I find being a creative person seems to come with a degree of anxiety. Since there are no rules for innovation, it shouldn’t be a surprise self-doubt comes with the territory. The risk of second guessing myself is always an unsettling factor in my work. Still, innovation often happens by accident without a hint of its origin. I feel sometimes I have to keep moving, reading art magazines, going to the galleries, talking to fellow artists, searching out other artist’s websites just to keep myself open and ready for new ideas. All I can do is keep showing up, literally.
Most people associate self-doubt with young artists, but I can tell you, it never goes away. You would think after so many years of working on my art, I would have conquered uncertainty. While I have confidence in my skills, I’m not always sure about the direction I’m going. I question everything—nothing comes easily. What I’ve learned is how to use this; how to motivate myself to keep improving my work.
Of one thing I’m sure, becoming too comfortable stops the flow of new ideas. I call this plateauing. My first clue this has happened is when my work becomes too predictable. It doesn’t surprise me anymore. There are no new problems to solve, nothing holds my interest beyond just finishing the piece. Boredom and doubt have a way of taking over and that’s never good.
I don’t want to waste my time doing ordinary work. My goal is always to push forward and not allow myself to stall. So I figure, being a little afraid is good. Self-doubt motivates me to keep working towards that illusive masterpiece.