My least favorite moment at a collaborative artists gallery show is when I look at the art around me and become convinced that I have been kidding myself about my creative contribution and am, indeed, a full-blown fraud. That creating art is nothing but a beard for the fact that I suck at math and desk jobs.
“Any minute now,” I think to myself, sipping chardonnay from a plastic cup. “Any minute now, someone is going to realize their error and ask me to leave.”
Inspirational speaker and scientist Brene Brown calls this “Fraud Syndrome” and says we all get a taste of it from time to time. That itch, that nagging feeling that you’ve somehow been sneaking in through the cracks, but you don’t have it in you to really “make” it like everyone else in your field.
I believe it is part insecurity, part fear of faliure, with a little bit of inner victim thrown in for good measure. In case you were wondering, your “inner victim” is that voice inside that whines when things, “aren’t fair”, “are too hard”, or “not easy enough”. I try to use those moments as a time to check in with my inner child and to pinpoint the limiting belief that she has been holding on to.
One of my major limiting beliefs is, “If you can’t sell it, it has no value.”
Can you SELL the feeling of falling in love, will anyone BUY that memory from when you were eight years old, fishing with your father? Would you ever put a price on your belief in God?
Abstract art comes not from us but through us. It is sacred: a tangible manifestation of our spiritual growth, the state of our heart. We don’t work well with outlines or planning because only in the spontaneity of the moment can you work from The Source….
HARD TRUTH: No matter how many shows you do, no matter how many people tell you they love your work, it will never be enough. Not unless you get right with yourself. Honestly, in the past twenty paintings I’ve done, there are maybe three that I feel really, really good about. The rest are up in the air, just out there flapping in the wind because I needed so many works to fill a show.
Your ego is no dummy. It is like an all-seeing Oracle on the Sci-Fi channel who can, with one touch, know what will take to make you happy and what will leave you broken on the floor. It knows you want people to buy and like your art, no matter what you keep telling yourself. For an abstract artist, this can be a dangerous game of emotional chess.
If you are ever surrounded by art that humbles you to your core, and you what nothing more than to back your fraudulent butt back to the car and take up long haul trucking, it might be just as easy (or as hard) as viewing it all through the eyes of your soul; the eyes of curiosity and pure love. You might then find a whole new prospective. How honored you are to be with such an amazing group of talent, how inspired you are to go home and be better because of them.
How cool it is to be us.
**Roz Inga painted furniture at Oak Hollow Gallery in Yakima, Wa through July 3rd.