You know that feeling when you’re on a creative high and you suddenly come to a screening halt? It’s really frustrating, isn’t it? Everything feels like it’s going great and for some reason, your brain suddenly just decides that it’s not going to come up with any ideas at all. There are no real ways to tackle that unless you’ve got an overactive imagination. Then again, I’ve seen so many people who let their imagination run wild just shut down for a bit because they simply cannot think of anything good. That’s the problem with all of us, isn’t it? We are so obsessed with outdoing ourselves that we often end up losing sight of what actually matters.
The entire reason you do what you do is that you love your work. And while trying to be better than your old self is very important for self-growth, we should also remember that it’s okay to just let ourselves have fun sometimes. Today, I went through all of my old artwork and I realized that as long as I was doing it simply because it calmed me down, I had plenty of ideas in my head. But the minute I started to try doing it for the whole social media content aspect of it, I started to find minor faults that weren’t faults at all. I guess being a perfectionist comes with that burden!
It’s not that we don’t have any more ideas in our heads; it has got to do more with the fact that most of us today are content creators in some form or the other. So when we come up with something, we try to work on the most microscopic details of it all because the last thing we want to hear after hours of hard work is somebody nitpicking a detail that probably nobody even noticed. The difference between doing something that you love because you love it and doing it because you want it to get the validation it deserves is satisfaction.
Just as I was writing this, I saw a text from a friend that said ‘Excelling at something and enjoying it are two very different things’, and it was like he had read my mind because that’s exactly the message I am trying to send through this particular post. How often we have to remind ourselves that! It breaks my heart how artists often end up being their own worst critics because they are too focused on what people will have to say about their work. And when I say ‘artists’, I put myself into that category because I realized that I had become a little too dependent on the validation that my art received on my social media platforms.
It’s easy to write about it, I guess. The actual challenge here is to slowly start doing things for yourself. Maybe if you’re doing something right now 100% for the content, try doing 10% of that for yourself and try to do more of it for yourself as time passes by. It’s oddly liberating when you realize that your best work comes out only when you’re doing it 100% for yourself with zero input from others. Your art reflects who you are, and if you’re trying to mirror somebody else’s style all the time, I think you know what it says about who you are as a person. Inspiration is all around us, but that doesn’t mean we cannot add our own elements to it.
Sure, getting tons of social media validation feels amazing, I guess. I know the high that comes from hundreds of people praising your art. And of course, you deserve all that praise after all the hard work that you put into your art, too! But at the end of the day, how happy you are with your art is what is going to matter the most. Because if you aren’t happy with what you’ve created after hours and hours of work, you might as well call it a failure and I know you’re a lot better than that!
Have some more faith in yourself. You’re doing a lot better than you think you are. Be proud of what you come up with.
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