You think of nothing but the wonders you will create, but when isolated in a sea of tranquil potential you are more content to sleep than to act upon your grand ambition. The ideas flow like a torrent until the very second the skin on the tip of your finger touches the surface of the pencil. Maybe you’re of the mind that your rough sketches will be judged as completed works. Maybe you’re afraid of the criticism. Maybe you’re not afraid at all but you’re just exhausted from being forced to defend and justify every action.
Nothing is to be born until it has completed its gestation. If your work is in progress, do not label it as such and then abandon it at the first sign of negative feedback. Indeed, expecting any form of feedback that will be useful to the point of producing a superior work before your work has yet to progress past its planning stages is fallacy. So, you post your preliminary sketches online and wait for a slew of praise or vehement condemnation, and are instead greeted by the thunderous collapse of silence, like film of an imploded building run in reverse.
So you shelve your pens, your knives, your chisels and your cameras and you resign yourself to thinking that “at least the crossword puzzles I’m doing are keeping my mind sharp” or “at least I’m being creative with this sandbox game.” At least. *Least*. The barest minimum by which one could be considered to be doing*something*. This “art” thing is a tricky beast— it is a black-and-white means by which one interprets the world of context into shades of gray, hues, vibrance, saturation and opacity before it is further processed into shapes, faces and forms. It, like the world, is an either-or operator. A diode. You do not inject “a little” art into anything— it is either there or not there, on or off. You may confuse the process of paying slightly more attention to aesthetic details as evidence of “a little bit of art”, but what you are witnessing *is* art. Sloppy, poorly executed and of little value outside the narrow confines of commerce— but art it remains, regardless of its thoroughly depressing, toothless, sterile nature.
Your mind is lashed to thinking in the world of efficiency. Efficiency— the thinnest line that separates “maximum output from minimal input” from total systemic collapse.
Kid, this “at least” thinking is going to get you nowhere.
Art has never utilized efficiency as a key aspect of its existence— by its very nature, art is a study in excessive and unnecessary inefficiency. A wall can be painted far quicker by a roller than it can with a fresco, and even then, selecting any paint based on its color or finish rather than its available utility is inefficient. “At least” the wall is painted, right?
You are lying to yourself. Art and creation demand more of you than you are ready or able to admit, and this is a truth that is rediscovered every minute by “real” artists. You are lying to yourself because it is an efficient way of avoiding the pain of failure and of work. What you do not realize is that by continuing the lie, you perpetuate your internal mythology of art being “easy.” All this does is contribute to your frustration and depression.
And then, what’s left but to settle for “at least I…”?