I think for any creative person motivation is one of the biggest obstacles.
When I was in high school I took three art classes and one of those being an independent
study. The thing was that I wasn't devoted to becoming better every day... I've
always had plenty of ideas just not the drive. As I've aged I've realized that
there are many factors that hindered my progress.
1. Lack of confidence -- not only with art but in life because it translates
from life to your artwork. Your confidence should come from the fact that any
art you create honestly and with truth is one of a kind and genuine. Success or
universal praise will not come straight away and you may have to work at it
but, your art is great especially if your whole self is devoted to this path.
How could it not be? Your mind will always fill with doubts as is the case with
every artist because we have been taught to compare our work to others. This is
foolish especially with art because it is impossible to quantify what makes art
good or bad; it is in the eye of the beholder. Remind yourself of this when
those doubts come a knockin'.
2. A frustration when things don't come easily or turn out the way we intend
-- It's cliché but you have to roll with the punches, many times the accidents
are where you discover new things. So, you must accept that accidents are a
large part of continual growth. Now I still think you should strive and
struggle to become better. This point isn't about that struggle but, the
struggle is a natural part of growth and the key is not getting exasperated. As
Bruce Lee said, "Running water never grows stale so, you've just got to
keep on flowing"; this is especially true of any form of art. It is great
if you get yourself into a niche and are able to make a comfortable living from
it and I have nothing against those that do. To be truly great in any form you
must keep pushing, experimenting and, breaking down boundaries. Think of Pablo
Picasso he never settled for one style he always pushed his own
abilities--whether you like his work or not he undoubtedly has a very diverse catalogue.
3. A fear of failure and/or success -- I've always known I've had a fear of
failure, no one likes to bomb and art is a pretty personal expression. I hate
to say it and I've always disliked this attitude in other people but, you need
to just not give a shit what people think. This being said I'm not a
motivational speaker and I don't want to barf out mundane ideas and then say
"Now go out and become famous and successful". I just believe any
action or idea that you are deathly afraid of is the right direction to move in
and will lead to your most creative times. Fear of success can be as equally
paralyzing especially if you have introverted personality (which of course many
artists do). Even for those people that relish being in the limelight it can
still be very much pressure. You must take this as an integral part of being a
working artist whether you like it or not. When you do become successful just
remember your roots and don't believe the hype around yourself... for that has
been the folly of many successful people.
4. Be Positive -- Another wonderfully mundane point but, let’s be honest not
even in a hippy-ish, blue crystal or, chakra type of way; rather in a
realistic way. People want to be around happy positive people... everyone has
been around a person who is negative and can make any situation miserable. If
you are somewhat sane you avoid those types of people. So, in a practical sense
be positive, more people will want to be around you and, in turn you will have
more opportunities. This is harder said than done, I know this, and there are
many books written, religions and, seminars on this topic. So, nothing I can
say here will encapsulate those in their entirety but, what I can say and what
has worked for me is: filling your days with things that fill you with joy
(corny yes I know but bear with me). If you find yourself wanting to 'off'
people after watching the Godfather then maybe only watch it every once in a
while or, if exercise in the morning helps lighten your mood throughout the day
then, do that. Try and observe your mind and see how certain activities, music’s
or, movies affect your mood. Don't get discouraged if changes in your life do
not happen immediately if you are in a negative rut it may take a while to claw
your way out of it.
That's enough from the Willy
motivational speaker in me. I will admit and I can only be honest
about this, that I am not super successful as an artist yet. I only wrote this
post because, shit, I wish people had told me this when I was growing up.
Basically that someone had told me to quit being a pussy, people will like your
art if you just devote yourself to it and rip it up with confidence. So, go out
now and become an artist I seriously wish you the best and hope you succeed
Edit: This Article has been modified as of April 1st
… I found all
the sections too short to get across even a fraction of the points I wanted to