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Question Sticker Series: Fear of Being Laughed At

Question Sticker: "What are your biggest struggles or fears when it comes to making art?"

Reply: "Being laughed at"

Wow, where to begin. The first thing that came to mind was that if someone actually laughs at your art then they are a total jerk (to put it mildly). Period. The second thought was that thankfully we can't hear people laughing through Instagram and if they laugh we are none the wiser. I would say that in general, I have found the art community on Instagram to be really supportive and encouraging. While I have had a few spam, "hey look at my account" type of comments (so rude by the way), I have not had anyone say anything mean to me or about my artwork. If someone did say something inappropriate, I would simply delete their comment and be done with it.

That being said, making art should not be about other people or social media. It should be something you do for yourself because there is something inside of you that needs a creative outlet. A voice that can only speak through your artwork. It doesn't have to be saying anything profound, it can simply be a joy for making things. Don't let anyone (especially some jerk) take that away from you. Moreover, don't let the fear of judgment take it away from you either. If you choose to share your art on social media, do so to find connection with others and to put a bit of yourself into the world. Don't do it for praise or to impress people because those reasons are unavoidably tied to judgment.

A colored pencil drawing of female cardinal I did when I was nine years old (1992).

Its okay to be at the beginning.

We all (as in all creatives) have to start somewhere. Any activity that requires skill takes time, dedication, and practice to develop to a proficient level (regardless of talent). Art and creativity is a journey of constant evolution and learning that never ends no matter how long you've been at it. I have been drawing all my life but I am still learning and growing as an artist. I still consider myself a student and not a master. It is okay to be at the beginning of your journey.

Furthermore, there is this strange stigma with Art where people think you have to be out of this world amazing or you are not allowed to participate. But thankfully there is no such unspoken rule. My art will probably never make it into a museum and that is okay. I will never be the next pop sensation but that doesn't stop me from singing in the shower. I will never be an Olympic athlete but that doesn't stop me from loving horseback riding with all of my heart. It is no different when it comes to art. There is no need to compare yourself to legends like Da Vinci or Rembrandt or anyone else for that matter.  Make art because it makes you happy and who cares what anyone else thinks (especially some random stranger on the internet)!

Long story short, no one has a right to impose their judgment on you or your art. Please do not let fear limit you or your creativity. Be brave and be true to yourself! What you have to share matters!

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