The Dark Side of Artistic Creation

July 7, 2018

Yes, there is a dark side the artistic process.  No one really talks about it. Everybody thinks that everything we create is beautiful and awesome.  People imagine a bright studio, filled with music, and the artist wearing splattered clothes while passionately and blissfully working away at their inspired creation. So idealistic and romantic. Instagram would have you believe it too with all the perfectly clean and organized studio shots.  I'm here to tell you, that scenario isn't always the case.

 

What happens when you finish a piece and you just don't like it? Maybe even hate it? 

 

It's depressing. I just made a piece and I don't like it. I don't even know why. I just don't like it. I don't like the lines. I don't like the colours together. I don't like the way the piece turned out. I hate it. F*ck. So, now what? I think one of the depressing realities is the amount of time and resources that went into the piece that I don't believe is successful. Could it just be me and my opinion? Possibly. I've learned that I cannot gauge buyers' likes or what sells.

 

At the moment, I'm brooding. I'm disappointed. And this is the monologue going on in my head.....

 

What the hell I'm doing?

I suck. 

Maybe it's best if I just quit.

I am such a fake at this artist thing.

Who am I to believe that I have enough talent to succeed as a professional artist?

So-and-so is doing so much better than me.

I should just quit.

Doesn't matter what credentials I've gained, it's not enough.

How can I possibly think I can make a living off of my art?

Why couldn't I be a normal person and just be happy with a regular career following society's mores and norms?

No one really thinks I'm any good, they're all just being nice.

 

I consider alternatives to being an artist, and get a "real job". However, getting an office job is even more depressing, so I quickly abandon that idea.

 

But it's mostly, "I suck".

 

I know this is just a temporary state of mind, but in the moment, being an artist is the worst idea. Ever. Everyone understands having a bad day at the office, but I don't think people empathize with having a bad day in the studio. Why? Because in the end, I am still doing what I love the most, making art. And that's why I keep going. Art is my passion and my soul and I can't imagine doing anything else. No matter what else I do, I always come back to making my own art.

 

In the meantime, I will leave the painting and let it dry. As my painting professor at the University of Waterloo, Tony Urquhart, use to say, "Let the painting fairies come overnight and work their magic. The work will look better tomorrow."

 

                                        The painting. I don't like it and I don't even know why.

 

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