Imposter Syndrome and Art

I recently did a test online @ http://www.psychtests.com

Turns out I am 83% suffering from Imposter Syndrome. Here’s what the test results told me…

“No matter what you manage to accomplish, you are unable to enjoy your success. You see yourself as an imposter and fear that eventually – especially if you make a mistake or fail – people will discover that you are actually incompetent. This could be related to a lack of confidence, a tendency to believe that success is due to factors that you cannot control (like luck), or a fear that you will be unable to sustain it and thus, lose people’s respect. You find it difficult, if not impossible, to take ownership of your achievements, and experience a great deal of self-doubt and self-denigration.”

Pretty heavy Eh?

Artist self doubt is a really common thing. There are books and videos galore on the internet all describing the problem. There is also a myriad of books and videos and articles designed to help the artist tackle this issue. When I make art, art that I love on a personal level, I am happy and feel great, really sunny inside…really pleased with myself. When I make art that I consider a miss or a failure, I beat myself up worse than anyone else could. I even get thoughts that I have wasted the paint and canvas and how much money they cost to have them end up in the garbage. Why is that?

Why do I even paint? Is it worth the self flagellation? Is doing anything in life worth the pain and self doubt? Of course it is!

Holding Space – Acrylic on Canvas 48×36 inches

I’ve discovered that making art is all about the process… not so much the product. Every time I work on a piece I find new “tricks” that I did’t know before. I see what works and what doesn’t and new figures, animals and things appear in the work that make me say “Hello, where have you been all my life?”

Taking workshops and even going to art school, I surmise, is the process of learning all the tricks that can be shared that have been learned before I came along. It’s people sharing their own interpretation of what they think art is. It’s a powerful thing to realize this because it gives you a permission slip to do what you want to do just because it feels right to you. Nothing new would ever come along if we all just learned to paint like everyone else does or ever did. What a boring world it would be!

Therefore, I am NOT an Imposter! I am Kim…and I am figuring out art in my own way with help of those who came before me AND some friends I have made along the way. In my opinion, It’s the same for all aspects of our lives…we are all making it up as we go along.

So if you have the inclination, grab some paint and a brush and get some paper or canvas and have at it! Most of all…don’t be hard on yourself!

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