The fear is back. That mind-messing chasm between making art and pretending to be an artist. The fear that I’m copying another artist’s work, or that someone else thinks I’m stealing ideas (“Oh, that looks just like so-and-so’s work”). The fear that I have no idea how I got this great result so I’m just lucky. I’m not a real artist. I don’t even play one on TV.
In the book Art & Fear, the authors call it “the myth of the extraordinary,” others are more worthy, their work is exceptional, etc. And I’m cranking out dog crap.
Another annoyance: the art world keeps moving the goalposts. What is considered Great Art keeps getting redefined. It’s like algorithms for search rank results in social media… I can’t keep up.
This doesn’t really work for me. I want to be good at making and selling art, not art and pretending. Crushing my fear and self doubt always have the same solution: get my ass out to the studio and keep making art.
I believe the core of why this works lies in the difference between what “art” is and what “making art” is … to paraphrase A&F, you cannot pretend to be making art. It might not be assessed by the art aristocracy to be “good” art, worthy of purchase or museum. But it is art, my art. And I’m the only one that’s going to make it.
No one else but me can take that away. I choose to not let that happen.