I started an online program with Eric Maisel's to be a Creatvity Coach. One of the first questions was
What kind of support I need?
My answer is:
- Organizing my time
- Not getting lost in distractions
- Being more confident that I am good enough to do the work
- Letting everything else come before me art
- Having a good space to work in
- Letting it be ok to make mistakes, to make art that doesn’t look like what I imagined
- encouragement in the process
- A schedule
I have been writing and illustrating a graphic novel since 2008. I have not worked on it much in the last year even though I have had some big chunks of time where I could have worked on it. I think the biggest problem is my lack of confidence that I am not a good enough artist and I can’t seem to make it look the way I want.
For a long while I took a class over and over again at Emerson College on line about making the graphic novel where I got feedback on the work. When I was in the class I was able to work on the novel. My teacher, Andy Fish, was very supportive in encouraging. He critiqued my pages in a gentle and constructive way. I found myself flourishing in the class.
But the last time I took the class I was so busy at work I couldn’t get anything done on the novel and I was angry and disappointed in myself that I had spent the money for the course (which was substantial) and not done any work. When I started illustrating again by myself this summer I felt like my drawing skills had become weak and I went back to life drawing class to tune up my skills. The life drawing was rewarding but I still did not work on the illustrations. But also I realize focusing on the weakness of my skills is a way I distract myself and put myself down and don’t do the work.
I had advice from a comic artist that you need to illustrate from where you are and tell the story even if your drawing skills aren’t what you want them to be. He said that no one is where the want to be. The most important thing is telling the story. I have so far not been able to take that advice and have been so hard on myself thinking the work is not good enough, getting frustrated, and ending up not doing anything.
The support I think I need is a belief that I am good enough to tell my story even if my illustrations are not perfect. How I do that, I am not sure. I have a lot of shame and guilt about being an artist. My parents were not supportive and I was thrown at of the house at 16 when I said I wanted to be an artist.
I later choose to study Architecture and then Set Design to be more practical although my heart was never really in it the way it was in art even though I found the fields interesting.
I think an encouraging coach would be helpful to me. I realize that was what Andy Fish, my teacher at Emerson was functioning as a coach. I felt sort of ashamed that I was taking the same class over and over again. Now I realize that was exactly what I needed to do to get the work done. I kept thinking before that it was time to be done with classes. I should be doing it on my own by now. What’s wrong with me? I shouldn’t need to pay for the same class over and over again how silly. But through this lesson on support I realize that he was my coach and having a coach is a good thing and it was working. Not having a coach, Andy Fish, has not been working. I think next semester I will start back up with him.
In my Yoga Nidra meditation practice I am working on my confidence. I will continue to do that because that is the root of a lot of my problems in art and life.