Wednesday 8 December 2021

The Artistic Crossroads: Embracing Vulnerability

I've wanted to start a blog for a long time but wasn't sure if I'd anything to offer.  I'm still unsure but hey, we can't give in to fear, right?  I hope to find my tribe, so we can share our stories, successes, struggles and learn from each other. 

Below is a bit of background to give some context. I hung up my paint brushes around seven years ago (2013) as a series of life events became overwhelming, at times heart-breaking.  For two of those years, I was physically and mentally unable to paint or make art of any kind.  I was burned out and broken. 

During my fine-art absence, I did other creative stuff - graphic design, illustration, digital painting and, recently I illustrated a children's book about recycling.  These pursuits were rewarding and immersing myself in the magical world of children's illustration was lots of fun.

Now, seven years on, the call to painting returns, but do I want to put myself in that place again - applying for shows, rejection and a studio of unsold work collecting dust, or do I focus on becoming a better illustrator?  

Starting over can be both exciting and terrifying.  It's scary and makes me feel vulnerable, but as a fan of Brene Brown, I try to adopt her philosophy of vulnerability being a strength.  

Dr Brown says, "Vulnerability is the birthplace of love, belonging, joy courage, empathy, and creativity.... If you run away the second those shaky feelings arise, you're just reinforcing the voice in your head that says I'm not good enough." 

If you are an artist and reading this, you may relate and I'd love to hear your thoughts.  What drives you to keep going, even when self-doubt and insecurity keep knocking?

Please leave comments below and have a great week. 

Image - Bird (2012), homage to Charlie Parker, 60 x 90 cm.  Oil and Collage on board

Brene Brown - Daring to be Vulnerable

This is a great Armchair Expert podcast with actor, writer, comedian, and director, B. J. Novak.  Dax and B. J.  talk about their insecurities and struggles that taunt them, despite their success.