I attended a terrific panel discussion yesterday called “Draw More Income” as part of the AGM programming for Visual Arts Alberta – CARFAC. We had a great range of speakers: Derek Besant, Lee Deranger, Brittney Tough, and Kari Woo. Each of them addressed the practicalities of how they made a ‘go of it’ as artists, and what obstacles and setbacks they faced.
A common thread in the discussion was lack of confidence and fear – these being negative mindsets that held them and other artists back from achieving the success they wanted in their careers. So it seemed incredibly fitting that I should find this in my inbox this morning:
To survive in this high-pressured, crazy world, most of us have to become highly adept at self-criticism. We learn how to tell ourselves off for our failures, and for not working hard or smart enough. But so good are we at this that we’re sometimes in danger of falling prey to an excessive version of self-criticism … we need to carve out time for an emotional state of which many of us are profoundly suspicious: self-compassion. We’re suspicious because this sounds horribly close to self-pity. But because depression and self-hatred are serious enemies of a good life, we need to appreciate the role of self-care in a good, ambitious, and fruitful life.
It seems ridiculously obvious, but I do wonder how many of us in creative fields fall prey to exactly this type of thinking, and just how much it holds us back from all kinds of things.
Good food for thought.