When you feel like giving up on art

I sometimes feel like giving up on art.

Nothing’s gaining traction. Nothing’s sticking. Everyone else is getting hired, getting commissioned, securing work. And I’m getting nothing.

I think back about the career I gave up in order to be here and wonder, was it worth it? Is it not too late to go back to that comfy 9-5 job sitting in-front of a computer with a steady salary and health insurance?

It’s so much easier.

I wouldn’t need to push myself like I need to now. I wouldn’t need to look for clients. I wouldn’t need to grow as an artist. I wouldn’t need to apply myself to my craft. I wouldn’t question my worth as a member of society. I would just turn up, do the tasks before me and collect a paycheck at the end of the month. A good paycheck at that.

I ask myself, why did I throw in that towel again? Why am I doing this infinitely harder thing instead? Why not just give up on doing art, or acting, or singing, or music, or whatever creative dream you have?

Because it’d kill you. It’d positively kill you to go back.

When we take a step toward something, we grow. And when we grow we can’t shrink back into the shapes that we leave behind. The truth is, I could fantasize all I wanted about going back to a comfy day job. But it just wouldn’t be right to go back. I’d be a square piece trying to fit back into my previously triangularly-shaped hole. And I know that in my gut. That’s why when I entertain the thought, it makes me sick. I started on this path because I needed to.

Besides, a lot of my doubts don’t pop up because I don’t enjoy what I do or because I’m not on my own path. It’s because of external things like a lack of clients, commissions and contracts. I like what I’m doing. And if I had that external validation going for me – which will come – then I’d feel a lot more secure in what I’m doing. Some of us don’t get lucky like that. But it’s not meant to be easy.

So what am I meant to do when I feel down because I’m not getting any traction?

“Make more art.”

What? Make more art? The thing that is doing absolutely nothing for me on social media and not getting anything for me on Behance or ArtStation?

Well, yeah. Pour our your frustration and your anger into your art. Your jealousies and your envies. That’s the only thing that you can do. When nobody’s watching that’s the time to make as many mistakes as you want. Now’s the time to blurt it all out, and get it all out there, because when you do make it, then it’ll be too late to let out all your creative blurts then. So make more art now. Get all the crap out of your system. I mean, nobody else is watching and nobody else cares anyway.

So the next time you’re feeling down about your own art. Just keep doing it. Revel in the fact that absolutely nobody else cares about your craft except you. And just do it anyway. Because you love doing what you’re doing right? And it does something for your mind and soul right?

So if you feel like giving up on art, just do more of it. Because it doesn’t matter in the long run. Because you love it. Because you have no choice.

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