Hello everyone! As some of you might know, it has been quite a while since I have published in this blog. As some of you might already know I moved last year to Edinburgh in search of new life experiences, to broaden the scope of my work and to ultimately learn more about myself and in terms of my artwork. It has been a little over a year and throughout this huge change, I have stumbled upon many road blocks that affected my creativity. Many of those came directly out of my own fears, doubts and insecurities as an artist. I have been guilty of judging myself, comparing to others, experiencing fear of putting my artwork out there and being affected by the know-so-popular “impostor syndrome”. Do those ring any bells? While trying to cope with all those blockages, I realized that I often shared only the content that showed me as being productive, being full of ideas or mastering my craft. In fact, underneath all that was the internal struggle to gain confidence in myself, appreciating my artwork and letting go of the fear of being judged and of failing as an artist. Believe me, this was no regular battle, this was an internal, Game of Thrones like clash with my own White Walkers (spoiler alert!) ^-^ In this post, I wanted to share with you a little about my personal experience and a great piece of advice that I think it might be useful.
Out of my comfort zone
One of first triggers I felt for all my fears and insecurities was leaving my comfort zone both physically and creatively. While it is true that only if you step out of it great things happen, at first for me it was met with huge internal resistance. Being away from home, in a different environment, I could no longer silence those insecurities or numb them away. That is precisely one of the reasons I wanted to live abroad, I literally wanted to burn all my bridges because I was aware that I have always had a great lack of confidence in myself and struggled with self-esteem. Creatively, also, I wanted to improve so I started taking lessons on botanical art and attempted other subjects other than food such as the red fox you see at the image of this post. Initially, I felt good trying new things but I started judging myself and my artwork even harder. Again, while I was posting how fun it was to do this, I was internally in conflict.
Why didn’t I share this sooner? Because as I read in a tweet from Glennon Doyle, "make sure you're sharing from your scars, not your open wounds." I am now at a much better place in terms of confidence than I was a few months, let alone a year ago. Specifically when tackling this red fox illustration, I hit a wall. I couldn’t seem to make piece work in my eyes. This is a very subjective issue I am aware of that. I had to stop and then come back to this piece and refrain from judging the results. It helped that during this last month I was visiting home back in Barcelona and could recharge in a familiar environment. Otherwise, if I had continued like I was doing, I would have eventually lost all the fun that one should get from creating, from doing the things one loves. During that time in which I thought to myself that I was doing nothing but being away on a vacation, I was actually doing something powerful for me. I was regaining my joy and anticipation for my artwork.
Climb Every Mountain
Any The Sound of Music fans here? Yes, this is one of my go-to films when I need important advice or just to remind myself that purely beautiful things and works of art exist. I was reminded again yesterday of that film when I was browsing through Twitter and saw a clip of a conversation with Japanese director Akira Kurosawa in which he spoke this:
Now, you might be thinking what’s this all about Balzac and cinema and writing, how does this apply to me? Here’s the good part of that conversation:
See! I think that is astounding piece of advice for every artist or creator. To learn to keep going one step at a time, don’t judge the results, just keep at it and learn to appreciate the process. That was so inspiring for me and prompt me to write this post and share it. When you get frustrated or doubts and fears strike, it can be easy to try and just give up. So this is a reminder that you shouldn’t if that’s what it makes you happy and alive. Here’s a bonus reminder from a terrific film:
So, if things get hard, keep going. That’s what I did, what I do, what we all do. Climb every mountain or, better yet, climb every Monday!