|The Scream by Edvard Munch|
In the Public Domain
Today’s blog is is about failure, a subject which almost no one wants to bring up or even think about.
I believe artists think about it more than other professions (using the term loosely, of course) because of the nature of our work being so visible for all to see. There are not many other jobs where the fruits of your labor are so immediately on view for others to consume or consider. OK, acting and writing are similar in this respect.
In a perfect world, however, artists wouldn’t think about failure at all.
But I do, and, if you’re an artist, you probably do, too. I think about it every time I put paintbrush to paper (or canvas, etc.). Not every moment, to be sure, but at some point in every session, the specter of failure sooner or later rises up to greet me.
It can be the stray brush mark that is difficult to correct. It can be the off-color paint mix that you were sure would appear perfectly but somehow misses the mark. It can be worrying about what others will think of your painting.
More often than not, it is insecurity, the fear of failure, I have about my abilities to render a pleasing or a thought-provoking or a soul-searching or whatever (you fill in the adjective) work of art rather than the artwork itself
I am not an insecure person, generally. Many artists are not insecure people, generally.
Insecurity is the mother of failure, not only in art, but especially in art.
Overcome insecurity. Your work is your expression of your artistic viewpoint. Be proud of your work and others will follow. Don’t let others judge your work in such a way that it impacts your ability to create your art.
As one successful artist, by all accounts, said to me recently, “Screw ‘em!”
Be bold and secure and forthright, and you will find the antidote to the “F” word.
Until next blog…