All artists struggle. I don't think you'll find anyone who will tell you how easy it was to get into their trade and make it big. Let's face it, nothing really comes easy in this world.
On my journey to pursue an MFA, I learn new things everyday, and I struggle with old ones too. Let me sum up my problems.
Now before I get into some of my issues, understand that I'm honestly probably just organizing my thoughts on the matter. I'm the kind of person who struggles with figuring out what her emotions are. So I hope these issues are relatable to you and don't just make you feel upset too.
Before someone starts clamoring (like my husband) that I am skilled, that my art does look good or decent, that's not what I mean by I'm not skilled enough. I recognize that for where I am right now, I'm decent. I've come a long ways for drawing, and I've still got a long ways to go. And that's exactly what I mean, I'm not skill enough... yet. You see, there's a threshold where you go pro and you're recognize to some extent by others, companies, etc. I have not crossed that threshold. It's a big wall that I haven't figured out how to overcome because I want to be better, and I want to be better now. Sadly, that's just now how it works. So I doubt whether I'll ever reach high levels of art, I doubt I'll be able to make money, and I doubt I'll be able to pay of my loans at the end of this. And allllll of that, scares me. Immensely. Yet, what can I do but pick up my pencil and try again and again until I cross that wall?
If you know anything about me, you'll know I'm a person who harbors many regrets because I'm incapable of standing up for myself. I don't have a spine, but boy do I wish I did. I went into education because I didn't think I was good enough to get into an art program (which is precisely the point of an art program, if you were good enough you'd be making money!) and because I couldn't talk to my parents about changing degrees since they were paying for my college. I had many fights with my parents in my college days including about my major. Let's say my rebellious teenage years came a bit late... or all the emotions I withheld and bottled up finally exploded (this isn't healthy, don't do this). I love my parents dearly, but like most children, sometimes we never saw eye to eye. So I didn't stand up for myself, and I didn't get started in art earlier. I think of how much further I could be, what sort of industry I could be working for had I majored in some sort of art degree. But what's been done, has been done, and can't be changed. It's time to pick myself up and move forward.
is like my best friend... in the worst way. You know, one of those fake besties that clings to you like "You're totally my best friend!" Then goes behind your back and stabs you, then guilts you into thinking it's somehow your fault they stabbed you. A toxic relationship really. Yet I keep coming back for more, because I have no idea how to keep them at bay. I mean look, I worry incessantly about things I can't control, and I know I can't control them. That's why I worry. They're called irrational fears for a reason. In terms of art, I get so overwhelmed with where I'm going and how I'm gonna get there, I literally shut down and panic. There's no reason to, I know. What will happen will happen and by God's grace maybe something good will happen. But still, I worry about that one email I sent, did I sound mean? What about that stupid thing I said the other day, did I ruin a friendship? Is my art really that bad, maybe I'll never succeed in life? And so the wheels turn and turn, fighting me at every turn.
Ultimately, I guess we all face our own demons. How do you handle yours? Some of us are definitely more successful than others. I most certainly have to keep trying. People tell me I'm young (27 is young but it doesn't always feel like it), and I will figure it out, but that hopefulness feels rather hopeless some days. Despite all the negativity here, I'm not giving up, and I hope you don't either. Life is hard, find the things that make it matter in yours whether small or big, and I'm sure we'll both make it tomorrow.