“The frustration between your desire to make good art vs your current skill set is a good thing. It’s a really, really good thing. That frustration is you CARING about your work. If you didn’t care you’d feel nothing. If you didn’t have that frustration there would be literally no point to making art. Without that frustration you’d have no drive to improve, no desire to see your work live, no connection to what you created. Your standards are high and skill takes time to learn to meet them. Lean into it rather than fight against it. It’s like giving birth. Painful and hard and a war zone on your psyche but after you can see what you brought into existence live and it’s worth it for that.”
First off, Jayd “Chira” Äit-Kaci, whose work can be found at chirart.tumblr.com, is another one of my favorite artists and has been for a long time. She has a knack for telling the frank and uncompromising truth about dedicating yourself to art. I’ll definitely be writing about her in the weeks ahead!
I chose this quote because I’m a more fearful and anxious person than I seem, and my bad habit is taking my art very personally. This also means I take my mistakes and failures very personally. I know in my heart that I can improve quicker if I can hold my art as something separate from me, to analyze it critically and look at my failures straight-on, to use it as a roadmap for where I can improve. But at the same time I’m relieved (and secretly vindicated) that Chira came out and said that it’s okay to care so much, and that it’s a good thing.
I am fearful and anxious, and sometimes I get deeply upset by the gap between what I draw in my head and what I draw on paper. Right now, I’m trying to find a way of drawing and painting that is 1.) comfortable, 2.) fast, and 3.) pleases me aesthetically. I’m trying out different styles. It takes a lot of time. I fail more often than I succeed. My personality is such that I won’t compromise quality, but I’m also terrifically ambitious, and put together it’s a lethal combination that leaves me frustrated at best and hopeless at worst.
But here Chira says to embrace that frustration and despondency. Those feelings are a sign of a courageous and determined spirit. Courageous, because you tried something you knew would be hard, and that you would likely fail. Determined, because that frustration will drive you to try again and again to match the beautiful art that exists in your mind. Don’t lose yourself to frustration, but learn to recognize it when it comes as a good thing. Hold onto it for the rest of your life. I want you all to never stop caring.