“If you hear a voice within you saying, ‘You are not a painter,’ then by all means paint, boy, and that voice will be silenced.”
~ Vincent van Gogh
Often times before starting a project I find that I have so many questions it is nearly impossible to begin. What to make and how to make it? Will I be creating an independent piece, or will there be several that are united by a theme? These questions are just the beginning. From here my mind begins reeling about the intricacies of whatever project I’m beginning to conceive.
After days, months, or in the case of a project series that I am just now beginning, years will go by where I will do nothing but think, plan, and take on every project except the one that I feel has the most merit. Why do I do this? Because of that little voice in the back of my mind that says “you can’t, you shouldn’t, there has to be something better that you can spend your time on”, and too often, I find myself listening. Although I always have some creative iron in the fire, something that demands my full attention in the moments and hours that I’m working on it, my mind will inevitably wander back to thinking about what I really want to make as an artist.
Lately I find myself taking the advice and asking the questions from my previous post. Why waste time on art that I’m not fully passionate about? Perhaps if one really focuses their attention on creating the images, sculptures, designs, or whatever they are passionate about, then perhaps, it would be easier to be original, and satisfied with ones own oeuvre. I believe that those voices of self-doubt will then to grow quiet. If not silenced completely, at least whither to a whisper.
Without fail, once I make the decision and take the first steps and get started, everything else after that just seems to flow. I start thinking up project ideas faster than I can create them. My technical abilities become better, and find myself pushing my artistic limits. There really is a direct correlation between just starting, even if that start is as humble as can be, and growth. Sitting around and thinking about painting will never make you a painter, you have to paint!