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i recently read a blog post that discussed how we question our worthiness as artists.
we live in a mainstream culture of competition. thus, the "struggle" to "perfect" ourselves in whatever we do. art school taught us that as well as competitive sports.
i am learning as i age with my craft, that struggle or angst or competition is non-productive and actually puts me in a tailspin of questioning how i fit in. i don't "fit" in. nor will i ever. nor do i want to.
an artist's job is to not fit in. an artist's job is to present from a perspective that is not ordinary to inspire growth and beauty. so when i hit a wall, the first thing that comes to mind, or heart, is " how can i see from another point of view?" what this question inspires is curiosity, not angst. so the angst never gets a strong foothold. the ensuing process is not struggle; it is visioning, exploring, creating. especially as i let go of producing a product.
i strive to break the myth of the angst of an artist. misery is not a part of creating. misery is a block. it enables a continuing myth of struggle, angst, instability and, yes, co-dependancy on an addiction that artists can only create with the help of stress. as was pointed out, the process of painting and removing yourself from the world actually limits the stress. in that process is the quality of curiosity, exploration, creativity. and that is a joyous experience! if we view ourselves as measures of how we stack up or compete in the world, whether with other artists or with our culture, we stifle the very thing that brings us our unique vision and our ability to grow as artists and people.
so for all artists out there, let's look at our work as something positive that brings us joy and an opportunity to share another perspective without the limiting quality of angst. after all, when we work in our studios we are not competing with other artists or our previous selves. we areĀ  explorers on an exciting path of creating. we are all worthy of the path we have chosen. it's all in a mindset or more importantly, a heart-set.