The Difficulty of Making Art

Making art can become dishearteningly difficult.

These “difficulties” can often paralyze artists or send them into a downward spiral of un-creativity or inactivity with no foreseeable end.

So how do we overcome this?  How does art get done in the first place?

I ask myself these questions often because I’ll find myself not “finishing” pieces or series.  I’ve got a hard drive with terabytes of images that need second and third looks.  I’ve got folders and “albums” in my image editing library that should be done with test prints made and uploaded to my online gallery.

As a visual and thinking type, I often find that the images, or artwork, that I haven’t quite completed may better than what I do have finished, even if it’s all just in my head.

While this may be a case of being “my own worst critic” it’s certainly possible that I struggle with a different set of difficulties that prevent me from completing my works.

This isn’t about distractions.  I’m increasingly becoming better at avoiding those.

Perhaps it’s because I struggle with that common fear that almost all artists struggle with: No one cares!

Okay…that’s putting it very simply.  But there’s truth behind those thoughts.

Consider that today, working as an artist, means living in a world filled with doubt and contradiction.  It means doing something that no one really cares whether you do it or not.  It means creating work that may or may not have an audience and may or may not have any reward.

So I set aside, inasmuch as I can, these doubts so that I can see, not only what I’ve done, but that the path that I’m headed has some sort of fruit to bear.

It means I have to find, however hard it may be, the self nourishment and fulfillment within the work itself.

Sometimes…this is a cat and mouse game.  I’m just not sure if I’m supposed to be the cat or the mouse.