Woody Allen: ‘I’m not afraid of death; I just don’t want to be there when it happens.’
Fear. The bane of my life and of many other artists.
The crippling of creativity and sales. The all encompassing knowledge that I am not good enough and a fraud. Yes! A fraud.
When I was growing up all I wanted to do was be an artist. It was not ‘done’ however and, instead, I was expected to marry well and be wealthy and the lady I’d been brought up to be.
Rebelling young I left home under cover of darkness, not to return until thoroughly browbeaten by the truth of a life on the streets
I pushed all thoughts of art from my mind and worked diligently at forgetting past mistakes and moving forward. Then suddenly, years later, I knew I had to be a painter. I was meant to be a painter. Everything had led me to this defining moment…..except, the nagging doubts cast by those bad years have permeated into my everyday existence and now, although by profession an artist, I do not feel like an artist. I feel like a fraud. My whole life is wrapped up in art. I work with a vast company and artists. I work on art commissions. I paint. But I feel like it’s not me. That I’m not good. Not real. Not competent.
This fear has held me back from Exhibitions. It’s stopped me telling people I meet what I do. Oh sure I say I’m an artist…that is, after all, what I do, but I brush over it like it is of no consequence. If they ask if I’m any good, (always to me a strange question) I say not really. Or shrug.
If they ask how much I charge, I burst out with, too much…or…. oh, not much. I even wrote out a price gauge to give people when I was asked, but felt too embarrassed to hand it over, feeling I didn’t deserve that money.
Every painting I’ve ever sold I’ve given a discount on. I have a fair price but discount it. Every time.
Fear of being proud
Fear of being responsible
Fear of being called not good by others
Fear of going to the doors I need to open to move forward
Fear of being ridiculed, rejected.
Fear has been the bane of my life……..but I’m not the only one.
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