The Fear of Art

4193432039_475cebc97e_o Sportaldislexicartaphobia is the fear of paintings and other forms of visual art. While most of us will never suffer from this particular phobia, we do in fact suffer from another kind of fear of art. The fear that blocks the creation of art.

I have had conversations with other artists at times and realize that we're all battling some kind of fear. Sometimes that fear gets the best of us and squashes our art (and our desire to create) all together.

Here are just a few that I have seen and/or experienced myself:

Fear of a Blank Canvas

(What if they not only hate me, but hate what I create?)

Fear of Change / Risk

(Doing something new or different seems just too difficult)

Fear of a Blank Canvas

(What if I have nothing to say? What if I'm not inspired by anything and can't find my Muse?)

Fear of Failure

(What if I can't hack it? And crash and burn publicly? What if what I create sucks? What if it sucks and I don't realize it? )

Fear of Success

(What if I succeed and am trapped in having to keep producing the same kind of art that made me successful in the first place?)

Fear of Authenticity

(I can't really show who I am in my work. It's easier to copy others. Hey, I might not even know who I really am, let alone be able to express that in my Art. I'm too lazy to do the work inside to figure out who I am, what I have to say, and what my style and voice as an artist is.)

Just like in other areas of our lives, we might never know exactly what hangs in the balance if we don't push past our fears. Notice most of the questions around our fear start with "What if...". That means it could be true, but also could not be true. And yet we invest so much emotional energy in the worst case scenario.

There's no one time fix all, rather a battle we have to keep showing up for. But when we do engage the fight, we can take ground and find new freedoms and reap the rewards of battle. Our ART can get a new breath and depth.

The thing is, it takes courage. And consistency. And a community of people around you. It's HARD work. Only you can do it. And no one will make you. Not even this blog post.

So, what fear do you need to face that has been holding back your art?

Not wanting to take that art class for fear of looking silly? Afraid to put your art up for sale because you think no one (except maybe family and friends) might buy and value it? Avoiding sharing your work with others because it's not good enough (you're playing the comparison game) or you feel like it's not your "best work" (perfectionism, anyone?)? Think you're too old to get back to your art, like that ship sailed a long time ago (If you ain't dead, you ain't too old!)?

Maybe today is the day you show up for the fight. You know what it feels like on the loosing side. Don't you think it's worth a shot to see what victory tastes like?

Go get 'em.

 {Photo Credit}