Select Page

You Have Fear, And You May Not Know It

On a deep subconscious level, we allow fear to control us in a lot of ways that we may not even notice. In a survival situation, fear is what keeps us safe. But when it comes to art, fear can affect you in two distinct ways.

Fear can, in a literal sense, and the artistic sense, paralyze us. It can cause you to cease moving forward or trying to learn.

Fear also leads directly to aversion. It’s not just about survival. We may have a past experience that caused embarrassment, or resulted in us feeling inadequate. So, fear causes us to avoid that specific situation and any similar situation that could lead toward it.

Now how does this translate into your mind as an artist?

How Aversion Prevents you From Improving

Imagine two points on a map. One being you, where you are now, and the other where you’d like to be, as an objectively better artist.

The path between them represents your artistic growth. But it’s never a straight line.

Perhaps there’s a pain point or specific thing that you know you aren’t very proficient at. Say it’s drawing hands, or faces, or using construction or perspective. Because you struggle with this, even subconsciously, without realizing it, this becomes a fear. Like a big roadblock inbetween you and where you’d like to be.

Aversion will cause you to avoid this area, causing you to go around it. So in the case of hands, maybe you’ll draw all your characters with simple or spherical hands. Or, all of your characters hands are in pockets or behind things. These become points to the east and west of your growth.

In both of these cases, you want the same end goal. You want to be good, and immediately. On an *extremely* *superficial* level, you can achieve the approval of an audience or your peers here. But you’re still no closer to improvement.

You may even have someone point this out as a flaw, or you’ll recognize it on a certain level, but you might excuse it as being intentional. You might even say meant to make it that way. You might think this is actually your personal style.

Face Your Fear

What is the solution here? In a nutshell, it’s to face your fears. It involves actively acknowledging that this is a pain point for you. It involves knowing that you’re going to do poorly for awhile as you practice this. That’s the long road, but it’s the one that will ultimately help you to improve.

Fear is always going to be with you, so the more you can confront it, and accept that you have fear, the faster you can push through it.