Impatience: The Destroyer of Good Art
Yes I know, that title was bold, but I think it’s true! Impatience = bad art.
Let me explain…
Three years ago, I was fresh out of University, dying to have some sort of control over my life after being in school for so many years and basically just wanting to what I wanted when I wanted without anybody telling me what to do or when to do it by. I wanted freedom to create and be creative. I do believe this drive is what led me to where I am today, but it also came with its share of burdens.
Impatience leads to irrational decisions
When making art, there is quite an extensive decision making process involved as you may or may not know. Everything from composition to subject matter to colour palette is extremely important to determine whether or not you’ll make an eye catching image that also contributes to some sort of brand that people can recognize you for.
If you find yourself feeling impatient and just wanting to get it done, or to make as much as possible in as little time as possible, you will quickly experience creative burnout, and you will also likely create a brand that won’t last.
To do anything on a long-term basis, you need to take time to explore and continue to feed the passion that keeps you going
Being an artist, as most would say, is not a “conventional” or “comfy” job, which is why many people frown upon the idea (I could go on to tell you my frustrations about this, but I’ll keep that for a later post). In order to be a successful artist, illustrator or designer, especially on a freelance basis, you need to push through the noise. You need to have a strong foundation in order to show people what you’re capable of.
A strong foundation comes from years of practice and experience, trial and error, ups and downs and small wins. I just don’t think there’s a way to shortcut any of that.
Back to my earlier point about my recent grad experience, all I wanted was to be a successful full-time illustrator, and I felt like I would do anything and everything to get me there. I was impatient, I was driven by the wrong reasons and because of that I never really allowed myself to take that much time in the beginning to explore my work.
This impatience I had caused me to build up an entire portfolio of work that I essentially wiped out completely once I started to slow down and realized I wasn’t drawing the things I really loved or reflected who I am.
Patience will ease the tension, open up new doors and provide joy in what you’re creating
Think of it this way: as an artist, your life’s work is to continue to improve and change your art as you grow, to keep challenging yourself and to push new boundaries. If you crossed the finish line overnight, what happens next? Allowing yourself to take the time you need for your creative explorations, in my opinion, is the KEY to successful art. Why? Because you will be making art that you love, not art that you think others might love. You will be authentic and real to your audience, who will in turn come back to you again and again. You will find the right financial avenues for YOUR art, instead of jumping at every possible opportunity that comes your way that may or may not be the things you want to do for a long time.
Lastly, allowing yourself the time and space to develop and grow as an artist is essential to creative fulfilment lasting happiness and discovering a career that nourishes your soul and makes you excited to get out of bed every day.
So, my dear artist friend, please do yourself a favour and take the time you need to create work that matters to you. Support yourself in whatever way you need to in order to come to your studio or desk with ease, without anxiety and without the fear that time is running out. You’ll get there one day, but for now please enjoy the process of growth and find your purest joy in simply making work you love.