Battling My Inner Art Demons

I draw a line. Erase. Try again. It’s not good enough. Try again. Not good enough. Now I’m frustrated. Hopeless. Stuck.

Okay. Let’s try again. Start over. But first… let’s scan that reference one more time.  Observe how other artists render that specific line, angle, color. Now try again. But – Oh look! Now my tablet is giving me those ugly red lines again. Sigh.

     Not good enough.

One of the most frustrating things about being an artist is having these intricate visions that seem within the realm of possibility. Since you’re able to effectively draw enough to constitute being an artist, it FEELS like you can achieve it. Simply envision a scene, and you’ll be able to sketch it out.

But it’s never that simple, even though it feels like it should. Or maybe that’s just me.  Maybe it’s because becoming good at art was easy but becoming great is an entirely different beast. I can confidently sketch out ideas, and copying from a reference is no problem, if not slightly time consuming. It feels like my identity as an artist is compromised; that I’m borrowing styles from the past. Does that mean I’m plagiarizing? And wondering when someone will find out, and I’ll pay the price for stolen art. Perhaps I’m suffering from impostor syndrome, and my art isn’t that bad. But who knows?

All I know is that I’m not good enough.

Sometimes, it doesn’t feel like I’m an artist. Scrolling through millions of Pinterest feeds and Instagram posts, looking at the amazing work that other people produce.  Their unique styles and ways of looking at the world. That special something, that I don’t have. All within the realm of possibility, but slightly out of reach.

When will I develop my own style? When will that time come? Is it simply because I’m not putting enough time and effort into trying to FIND my own style; is it something that you actively seek out, or do you stumble upon it while experimenting?

And even if I do develop my own style, it’s hard to settle on something permanent. I’m always looking out for better methods… For better ideas…For better everything.

     Because everything is not good enough.

And again, I’m back to square one. Staring at the void that is my empty canvas. Hoping that one day, I’ll see the light and feel confident in a certain method. Reproduce it a million times; call it my own unique art.

When will that time come? I hope it comes soon.

But for now, I’ll continue drawing. Ignore those voices in my head. The ones that say, “I’m not good enough.” Because it’s true. I’m not good enough.

But I’m not being kind to myself, because there is an addition to that statement.

     I’m not good enough. Yet.