The 1 million reasons - Aziraphale, Gabriel and Crowley original color pencil portrait on kraft paper

The 1 million reasons to feel bad as an artist

First, let me just say that I will talk about the opposite subject, and talk about the reasons to feel good. But I thought of this side first and I think it’s very important to talk about these negative feelings because they can be very damaging to our self esteem. I also thought that sometimes they can be fun to talk about. I’m sure every artist or creator in a larger sense has once felt these things or similar ones, and that we could talk about it together. So, I’m starting a sort of series of articles called “The 1 million reasons” to explore all this. And if you want to share some ideas with me along the way, just tell me.

So … Why do we feel bad as artists. Why ? How do you dare feeling bad when your life is all colors and so chill with your little drawings and … ? hahaha yes ! WE DARE ! A lot, and very regularly.

The 1 million reasons - Michael Sheen as Aziraphale in Good Omens being threatened by armed demon

And if you want to start as a professionnal artist, there will litterally be 1 million reasons to feel bad. The begininngs feel like shooting yourself in the foot every 5 minutes. It feels ridiculous and painful, and nobody understands what or why you’re doing things, and they take a second gun, and shoot at your other foot to try to help.  And then when you are not a beginner anymore, they still don’t understand, they keep shooting. But logically you bought bullet proof shoes along the way, so that’s kind of ok. But I’m sure I can make it some fun articles, and maybe you can relate to some of these things !

Here is a list of the firsts of the 1 million reasons I brought together. I will add the new ideas you’ll suggest to me, and the ones I’ll think of along the way.

  • I’m not a “real artist”
  • Comparing yourself to other artists
  • Qestions non artists people ask you sometimes
  • The fact that it takes so much longer than you imagined to master something
  • When you are out of black or white pencils or anything you precisely need
  • The lack of support 
  • You are using traditional art material, make a mistake … and search for ctrl+Z
  • The bbeginnings when you work so hard, don’t sell anything, don’t gain followers and don’t really grow on social media
  • That moment when you see the most incredible art you’ve ever seen on IG and the profile says “Madi, 15 yo” and you’re about 17 times that age
  • When someone asks you what kind of art you do, and you are ashamed of not doing the trending art style (or what you have convinced yourself is trending)
  • The work you put in a piece, and you’re very happy with it, and if you show it to your family and they feel like they have to make “contructive” criticism on you finished piece
  • False assumptions people make on your schedule, your work, your earnings …
  • The lack of inspiration, better known as artist block
  • Not being able to create what you had in mind
  • When you have zero motivation to actually draw or paint
The 1 million reasons - David Tennant as Crowley in Good Omens, driving his car in flames and laughing hysterically

As you see, there are some topics that we already know because they’e regularly adressed. But I think they’re still really interesting ! Some are very serious things, and some much more lighter ones. But the real question is WHY ?? Why do wo do that to ouserselves ? Art is already complicated and can be so punishing in itself sometimes, so why adding all those negative thoughts and self comments ? Why adding all this pressure, and why listening to other ? Well I guess it’s because we pour a lot of ourselves in what we create. Hence it makes us very vulnerable. I don’t have a definite solution to avoid all this negativity (which can even turn into self sabotage), but while I talk about these subjects more in detail in future articles, I’ll try to propose some ideas to feel better about each of these things.

The 1 million reasons - Michael Sheen And David Tennant as Aziraphale and Crowley in Good Omens, Aziraphale protecting Crowley with his wing
rainbow diamond pink - Lux Wood Art
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