A Nugget of Truth

What if I told you that, when an artist expresses worry over their personal skill, spouting out “Psh, don’t say that! You can totally draw!” doesn’t help? And that, in fact, it only causes more anxiety about the subject? Telling us to stop worrying over drawings is like telling a depressed person to “just be happy”. It sounds ludicrous, and harms more than helps. I can’t stand it when people get all flustered when I say, “I can’t draw.” I know I have some technical skill. What I’m actually communicating is this: “I recognize that others have a higher skill level than I, and I want to obtain it so badly that I am willing to say I have no skill at all.” I still understand that I have at least some basics down, but that does not mean that I am satisfied with the work I put out; its quite the opposite. I usually dislike anything I draw or think up. There is little that I am proud of, but that doesn’t mean I don’t still attempt to do things.What you can do is to tell us that you like what we are currently working on. Instead of chastising an artist for lamenting over what they can’t do, tell them that you like what they do now. Some of us won’t take the compliment very well, but it does good anyway. Also, I think that sometimes you have to let us complain to ourselves. Even though its an outward expression, its an internally-targeted message. Sometimes, allowing us to freely state our dislike of our own work is healthy, and you shouldn’t shut it down: its an odd way we show ambition. Note that there are those who do nothing except complain about how “awful” their work is, which is a want for attention, rather than a want to improve. There’s a fine line between displaying ambition and throwing a pity party.