Artist Crisis

I'm having an artist crisis.

I keep thinking things like "I'm never going to make it as an artist. I'll just die alone with my mediocre illustrations. Maybe I should just do Linguistics. Or just drop out of college. Wow, I suck! My linework is lacking. My colors are amateur. "

I know I'm supposed to be doing this. It's what I've always done! I've been drawing since I was wee. It's what my hands do! I've done other things, but nothing brings me as much joy as art. When I paint I feel like I don't have to worry about anything else in the world. All there is is creation, and I'm in control of what happens on the paper. Without art, I don't know how sane I'd be right now.

As an Illustrator, I also strive to be a storyteller. I love telling stories. I love telling people my stories, and I love how it makes people feel. I love to make people laugh, or think about something they've never thought about before. I love to question, and then answer my own questions. I love to present new ideas in visual form.

But right now, I feel a bit like I've gotten myself into a profession that I won't succeed in. I'm in my 5th year of college. Shouldn't I have had this crisis 3 years ago? Maybe not. I think I've always been very confident with my art. Until now. I've never felt this vulnerable about my craft. I've never felt the weight of Illustration as a profession. Everyone always tells me it's competitive. I've never thought about it until now though. It really is competitive.

If I stop for just a moment, I'll fall behind. I have to be constantly open to learning new techniques and styles. I can't give up on promoting my work. When I doubt myself I need to just keep going. I think this is natural for every artist. I'm pretty sure all the greats felt this at some point. I know N.C. Wyeth thought of himself as a failure, even though he was a fantastic artist.

No you know what...I KNOW that every artist feels this. Often. On a weekly, yearly, whatever basis. It's part of it.

What I need to do is live and breath illustration. I need to research the artists out there. I need to emulate the masters.  I need to tell stories with my paintings, and I need to put the time and work into each and every one of them. I need to draft, sketch, research, destroy, start over, color, color again, delete, erase, try again, and most it all for myself. When I can do that, people will believe in what my art is trying to say.

That's all.

I'll have a real post soon. :)