Creative Fear and Imposter Syndrome
I am, slowly, learning that when I am feel like backing away from a creative opportunity, I need to close my eyes and run forward. The painting in this photo is a small sample canvas for a much bigger painting. This is me running toward something that triggers all of the imposter syndrome feelings. This is me finally owning my creative gift a little bit.
I love painting...love it. I especially love when it is messy and colorful and layered. I am not very good at realistic stuff, but let me pour, push, squish, hammer, scrape and (honestly) play with paint and I am happy. About 2 years ago, Michael’s had a 70% off sale on canvas. This meant the really expensive big boys were affordable. I bought a 30 inch by 40 inch canvas. I know this isn’t the biggest, but, for me at least, it seems giant and too precious to unwrap and paint. When I have taught people to paint or ink, I always say “there’s no fear because of if it doesn’t turn out you can just start over. No big deal.”
For some reason this canvas just felt too special to approach that way. I think that it is because in my own head this is the size a “real artist” would use. I have no formal training. I spent a great amount of time in the college art department but I wasn’t the one doing the painting or sketching. I wish I had been. I have had imposter syndrome many times. I usually get over it and carry on but THIS canvas was a road block.
So I used this canvas as a cover for my resin projects. It is big enough to cover most of my resin table when I set up up on cups. It is still wrapped in the plastic so it is protected. Every time I grabbed it I felt a little stab of remorse. It needs to be painted. It is large enough that it gets in the way CONSTANTLY, almost like it is shouting “paint me”
Well next week, I will be unwrapping that canvas and creating a painting. It will be a turning point for me. I realize now that I haven’t been waiting for the perfect idea or inspiration. I haven’t been waiting for the right colors. I have been waiting for me to say it is ok to call myself “artist”. Imposter syndrome and creative fear aren’t going anywhere, but I think I am finally willing to be ok with that.