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Creative Confidence

F@*# self-doubt. I despise it. I hold it in contempt, along with the hell-spawned ooze-pit of Reistance from which it crawled. I will NEVER back off. I will NEVER give the work anything less than 100%. If I go down in flames, so be it. I’ll be back. ~Steven Pressfield

 Are you confident in your ability to be creative? Do you feel free enough in your spirit to create your own art without fear of being judged? Do you have the courage to create irrespective of what others might say about the child borne of your creative passion?

When I was a kid, I frequently used to refuse to engage in creative endeavors or I would purposely create something bad just to prove I wasn’t artistic. I put these limits on myself because my brothers were quite the artists, one was great at drawing and the other a musician. My mindset took the perspective that since I couldn’t be a better artist than them I would just avoid creative undertakings all together, I would supress my creative inclinations. I believe this mindset came about because I was silly enough to compare myself to others and I was extremely competitive. There are times, I have learned, that having an extremely competitive nature can hinder one’s ability to grow, to enjoy.

I didn’t really begin to indulge my creative instincts until I graduated from college. My creative expression began with the written word then to photography followed by painting with vibrant acrylics. For a couple of years I was heavy into woodwork which lead to crafting knife handles out of uncommon wooods and other exotic materials. This past year, I have come full circle to expressing myself with the written word via this blog. I toyed with the idea of writing a book, a personal experience trieste, but the circumstances around which the book was to be themed, my life in an exotic land, fell through so, at this time, the plan to write a book is on hold.

Oddly enought, I am most likely to enter the zone when I am creating my art. I say oddly, because for a long time I surpressed this instinct out of fear of not measuring up to someone else, to anyone else. I say oddly, because, growing up, I considered myself an academic, an intellectual, not a creative, not one of those oddball artists wearing funny clothing and spouting bizarre thoughts. I was a ‘normal’ person.

 I have since come to believe that we all have a creative instinct, an instinct to create our own art, an inner drive to create our own beauty. I believe we tend to not indulge this deep rooted instinct out of fear, out of fear of criticism, out of fear of rejection, out of fear we are not good enough.

My art does not win awards, does not get displayed in a gallery, does not make me famous. My art does not bring me financial gain. I have sold a few photos but not enough to come close to offsetting the financial investment in materials, not enough to pay back the time spent creating my art. In fact, the money received from my photographs just barely covered the cost to have the photo produced by the local photo store.

But that’s ok because I don’t create art for others. If someone else finds my art pleasing then I’m glad I could bring some joy into their life. If not then there is no lasting affect on me. I don’t create art for financial gain. I create art because I enjoy expressing myself through creative endeavors. I create art because I get a buzz from the creative process, from using my skills to create something I find to be beautiful. In the long run, when it comes to my art, the only opinion that really matters is mine because I create art for art’s sake, for my personal satisfaction. I create art because my soul breathing is expressing itself in the beauty of my art. To not breathe would be unsatisfying at best and death at worst.

What beauty does your soul express in your art? What beauty would you create if you didn’t fear being judged?


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