Have you ever assumed you would be terrible at something before you even attempted it? I always assumed I would be horrendous at all art because I cannot draw images even remotely resembling reality. My mindset was changed by a conversation with an elderly artist the other day. We were talking about her recent artwork and she said, “You know I didn’t even start painting until a few years ago.” The white in her hair and wrinkles extending her smile give notice to her mature age, but the conversation felt like one you have with a child drawing for the first time. “Really, well I’ve always been terrible at art,” I say back. She looked at me with confusion in her eyes and said, “Maybe you just haven’t found your art yet.”
This conversation has not, and probably will never, leave my mind. I work in an art studio and am surrounded by creativity constantly, but I always felt like an outsider. I thought I was better off sticking to marketing and not even gambling in the world of art. Better to be a supporter than a failed creator, right? Wrong. I’ve never tried to see what would happen if I translated what is in my imagination to a physical element. There are so many mediums in art that I have never touched and I have no idea what possibilities are out there.
I challenge you to look at your own life and see what areas remain untouched. Is there a skill you’ve always been intrigued by but shied away due to the unknown outcome? Do you admire athleticism but watch it on t.v. instead of joining an intramural team yourself? I hope you give yourself a chance and find the skill that works for you. It may take time to learn the craft, but if you trust yourself it will come that much easier.
I plan to pick up a paintbrush and see what flows out when I ignore the technicalities associated with it. Do I know which colors mix well or what brush wold work best? No. But I do know that bringing my imagination to life gives me immense joy. We all deserve that happiness for ourselves and the chance to be raw in our expressions. If we remain crippled by fear there will be no growth in the world.
Remember that the world is not the pretty picture painted on social media. Behind every artist’s post there are 10 pieces of art collecting dust. We all put our best face on for the public to see, but no one started out in this perceived perfection. We’ve all had self-doubt, but overcoming it makes that beautiful picture possible. Take a chance on yourself and break away from your own mental restraints to produce your version of life.