Self Doubt

There comes a time in every artist’s life where they doubt everything they do.  Now would be one of those times for me. 

Logic is telling me that I should just continue on my path.  Keep drawing.  Keep practicing.  KEEP MOVING.  But there is this little emotional demon telling me that I am not good enough.  There are others better.  The details just aren’t cutting it.  Why keep going?

One of the things that doesn’t help… there are moments when I am reading some comments (not in any way directed at me) that are actually saying how working from photographs isn’t really art.  People who use photo reference are just lazy artists trying to make a quick buck.  If you can’t work from your own mind, then you aren’t creative.  Only cheaters use photos.  Using photo reference is just like tracing. Oh man, the list goes on.

My fingers itch to pick up my pencils and just work through the frustration, but my mind is telling me that it isn’t worth the effort.  Maybe it’s just a thing… maybe it will pass, like it always does.

But, don’t get me wrong!  Most of the time, that is what pushes me forward.  When I don’t like what I am doing, I try to improve.  I try to overcome what made me doubt my work in the first place.

I think this is what happened with the last portrait I did.  Usually, in 5 hours time, I go from start to finish on one portrait.  Rarely do I pass the 7 hour mark.  They aren’t big, so it’s not like I am just rushing them out.  However, this last one I did took 10 days.  TEN DAYS.  Looks like I am in a bit of a down spot.  It happens.  I just have to talk myself out of it.

Why am I saying this?  Well, because there are people who think that just because someone has success in something means they must “have it all!” No, I don’t.  Most artists are very insecure, no matter what face they put on.  Myself included.  I have this need for approval.  My own approval.  I criticize myself to the point where a lot of things I do never get shown in public, or even to family members.  Countless drawings, paintings, and sketches get trashed before ever having the chance to see the light of day.

I don’t have it all figured out.


2 thoughts on “Self Doubt

  1. Thank you for this, I am grappling self doubt at the moment. Its nice to hear I’m not the only one. Art is a hard field, you do it for the passion but the self doubt creeps into to make me rethink everything. I am trying to remind myself I paint because I love it, not for others approval but in this day and age of social media it is hard not to get discouraged and lose sight

    1. Yes! Social media makes the experience all the more “real.” Comparing ourselves to others also doesn’t help at all. You have to shake it off and remember that you are doing this for yourself and not for everyone else. Of course, that is easier said than done… and no one can really help with that, unfortunately lol. But it really does help to know that you definitely aren’t alone! This article was written back in 2017, and I still come back to it now and then to remind myself that it’ll be ok.

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