This Post is by Keith Bond, Regular contributing writer for
FineArtViews. You should submit an article and share your views as a guest author by clicking here.
Every artist goes through times of frustration, disappointment, and doubt. I do and I am sure you do, too. These times are often compounded with economic conditions such as we are experiencing. It is easy to get discouraged when it is increasingly more difficult to sell your work. You may wonder if you should give it up.
Every artist needs reassurance from time to time that what you are doing is what you should be doing. You need to strengthen that faith in yourself and your work. Faith and fear cannot coexist.
Cynthia Morris wrote
"[Artists have a] Need for ample amounts of faith and belief.
When we’re making something from nothing, we need to be able to rely on faith and belief in ourselves and our work. Without this we can operate from despair and give up before our work is complete. Whether it's religious, spiritual or other, tap into your belief that you are on the right track and do it often."
Several months ago I read a talk on faith by Elder Kevin W. Pearson. It addressed religious faith, but the principles apply to faith or belief in your art, as well. He mentions "Six Destructive Ds"
which weaken our faith. Notice that one leads to the next. The sooner you reverse the downward spiral, the sooner your faith in your art will be strengthened.
Doubt is the cousin of fear. It stems from a lack of confidence in your art. Do you have confidence in your talent AND voice as an artist? It is easy to doubt that what you are doing has validity or that it is even what you should be doing. Find that faith and pull up the weeds of doubt before they encroach upon the fertile ground of your creativity.
As your expectations fail and you doubt your art, you become discouraged. Discouragement can lead to lessening your expectations. It can also lead to lessening your resolve or determination. Do you feel that there is no point in doing something right now because your efforts reap little or no results?
With greater discouragement, it is easy to get distracted by other things. Your focus is not where it should be. Do you use online forums as a way to avoid going back to the studio? Do you find yourself doing the things of little consequence rather than doing the things which will move your art and career upward? Perhaps you reorganize your studio rather than begin the next painting or following up with a collector.
Lack of Diligence
What is your commitment to your art? Has it been lacking lately? Have you given it less than your all? Do ever-growing lengths of time pass by before doing something with your art?
I am not suggesting that there are “laws or commandments of art”. It is more personal. I am speaking of YOUR laws or commandments or rules which you have set for yourself. Are you breaking those now? Are you willingly, defiantly, purposefully going against what you know you should do?
If disappointments in your art career lead you down this path of doubt and discouragement, it will eventually lead to disbelief in yourself as an artist. Disbelief is the opposite of belief; the opposite of faith. Do you think you don’t have what it takes? Do you feel that there is no hope?
There is Hope! Plant the Seeds
There is hope. You are an artist with a great gift. You have much to contribute. Find that grain of hope. Just as a seed needs care and nourishment to grow, so too does your faith in your art. Cultivate your faith. Strengthen your belief. Tend to your "garden" and find ways to overcome the destructive Ds. If you find that you are somewhere along this downward slope, check yourself before you slip further down. The world deserves your art. The world needs your art. And as Clint Watson often says, go change the world!