Recently, I have done some delving into the mind. Many things have been made clear to me about the nature of wanting to learn, learning, and doing whether for pleasure or profit. What I am about to write applies to Drawing, Writing, and Musical artists.
In our fandom, fame seems to be everything, but unlike TV fame, our fame comes from our contribution to the fandom. The most popular way to contribute is to be an artist, but we as adults often fear that we are past the point of being able to learn how to art. As a beginner musician, I can say honestly, that attempting to learn an artistic skill after childhood has given me panic attacks because of a fear of failure that had no sound reasoning behind it. Unlike most adults, I forced myself to walk boldly into that fear because failure was a far better option than to not try, and this choice has given me some insight as to the reason it is difficult for the adult to learn an artistic skill. Below, I have listed all of the solutions to the problems that have plagued me and the people around me who have been trying to learn and/or refine artistic skills. Whether you are an artist/writer/musician, want to become one, or appreciate art at all, please read and consider the following.
The Investment Debt Fear
For any art whether drawing or musical, the artist needs their tools of the trade before they can even be sure that they want to pursue their chosen art. For artists, pencil and paper is easy to be had, but musicians' tools of the trade are their selected instrument which can cost in the thousands of dollars just for basic student lines. However, most music stores offer monthly rentals for just this purpose, but the would be musicians were still afraid. The would be artist and musician fear that their investment of money and/or time into learning their skill would be wasted if they do not meet an invisible goal set out, quiet frankly, by their parents, whom have set similar goals through all other aspects of the person's life.
The Solution is to realize that phantom expectations are pointless, and ultimately, a person has two choices: spend the money and time and know that some skill no matter how great or small will be gained by trying, or to go the rest of one's life never taking that chance.
The Unfamiliar Fear
With beginner art supplies being a part of everyday life, why is it that the would be artist does not try to learn? The answer is that the would be artist does not know what it feels like to be an artist-in-training, so because they don't know terms and concepts, they fear that they don't know how to learn more. This is the same with would be musicians; Zeek has shared with me that he wants to learn the banjo and always has. His friend and neighbor has a banjo hung on his wall, but Zeek did not think to ask about borrowing this banjo because he knows nothing about playing it. Why did Zeek's curiosity not override his fear of the unknown? The answer is that he considers himself and adult, and we are taught that adults can figure things out where as a child in school would have rudimentary information handed to them.
The Solution: Remind yourself that it's ok not to know everything. We have to crawl before we can walk. Find a book or website (YouTube) that has free information and start learning it. Don't feel discouraged if you don't understand it the first hundred times you read it, believe me, sometimes it only makes sense after doing it for the thousandth.
The Loss of Interest Fear
Otherwise the Investment Debt Fear part 2. It is common for a person to fear wasting self's time when we are judged by someone else. We tell this person that what we are doing is important to us, and should we ever not live up to their expectations they hold that idea they were right over our heads and punish us for it. It is for this reason, that many of us will not engage ourselves in any non-work-related activity where failure is possible. Even video games have been altered from their original design so that upon failure the player is returned to a certain point of progress without having to start over.
The Solution is to remember that our artistic interests are not like a job. It is common for a person to lose interest even in doing something fun and exciting after they have spent a long time doing it. Ignore other people's judgments and return to your art/music when you feel ready.
The Returning Fear
Returning to drawing, writing, or music after a person has been away for a long time can feel shameful and difficult to handle. If the person feels that they didn't learn enough to be called an artist, musician, or writer, then returning feels like returning after having ran away. This is very painful because a person expects to be punished or scolded verbally by their teacher, parents, and peers. Leaving the person to believe that to return after a long wait means that they will have to try even harder to learn to "prove themselves", which may feel impossible due to the amount of effort being given during the previous session. The stress of believing that they have to try harder than what they believe they are capable of doing will often drive the developing artist to quit. This fear will sometimes prevent a would be artist/musician from even trying to learn their art/instrument.
The Solution: Do not worry about how long it has been since you have last learned or practiced something. Remember that our artistic interests are not like a job. It is common for a person to lose interest even in doing something fun and exciting after they have spent a long time doing it. Bring yourself back up to speed, and don't feel guilty about what you have or haven't done.
The Constant Student Fear
For adults, it is easy to see techniques in art and music that we don't understand and are afraid of never learning because of how difficult they are to us at our time of trying them or even imagining trying them. This fear is present in adults, because children students in school are only exposed to things a step at a time so that they DO NOT have to worry about the difficulty of future tasks. This allows them to focus only on the task at hand so that when the time comes to attempt the same technique they feel confident in doing so.
The Solution: Do not worry about what you can't do now. In fact, fantasize about being able to do everything, because with time and practice you can learn to do anything.
The Not the Best Fear
When we love something, we want to be the best. As children, it's easy to pretend you are the best, and that goal isn't too hard to achieve as it has a limited number of competitors: a group of friends, a classroom, a city, or state, but as adults it's harder to practice to be the best when we know that there is someone who has an obscene amount of skill in their art form and we fear always being compared to them.
The Solution is to accept that there will always be someone better than you, but that doesn't mean others will not appreciate you for your skills or that you are any less of an artist/musician for not being exactly like someone else. If we really only appreciated the best, then each of us would only be watching the ONE artist on IB whom we thought was the best.