Artists are inherently sensitive. They see things that others often don't. They feel things more than the average bear (on average). The irony is that many artists are actually too sensitive to be successful artists.
Let's assume that success equates with popularity of your work and financial gain. (Not the ever-elusive posthumous fame that we naturally think of when it comes to artists). Being a successful artist of any kind requires a steely resolve, persistence, not caring what others think, putting your most sensitive, vulnerable self out there and then having to be ok with it getting beaten up, squashed, tossed aside or ignored.
Being an artist is joyful and painful all at the same time.
If you ignore your artistic tendencies, you are forever haunted by your artistic self. It gnaws at your soul. There are the "what ifs" and a burning physical NEED to create things and to express things that never, ever goes away. It will ultimately drive you nuts if you don't do something about it.
If you give in to that need, there is the constant struggle of having to deal with the judgement of what you created (self imposed or otherwise). There is the constant thought that your art isn't good enough or that it needs to be financially successful to be considered worthwhile. In most cases you NEED it to be financially successful so that you can afford to keep making art at all.
Throughout your life as an artist, a LOT of people will tell you not to be an artist. It isn't practical. It's a waste of your potential (that was a big one that I got quite frequently. Potential for WHAT I never knew).
What to do?
"To be, or not to be. That is the question."
When you have an artistic soul, you only really have one choice... which basically means you have no choice at all. You need to find your outlets and your artistic vices and you need to try to make positive use of your particular brand of artistry, whatever it is.
If you try to ignore your art in the interest of practicality --- it will drive you crazy. If you go ahead and make your art --- it will drive you crazy. See the problem? I look at it like this: If you ignore your artistic self, you deprive the world of your point of view, and you deprive yourself of the opportunity to give something back to the world (which when done the right way can make you feel pretty darn good in the process).
You never know who needs your art or who you might inspire if you can reach out and share who you are with the right people.
So don't be afraid.
Whether you do or don't pursue your art, it will hurt either way. But maybe, even though it might hurt some, it can also bring joy. You can inspire someone by sharing your art, or you can band together with a tribe of fellow sensitives for support.
So judgement smudgement.
There are lots of us who understand. And there is strength in numbers. We are out here waiting for you and waiting to support you on your journey. So what are you waiting for?
© 2018 Krysta Bernhardt. All Rights Reserved.