“People make mistakes all the time. Small ones, like you get in the wrong checkout line. The one with the lady with a hundred coupons and a checkbook.
Sometimes you make medium-sized ones. You go to medical school instead of pursuing your passion.
Sometimes you make big ones.
You give up.” ― Nicola Yoon
Some of us have sinned. A sin that makes us feel the same way about everything we have ever created. we have felt embarrassed and out of place with what we molded with our very own hands and with our thoughts. As an Artist, I am guilty too since I have doubted everything that exists and carries my name. I have doubted my creations to a point that most of it will decay with time and never make it on paper. Sometimes I would spend hours working on my poems or stories only to find out that 'something is missing'. It's like the last piece of the puzzle is missing when I was the puzzle maker myself.
As an Artist, our art suffers just as much as we do. We pass on our social anxiety to what we create by carefully creating it to a point that it can hardly breathe. We edit and edit and edit so that when we finally pass it on to the world it doesn't get embarrassed or offend someone. We create out of deadlines and fears more than we create out of creativity and ideas. We bring our art into life but make sure it's chained to something. We create but we don't want to spill out every secret that went into the making and so we only pass on the shadow of what we had in mind.
Your Art is nothing less than a world of its own. It's yours and only you know where it begins and where it must end. You draw the maps and you build the cities and you name the birds. It's a blueprint of your ideas and it belongs to you and yet sometimes it doesn't feel 'enough'. How does an artist build an entire world and not want to be a part of it? Maybe because as dreamy the world looks like it's not where the artist belongs. Because while we have created a masterpiece for the world to admire we have failed in placing ourselves in it.
Some of us can create but never really learned to let our creations run wild. Some of us create our personal best and yet crumble under the weight of people who do it better than us. Some of us create and toss it away because It's not 'worthy'. We are all dreamers but somehow when we create we are all trapped in the idea of not being good enough. Some of us are too humble and modest when it comes to creating. Our passion hides behind walls of fears, judgments, and opinions.
Some of us find it hard to be friends with our art. We want our art to stand out while we want to fit in. We want to be seen but we don't want to take too much space. We want our art to be inspirational and moving but we also don't want it to be too loud. Here is one of my favorite quote by Elizabeth Gilbert that I wish I could frame everywhere-
“Recognizing that people's reactions don't belong to you is the only sane way to create. If people enjoy what you've created, terrific. If people ignore what you've created, too bad. If people misunderstand what you've created, don't sweat it. And what if people absolutely hate what you've created? What if people attack you with savage vitriol, and insult your intelligence, and malign your motives, and drag your good name through the mud? Just smile sweetly and suggest - as politely as you possibly can - that they go make their own fucking art. Then stubbornly continue making yours.”
― Elizabeth Gilbert, Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear
Maybe it is time to create unapologetically. Maybe it is time to accept that we matter and what we create matters. Maybe it is time to believe that we can lay down our ideas without having to explain why it's important and why it deserves a place in this world. Maybe it is time to bring our characters to life without stitching tight-fitted dresses for them. It's okay if your art wants to sip some coffee in an over-sized sweatshirt and wants to relax. Let it breathe. Let it breathe.