fear you feel, and recognize that those doubts in your mind are real barriers to progress.  But let me tell you, from one artist to another…

You can do this!

It will take some time.  There will always be days that come where you just want to give up.  But as you see the progress you make day by day, project by project, you’ll be amazed at the things you can actually do, with your own two hands!