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Art-Making: What Scares You?

We're digging deep this week and asking the question, "what scares you about art-making?"

There is a lot about art-making that I find intimidating. For example:

1. Drawing figures or people interacting

2. Drawing large crowds of people

3. Designing clothing that makes sense and is practical

4. Accidentally drawing too many frames from the same angle

5. Perspective

6. Drawing spaces

7. Drawing buildings

8. Drawing cityscapes (Omigodddd, drawing cityscapes)

9. Working out how light sources illuminate figures and shapes

10. Working out how light affects colors

11. Working out what colors I should use for shadows. (NEVER black. That's like...Art Bible heresy. Yeesh.)

12. Figuring out if my colors are over- or under-saturated

13. Figuring out if the work has enough contrast

14. Working out a solid composition.

All of these things make me feel a bit like this.

... I could go on. But, I'll spare you. You're welcome.

If fear is holding you back from trying new things with your art.

1. Stop.

2. Breathe.

3. Identify what you're afraid of! Ask yourself, what are you (intentionally or unintentionally) avoiding?

4. Make a list like I did above.

5. Prioritize your list and practice one item at a time until you feel comfortable and unafraid of it. The way you can do this is through study and repetition, repetition, repetition.

I was afraid of backgrounds for a long time. My wife is my biggest fan and my best motivator. One day, I was drawing one of my run-of-the-mill warrior babes (lol) and she looked at me very seriously and leveled with me. She said, "Sweetheart, why don't you try putting a background behind her?"

My response. "I'm bad at backgrounds. I don't think so."

She said, "You will never grow if you don't try."

So. I tried. My backgrounds and compositions aren't perfect, but they are leaps and bounds of where they were four years ago, a.k.a. non-existent.

"Art-making isn't about the end product, it's about the act of creating..."

As demonstrated above, I'm still scared of a lot of elements of art-making. But, I figure, if you tackle conquering one fear at a time, things slowly become less scary.

Besides, art-making isn't about the end product, it's about the act of creating, of learning, of thinking. Conquer your fears, but enjoy the journey.

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