It’s either genetics or the intrinsic paradox of the creative personality.
In childhood, I loved to create. My dad always encouraged me. He’s an artist at heart.
But I was also driven to pursue straight a’s. My mother is utterly practical, pragmatic and highly logical. Her presence was a constant reminder to stay focused on “reality”. And yet I read books like breathing: constantly, as if my life depended on it. Escaping into worlds created by others, I quickly yearned to create such worlds of my own. I wrote stories that challenged my teacher’s preconceptions about what was possible: Indiana Jones goes to Narnia.
In my teen years, I used my intelligence and the opportunities my parents provided to graduate early and go to junior college at 16 years. To satisfy my mother’s practical demands, I worked during the summers. But when I finally decided on my major, somehow I chose art.
You’d think I was off to a great start on the creative life.
But then, after graduating with an A.A. degree at 18 years old, I figured it was time for the foolishness of youth to end. Time to get “a real job”. My mother’s practical voice drowned out the daydreamer voice of my dad. And I started working for a temp agency doing office work. I was a receptionist. A filing clerk. A data entry drone. A technical writer and illustrator. A software manual publisher. A software interface designer.
I became a writer/designer of online help manuals when hypertext started its world debut as the World-Wide Web in the early-mid 90’s. Just in time to enter into HTML and web design on the ground floor. Today, I have over a decade of professional web design experience.
But I haven’t finished my first graphic novel.
I haven’t done a single digital painting that I’m satisfied with.
I haven’t finished my first movie script.
The things that matter most to my creative heart were neglected. Not for lack of interest. Not for lack of time. Not for lack of talent, software or opportunity.
It wasn’t even the fault of my left-brain-dominant mother.
Mostly, it was out of fear.
The shifty, shady, insidious root of fear
I could fill a tome thicker than a bible with the excuses that have traveled through my gray cells over my lifetime so far. Excuses not to do my art.
I’m convinced that these excuses are not born within us, though we certainly give them homes. I believe there is a dark force in the world that desires to steal every good thing, to kill every wonderful creation, to destroy every destiny. That’s just what I believe.
Whatever the source, when we examine our reasons for not pursuing our art, it’s surprising how many excuses are rooted in fear.
Fear of rejection.
Fear of neglecting important things.
Fear of failure.
Oddly, fear of success.
What has changed?
I share this story to give a backdrop to my presence here in this part of net-space. Because of my professional design background, I have all the technical tools I need: software, hardware, speedy net access. My artistic skills are somewhat polished, and I can draw or illustrate electronically just about anything a client might need.
But I’m new to the manga and digital art world, where my heart truly lies. And so I speak with the voice of experience — yet with the humility of a newbie. (Probably a good policy to stick with, regardless of how “expert” one becomes in a field.)
You see, I made a decision a little while ago. A decision that has changed my life.
I chose to believe.
To believe that what I dream is what I’m created to do.
Who I’m created to be.
No longer an office drone.
No longer a doubting Thomas.
No longer a victim of circumstance.
Every week now, I write. Something.
Every week now, I draw. Something.
Every week now, I overcome. Something.
I am artist. Hear me roar!
What about you?
So? What are you waiting for?
Have you taken the leap yet?
The leap of faith?
What have you dreamed all your life, but never dared to believe? Leave a comment and share! Let’s believe together for the fulfillment of our destinies!