How hard is it to start something? Apparently, quite difficult. It seems simple in concept but these last few months have really put things in perspective for me. I’ve always been an artist at heart but when I look back to when I first knew that’s what I wanted to be and look at where I am now. I’ve achieved nothing if I’m honest with myself.
Let’s take a look.
How much art have I produced in the last 11 years? Zero.
How many personal projects have I finished? Zero.
How much work have I shared with everyone? You guessed it – zero.
Have I done anything to get myself out there? No, not really.
So why am I so frustrated that I haven’t “got there yet”? I know what you’re thinking – good point.
Tough questions. Tough responses. But a good long hard look at myself I think has been long and truly overdue. This time in lockdown during the pandemic has been a great time for reflection. As I’ve discovered it has also been a great time to find some motivation.
I’ve been feeling quite lost for the last couple of years to be honest. I have not been sure where I’m headed or what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. But finally I’ve figured that out. I want to be an artist. I’m tired of not doing the things I really want to do. Tired of not doing my art. Tired of not putting myself first. Tired of not being the best I can be.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve read my fair share of self-help articles and for a while thought I had it figured out and sorted. Turns out I’ve done the readings but not the work. So I’ve been working on myself these past few months while I’ve got this time to pause, reflect and take action.
While it may seem I’ve gone a little off point, I promise it’s all connected. My actions, my lack of direction all stem from a simple problem. Failing to act. Dreaming of something without action is madness. And yes that’s been me. Yes, I’m embarrassed to admit that too.
I’ve had a good long hard look at where I think I’ve gone wrong and what’s stopped me from starting.
Paralysis by thoughts
Am I creative? I don’t know if this is common amongst artists to question but for me, I’ve been questioning it for a very long time. Does my analytical mind mean I can’t be an artist? What is art? What is creativity? Am I creative? Do people think I’m creative? The “friend” at high school who retorted you don’t even take “art” in response to when I told them proudly I wanted to be an animator. That one has haunted me for a very long while. Why is it that we remember the negative but not the positive?
You know what I realised? We are all creative. It can be taught. Some are born with an innate ability but that just means they have a head start. Art is what you say it is – total light bulb moment. Who cares what people think about it! It’s my statement, my vision and my work. I have to say these thoughts were the most freeing – I felt an instant release. I’m not scared to share my work anymore.
This is the big one for me. There have been countless times I’ve tried to start projects or learning a new skill only to drop off the process a few weeks later. Some of that has been due to trying to achieve too much at one time, not making it a habit or prioritising it or simply not enough hours at the end of the day.
You know what I said to myself once I realised? Enough with the excuses. That is all this is. I’ve got the same number of hours in the day as the great artists of history and our time. It is what I’m doing with them that’s the difference between me and them. If they can do it, so can I.
Where to Start
This is perhaps the second largest block. For someone who loves 3d, drawing, paint, photography, film and sketching. Where on earth do you start? Will people hate that I swap around so much and don’t have a particular area? Will that hurt my ability to build a following? Guess what – excuses.
Trying to control the future and people’s responses to your work is a fruitless activity. Tough pill to swallow for those of us that like security and find comfort and control. But you have to let go of control to get control.
Instead of seeing my love of all of these areas as a downside, I now see it as a positive. I’m unique and so are my passions. That means that the artist I am is going to be a mix of those areas and that’s who I am. I’m not going to apologise. While it may take me longer to master these areas, that’s a journey I’m willing to jump on.
I accept that I will find the unique artist I’ll be in the end but for now it’s time to explore and discover, experiment to my heart’s content.
These three areas have been the primary blocks for me moving forward. I’m sure there’s lots more entwined in all that. Releasing these blocks combined with my artistic desire bubbling to the surface I’ve decided once and for all to call time on my old ways. It’s time to reach whatever potential I hold.
To this end I’ve been overhauling everything in my life physically and mentally.
To get to where I want to be, I must take MASSIVE ACTION. So I did.
Here’s what I’ve done so far:
- I got myself out of overwhelm by finishing client projects from my business and tasks that had backlogged and creating a system to ensure I do not find myself in this situation again.
- Got rid of items off my task list that have been hanging around for years and cleaned up to only the must do’s.
- By far the biggest action: focus my attention on what I want to achieve. NO MORE MULTI-TASKING. It’s one step at a time in the direction I want to travel.
- This website has been redesigned and setup for blogging and work showcasing.
- I’ve added a shop which will appear once I add my download art prints and other products that I’m planning on selling become available.
- My socials have had an overhaul – Instagram, and Facebook are all now available.
- I’ve set up my Patreon account for special offerings – will be released to the world shortly.
- YouTube is also now setup. I’ll be posting weekly videos on all things art & creativity – tutorials, short films, how-tos, watch as I create the art – you can head over here if you want to subscribe and get notified when I launch.
- Allocated time each day to mastering drawing and have a single project list with only a few items (not thousands) like I did before.
- Created lists for where to share the types of art I’m going to produce.
There has also been a lot of stuff not mentioned but implementing these key things means I have the processes and systems set up now so I can just create and release.
My aim with this blog is to be authentic. That means I’ll be sharing not just tutorials, my art, making-ofs but also talking about real things that I’m thinking about, come across, deal with on my journey. I want to help others who go through the same things as me and share an honest look at what it’s like on the journey to becoming the artist you desire.
If you’d like to follow me on this journey, please jump on the mailing list. I’ll send you a letter once a month which will have the blog posts for that month, the YouTube videos I’ve posted and any other bits and piece I’d like to share.
Thanks for sharing this journey with me!
Time to keep on getting started!