ARTISTS are often told to take every opportunity that comes their way, not knowing where it will lead but hoping it would propel them to the next level. Sometimes every opportunity taken ends up a dead end, but that should not stifle your creativity, even as an emerging artist.
Artists like to compare themselves to someone who is 20 years into their career, hoping to be a one-hit wonder and go from rags to riches. But once again, not getting there can stunt ones’ growth if you are an artist who compares themselves and their work to someone who has been in the game for a very long time.
Instead of focusing on how you stack up next to someone else, invest that energy into comparing your recent work with the work you made six months ago, a year ago. Think about how much you have grown and can improve.
Trevor Noah was once asked where he would see himself in five year during a recent interview, and he said “I don’t know, and even if you ask me after five years and I will have the same answer”.
This to my understanding basically means that if you ponder too much about the future you will lose focus in the now, and ultimately trail behind which will virtually see your artistic abilities wear down and not be used to its full potential.
So do not give up and learn to compare yourself to yourself. And making excuses for yourself, may be one mental habit that may deter your success. Toufi Ekandjo, one half of the Namibian Hip Hop duo, Paradox recently told me that “If you want to be a successful artist, you have to show up and you have to do the work”.
If you are like any other artist in the world, you probably have said to yourself at one time something along the lines of, “I cannot go to the studio today because I am too busy or I am too heartbroken” and a personal favorite “my family does not want me to do art”.
Sometimes it feels justified and reasonable when you make excuses and it is like you are doing the right thing for yourself. But it really is not.
Also trying to make your art perfect will either just lead to procrastination .Artists who are obsess with the need to make everything perfect also often are afraid of failure. But, the irony in this is that they then fail to ever put anything out there.
So the only path to growth is putting your work out to the public. The hard reality is that you will probably fail over the course of your art career. For example, you will not always get the grants you need or you will sometimes have a show that flops or even have a great idea that just does not materialize.
The comforting part of this is that so will everyone else.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015