Friday, February 3, 2012

Thoughts on doubt.

Once a month, I drop by a local museum, where a group gathering takes place. The purpose of this event is social networking and discussion of the issues professional artists face in trying to make a living. There is usually a bottle of wine or two involved, purely as a means of a social lubricant.

 As makers of non-mandatory things who work for ourselves, we take on a host of demons both on the outside and inside. What did this person mean when they complimented our work? Why have the fees for this show skyrocketed? Where does the guy in the adjacent booth attract all those people from…? Those are just the superficial questions from someone who’s done a bit of a farmers’ market selling last winter. 

It's in these group meetings that you really begin to see the doubt in people. As a matter of fact, most people met through this group, those who practice art or craft at a hobby level, have at some point admit their own shaky confidence. Perhaps, those who practice professionally have learned to keep it under the wraps a bit better?

If so, and if self-doubt is squish able with practice, it is a skill that should be taught as a matter of course during any sort of art education. Since, believe it or not, art is just one of many fields in which there’s always going to be someone better than you, someone more successful, someone better rounded. I think it’s time that we accept this as a fact and stop letting other peoples’ accomplishments and our own depressed musings drag us down.

As Elrin once said, “Do what you want to do, and be nice to other people.”  I would add- "And to hell with the rest."