It Happens to the Best of Us
Creative insecurity can prevent us from fully taking part in the creative process.
Nearly every artist I know has experienced this to some degree. This insecurity can take shape in two ways.
- Creative insecurity prevents us from trying to create at all.
- It prevents us from sharing our work with the public.
I’ve experienced both of these. In the beginning, despite everyone’s praises, I was apprehensive about trying new art skills. I was also very apprehensive about publicly showing my work.
Let me try to explain.
From the time I could hold a writing instrument, it seemed I always had one in hand. A pencil, a crayon…it didn’t matter. It was something I enjoyed doing and something I seemed to have a knack for.
As I got older, my skills went from decent to proficient. Beyond showing my work to a few close friends and family, I never considered posting my work online.
What if my work was just okay and not really as good as I thought? Maybe my friends and family were just being nice when they told me they liked my work. What if I was really like that person who thinks they have a really good singing voice, but in reality it’s like nails on a chalkboard? Or the person who thinks they can dance really well, but actually resembles Elaine from Seinfeld?
We are all our own worst critics.
We don’t need anyone else’s criticism. Artists already do a pretty good job at wallowing in their own creative insecurity. Fortunately for me, it wasn’t a paralyzing fear. But I always felt a pretty intense knot of apprehension in my gut when a new pair of eyes would see my work for the first time.
Despite the number of favorable comments I’ve gotten over the years, the insecurities remained. Comments like, “Why aren’t you doing this full time?” or “You should apply to work at Disney or Pixar!” Those are fantastic comments, but my brain was telling me that they were just being nice.