“Doubt: I’m Not Good Enough” by AO

George Brett, 3rd Baseman, Kansas City Royals

George Brett, 3rd Base, Kansas City Royals

[Before I start – let me note that I am not a trained writer in any sense.  My writing style just depends on sleep, caffeine and maybe the help of another more experienced writer (for editing assistance).  My grammar varies and my proofing needs a ton of work – mainly because I was an awesome “C” student all throughout school.  Never the less,  I am going  to post a few honest words out there about – my art, my books, my designs, the process, etc. on this blog.  Why?  For a couple reasons – for promotional reasons, behind the scenes reasons and for younger  artists coming-up reasons.   So if you’re  a critic and hate bad writing, do not read this.  If you can read beyond the mess and want some food for thought – roll the dice.  Thx – ao.]


“Doubt – I’m Not Good Enough…”
by AO

Most artist starting out, or half way through through their journey, or even in their prime, face some level of doubt. Doubt is part of the game. Its part of learning. And it is part of success (and yes, even failure).

For me, doubt is that little (or big) wall that pops-up any time it wants and says crazy stuff to you at the worst times, especially when you are doing creative stuff (art).  Those walls say things like (here is where I make a wall, that is not really a real wall – say things like…), “Hey, everything ain’t gonna be easy for you with this project – maybe you should quit.”  It says, “You know, you really ain’t that good enough to do this, so quit.”  Or it says something like, “Don’t even think about it – you will never be able to do this.”  It is the “you should stay where you are at and never try to go achieve anything or even take a few steps forward” type of wall.

To many of us, these walls of doubt can come in many forms: money for projects, not skilled enough, lack of time, too many projects, lack of self-confidence and the list can go on and on.  We all have our own walls of doubt.  I know mine and you know yours.

Maybe those walls appears in front of us to keep us safe or maybe they are there to scare the heck out of us?

Personally, I really do not know.  Either way – they are real.  To some creatives, doubt is as tall as the sky, and to others – not so tall at all.  To some they are as thick as the smog in China, and to others, as thin as paper – either way, to most of us, those walls are there and to some, they are there more often than we would like.  Those walls can and will stop you in your tracks.  They will slug you in the gut real hard and knock you down so fast that you won’t ever want to ever get up.  But if you get up, and you are willing to try again and possibly take another punch or two, then maybe it means that you just might have the stuff to be a better artist.

So what do you do after you get up? Its really your call.  For me, I learned a long time ago that the artist and designer side of me will never leave – so I feel and believe that I was born to be a creative.

And when it comes to tackling doubt – I try to get focused.  I have to try to clear my head (not the easiest thing to do), breathe, and figure out what the goal is and the mile stones during the process to get me there – especially when it is a new kind of project.  I also have to believe that I can get there.

So basically, for me,  I have to believe deep down inside that the things needed to get me to the finish line will always be – time, focus and the thought or thoughts of “why I am doing this stuff…”.

You have to think about “why you do – what you do”.  Whether it is for the love of the art, the love of the genre (sports, comics, animals, landscapes, etc.), the love of design, to be better the next great artist, to be famous, for money, to prove your parents and siblings wrong or to show the college teachers that rejected you at your college portfolio review that they were wrong.  Whatever the reason, I believe you have to try to see the positives more than the negatives, and you have to use whatever driving force(s) that are behind your work – not only to make you do more work, but to make you do better work – then, in my opinion,  you will become a better artist.

You have to believe that when you push forward, especially in uncharted territory, the new stuff, the large stuff, that there will be those walls of doubt to push you back, to keep you in your place, but you also have to believe that most walls can be broken or, if you think about it – climbed.

Either way,  you can’t achieve what you want if you don’t take the hits, get through or over the walls and push to be better.

Doubt tells you that,”You Are Not Good Enough.” I say, “So what?”  Pick yourself up, get to work and figure it out!

As always…
Keep drawing – keep painting – keep grinding,


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