Facing the fear of the unknown

I love to grow, learn, develop, experiment and explore as an artist. Try new things. Get out of my box. Get inspired by that new style or materials and my heart thinks “I want to do that too”. Dream about something I have always wanted to draw (but haven’t yet) and suddenly have the urge to just go for it.

But then the fear and insecurities of the unknown creep up on me. I just want to stay in my warm comfortable blanket and not go out and face the wind and changing of the seasons. I just want to stay in the shallow part of my art pool and not climb up the diving board and dive into the deep part. But I know if I don’t, then I will be stuck in the same place. I won’t be able to evolve.

So, like any new thing I do, I take it slow. Step by step, day by day. If I can’t go out and face the wind, I get out of bed and get dressed. If I can’t gather up the courage to go up to the board, I swim a little deeper (just a little), from the shallow part I am in. If my hands shake just thinking about attempting that particular style, I draw just one stroke, and leave the rest for the next day. And that is enough. That is more than enough. Because it is progress. It is not nothing.

The beautiful thing about this is that you get better each day. You learn something new about yourself. That hard, difficult stuff, those feelings of doubt, soon melt away. And if you don’t get it right the first time, or even second time, you pick yourself up and try again. And again. You do it because you don’t fear the unknown anymore, you are starting to enjoy it.  And as time passes, and you patiently go through it step by step, it doesn’t feel new anymore. It becomes a part of you. And now you are ready for the next new thing on your list.

2 thoughts

  1. I can relate. My biggest motivational obstacle is the feeling that ultimately it doesn’t matter if I continue to make artwork. Some days I do it anyway, most days though I confess that I don’t. Your dedication is inspiring, and hopefully I’ll get motivated again soon.
    I’m reminded of a quote by one of my favorite artists Chuck Close- “You don’t have to reinvent the wheel every day. Today you will do what you did yesterday, and tomorrow you will do what you did today. Eventually you will get somewhere.”

    • I hope this inspires you to create again. Your art matters and people want to see it. Love that quote and that is a good place to start.

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