It’s been a rough week or two.
The image text is a bit deceptive though, I’ve been struggling not so much with doing something new but rather with falling back into bad habits.
I let other people’s agendas, perceptions, and perspectives cloud my own mind.
I want to see if I can build something of my own. Create art that makes people smile and makes the world a little bit of a friendlier place, even if just for a few minutes. And earn a living with it.
But what happened slowly since I left KARAKTER and more so in the past two weeks since I ended my “take it easy -vacation period” is that I let other people tell me that I won’t be able to earn money with my own art, that thus I should do something different. >> Oh it’s nice art, but I would never pay for that. <<, >>There’s no money in making people happy. … <<. That I’m such a good freelance artist, why would I not want to join their project? There’s a team that needs art direction, why not take it over since I obviously don’t have anything better lined up? I should do monsters, I should do character skins, do Riot-style, do mobile, women 50+ target audience, serious cute realism stylized military casual ….. Because I can do all of those things, other people want me to do those things and thus I should do them.
Which led to me doing “preemptive commissioned” portfolio work. Every morning I got up with the goal of creating another artwork that would catch attention and get me commission work. I was working feverishly, manically. I was doing work for unknown internet people that I had no interest in myself and I wasn’t even getting paid for it. I tunnel-visioned towards “You’re only worth something if the next artwork you do is something cool that other artists and game companies will like”.
Read that again.
“You’re only worth something if … other (people) will like”.
I’m so thankful that through therapy, personal training, coaching, and a lot of work on my part I have learned to catch myself before slipping too far down this spiral. Those steps down are so familiar though, I walked this path so often, so many times. That dark place is still far easier to get to and feel at home than to believe in me and let myself feel happy.
I need to find a way to keep my own ideas in focus, to not let myself be distracted by other people so easily. Maybe physical whiteboards or something.
Coincidentally, it’s suicide prevention week in the USA. As good a time as any to reach out to the people around you and ask how they’re doing.