Art, Other Mentions
Comments 5

Innate Fears of Being an Artist

My painting titled, ‘(I Was) Once a Crybaby, Now I Just Admire the Rain’

I’ve been painting for about 9 months now since reconnecting with the hobby. The best thing I ever did with it is record my journey and progress throughout which you can see on my Instagram. As the journey continues though, I find myself having this tiny innate fear inside of me. It’s a very tiny one but it’s still there. This is the sentiment I’m sharing today.

When you’re a fresh new face of an artist, you are daring. You want to do everything and try everything. If you’re lucky, you might even score big and become highly acclaimed, win some awards…you get the picture.

But as the journey lengthens and your working portfolio increases, so does your standards (and naturally so). This can be both good and bad. Thoughts like ‘Can this work beat my last work?‘ starts to creep up and before long, the imposter syndrome* is born – a term I’ve only learnt of recently.

*Imposter Syndrome is a psychological term used for thinking patterns of doubting your skills, talents or accomplishments, replacing it with the idea that you are a fraud

I can only speak for myself and without a doubt, my confidence has increased. Having tapped into an artistic thinking and making process for months, I am realising the benefits of making art to maintain positive mental health. But there is also an ugly side that isn’t really talked about although perhaps well-documented. (Think about the amazing artists we have lost due to suicide and a string of other events that are less than pleasant).

A tiny voice inside me wonders if this is a fluke; that in fact, I don’t know how to paint at all. I have even been pondering on the prospects of if we ever go back to some state of normality, will I awake from this bubble? Because eventually, I will have to surely? One day, I won’t have as much time as I do now to make art. But maybe that is also the point. There is no time better than now to do things. Pandemic or no pandemic.

Starting is always the most difficult. Making a mark on a blank page. But the beauty is in the process as you see the development of your work – that is, if you keep working on it and don’t give up. When you’re finally in the zone – when I’m finally in the zone, I loosen up and release the rigid thought that I’m ‘not good enough’ or ‘can’t paint’. I free myself and just paint because that’s all I can do in that moment.

And then, I remember that I can in fact, paint. The motivation is then to do my best and finish the painting.

Are you an artist (of any kind)? Can you relate?

You can find me on:

Bloglovin | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | Tumblr


  1. I think when we start doing anything that is creative, naturally we are not going to be amazing at it. However we are in the stage when we are finding our niche etc, therefore it is important to explore a wide range off techniques. And as we become more experienced, generally we develop our own sort of style, but of course this changes. But it is important to try not to pay attention to self doubts, because although they are natural, everyone is unique and therefore is going to develop a unique style that many people would really appreciate.

    • That is so true! I think you are right – when we let any self doubts and fear get in the way, we are actually blocking the potential of what or who we can be. Everyone is definitely unique and has a place in this world to show off their talent! 🙂

      Thanks for your insightful response!

  2. Pingback: In the 10th Month, I Got Published! | Hoi Yin Li

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