Friday, September 2, 2011

Take the Leap

Many great things indeed have been achieved by those who chose not to leap into the mainstream
-   Joan Mondale

In the last post, I spoke about gauging "risk" but now I'd like to talk about an action associated as a possible result of risk, and that is "leaping." Many people have been held back from their true potential by not trusting their guts or instincts. As an observer, it is a shame to see brilliant talent hidden underneath a shadowed shield of fear. For instance, it is disheartening to see people create popular mainstream work just because it'll "sells" or because the "everyone else is doing it" mentality. It is distressing to see that potential stunted by such anxiety. Who knows, what may seem weird to others at the time can be the next "big thing."

If you have the guts to keep making mistakes, your wisdom and intelligence leap forward with huge momentum.
-   Holly Near

It is the fear of rejection and the lack of confidence that holds most of us back from being our "true-selves" or from reaching our full potential. However, each little mistake can help us tailor our skills and better ourselves. Those little steps help propel us forward to improvement, knowledge, and experience. If you are able to keep track of fixing mistakes, you'll later be able to track your progress and see how you've grown. My sketchbooks are a way of tracking my art progress even though I cringe at the older art. Now if every time you are able to overcome that little fear when you make a mistake or when things don't turn out as you'd hope. Perseverance and determination are your strongest offense and the key to becoming great.

Anything can be achieved in small, deliberate steps. But there are times you need the courage to take a great leap; you can’t cross a chasm in two small jumps.
-   David Lloyd George

While the little steps help move you, sometimes it isn't enough and you need to take a bigger jump or leap. For example, while I was working little by little sketching every day I eventually decided that I had enough because I wasn't getting much feedback. I ended up gathering up my courage and I leapt.

I ended up applying for Artist Alleys for anime/manga/comic conventions and attempted to enter a couple of contests. It's a huge moral boost when you are accepted or win but when you don't, it's just a learning experience. It's a bit depressing at first but if you love it and keep at it, you'll continue to improve.

I've had people come up to me saying my anatomy is off or my perspective isn't dynamic which can be true as I'm still a novice artist. I try to take those constructive criticism and apply it to my new art. Of course, there are rude people everywhere who criticize with no justification. You just have to learn to accept good criticism and ignore the bad ones. I'm still constantly improving and it's fun to meet other artists and have my work exposed. You just need the courage to go out there and just do what you need to do, in tiny steps or in leaps and bounds. You are your only judge.

When in doubt, make a fool of yourself. There is a microscopically thin line between being brilliantly creative and acting like the most gigantic idiot on earth. So what the hell, leap.
-   Cynthia Heimel

I know this from experience because I have and still have the fear of what reactions other people may have on my art. I used to be afraid to draw or sketch in front of other people. Actually, I still have a slight fear of people hovering over my shoulder when they are probably just curiously peering but I try to deal with it.

I know I'm not the greatest artist in the world but I try and because of my fear, I procrastinate and hold myself back. Now I'm trying to draw at unusual angles, old, ugly, strange instead of my usually pretty, shiny, or cartoon style. I realized that I'm fairly good at drawing weird items (Strange, I know.) but still need improvement, including backgrounds. Details can be another element artists have trouble with while developing skills. Then there are those brave artists who draw or paint for the world to see. They have the talent and the courage and I applaud them for their endurance in the public eye. I only hope and wish that I could eventually become like them.

Sometimes you just have to take the leap and build your wings on the way down.
-   Kobi Yamada

Few people are good at things on the first try. The rest of us have to work extremely hard to get where we want to be and that's OK, it's perfectly normal. At first, it may seem that we're all going downhill fast but once you overcome those obstacles, you'll be soaring. It's by overcoming that first fear and taking the leap that you are able to experience and explore what you're are good at or not. As the quote above states, we always build our wings on our way down from a crazy leap. We just need to build our wings large enough to keep us afloat. Take your time, don't push yourself too much but when you feel that you're ready, leap.

DISCLAIMER: Please don't actually jump from a cliff; you will not really grow actual bird wings. ^^;;

No comments: