Whenever I create something, there is always self doubt pushing me back. Every step of the way I feel it swarm and manifest, trying to stop my hand from picking up the paintbrush. I always ask myself these questions and thoughts that I could never bring myself to reply to.
But today, I am answering them. I am facing myself. I am validating my art.
“Everything you make creates such a huge mess, you don’t even know what you’re doing.”
There’s a beauty in the way oil paint clings to everything it touches. The colors stay with me. The yellow, vibrant and so temptingly happy, sticks to my fingers and smears across everything, desperate to make its joy known to everyone that sees it. This is my time to be a child again, to be carefree, to let go of the idea of consequences. There’s no need to be afraid of a mess you can always clean up. There’s every reason to be afraid of letting that stop me from creating.
And there’s pride to be had in trying things that scare me, that’s where growth comes from. I grow every time I squeeze out a little more paint, pick up another pencil, and show the world all the things I keep silent.
“You’ve started too late, other kids have been painting for years, people younger than you have mastered everything you struggle with.”
I create art first and foremost for myself, because of the joy it brings me, because of what I have to say. I should take inspiration from all of the people with more experience than me, lack of skill does not invalidate my art. It allows me to create a story of progress and perseverance, a story that expands every time I find the courage and strength to create another piece.
“You’ve spent months on this, someone could make a better version of it in minutes.”
That’s the thing about a painting, it never grows impatient. When I need a break, I can leave it for days, weeks, months. And when I am ready, I can add on to it, layer by layer. That’s the thing about art, no one needs to create at the same pace as anyone else. It will always be waiting for you, waiting for when you’re ready, understanding.
“You know you’ll never be a real artist, right?”
I create art, so I am a real artist. My work doesn’t have to be anyone’s definition of good to be valid. There is nothing I have to conform to in order to be taken seriously. There is no law I have to abide by in art. I have the power to create everything I think of, and I have the strength to express everything I am scared to. My art is very much real, and very much important, and so is yours.
Never let fear prevent you from changing the world.