For me, one of the biggest struggles of being an artist is the pressure I put on myself to be creative.
#178 Disappointment – The Frshta Show
I like to write, I like to paint, I like to draw, I like to create films, I like to play the piano and just be a creative person in general. I’m not the best at any of these things but I like doing these things because they make me happy and it’s a way for me to express myself.
Rarely, I write something that I’m very proud of or paint something that I think is beautiful. When you create something so beautiful in any creative outlet it inspires you to keep creating. The problem is most of the stuff I make…sucks.
I get self-conscious about my writing because I know it’s not terrific. I want to make sure my audience is reading stuff that is of quality and worth their time.
I understand that I can’t always make it worthwhile for my audience.
I feel embarrassed when my writing is rushed with grammar mistakes. I am embarrassed when my diction is that of a first-grader. I try to do better but I don’t have the mental energy occasionally. There is no inspiration. In graduate school, our professors would argue that there is no such thing as inspiration but I beg to differ. My professors didn’t believe in writer’s block either. Their technique was to just keep doing it and results will come. Writing was considered a muscle that has to be used every day for the muscle to get stronger and thrive. Therefore, I keep writing because I love it and I want this muscle to improve. I have so much to say.
A couple of years ago, I spent the Summer painting almost every single day. My friends took me to a painting class for my birthday and it was so much fun. It was one of the few times I was able to shut my mind off and just focus on something. It helped my anxiety big time.
It’s very interesting because my friends’ paintings were all better than mine. I mean their tree branches were so attractive and it was just beautiful. My painting was a chaotic mess and I kept wishing mines looked like everybody else’s.
I wanted to feel talented like them. I feel none of us had ever really dabbled in painting why couldn’t I thrive too? Ha! Isn’t that problem with so many of us? We just sit and compare ourselves to the world and take the joy out of the experience.
Still, I enjoyed painting in the feeling that they gave me. I remember that same night after the painting class, I went home and dug out my paints and my canvas from under my bed that I had received as a gift.
It was so nice not to hear my brain or my thoughts while I painted. I started painting at least three times a week and during the summer when school is out I have nothing to do so I would spend my mornings’ painting until I had to go to work in the evenings.
I started watching tutorials and it would take some time because the tutorial took three hours but I enjoyed doing it. The summer ended and I had less time and I became lazy about it. At the end of each painting, I would compare it to the one that the tutorial showed. Mines were always messy and all over the place. It would be frustrating because I spent so much time trying to do a good job and it still wasn’t good. Same thing happened with drawing but I like to think I am a better painter.
It always reminded me of when I was younger. I would try sports or video games with my cousins and my siblings. Specifically, I recall playing tennis with my cousin and my sister. They were all good at tennis naturally. They had just picked up some rackets for the first time and we went to go play. They understood the game so easily but I kept missing the ball.
Even at our first family wedding, everybody was dancing and looked coordinated but I was always uncoordinated.
I was known as the uncoordinated one because nothing I did was good.
I was good at one thing though. I was always told that I should be a lawyer because of my sharp tongue and my fierce wit. That’s something that I had over all of my family.
As I grew older, the wit and fierceness faded a little. I think I kind of lost it. It comes naturally when I’m with certain people because I’m comfortable and I don’t feel judged.
The truth is I am not good at a lot of the things I like.
I use to love the theater but I was never a good actress. I couldn’t act, dance, or sing even though I wanted to so badly though.
I wanted to be talented.
I’ve tried to pick up the brush again and paint but it has been hard to get back to my skill set from that one summer I spent every day painting. I stopped practicing and it all went downhill. It went from worse to super worse.
I tried painting again this weekend. I watched the movie Onward and it was so beautiful. I wanted to paint a city with buildings and a beautiful night sky. A beautiful moon and some stars too. It did not look like that at all. Here let me show you my beautiful disaster. Don’t LAUGH!
See, it’s so hard for me to even do anything creative anymore because the result always disappoints me.
It’s like my writing, I push myself to write a blog every week even if I am not proud of it. I spent so much time hiding my blog from people because I was embarrassed by my emotional rants and my lack of grammar or my simple vocabulary. How can I ask friends and colleagues to read my blog? These are some of my most sincere thoughts. It leaves me vulnerable. What if they think it sucks or judge me? What if they think less of me?
Recently, someone told me…”everyone has dark moments but you are brave enough to get it on paper and share with others.”
Damn…that got me. For the first time in a long time, I knew I needed to keep writing.
Do you know how much of my life I have spent telling myself what is the point….I suck at it anyways? I do this EVERY SINGLE DAY. Everyday I think about how much I have disappointed myself. I have wasted so much time and I am still doing it. I am trying though so thank you for being here. Thank you for reading…it motivates me to keep going.
My piano teacher/therapist, Michael aka Gandalf, has spent so much time trying to help me understand that it isn’t about talent. I don’t know why he bothers but gosh I am so grateful for him…even though he can be a pain in my behind. LOL. He really listens or he is great at pretending too. =) =p
He went out of his way to print be a Kurt Vonnegut quote and guess what? I had no idea who that was…(embarrassing). I try to read this as often as possible. I hope it inspires others too.