An artist, not unlike any other profession, MUST learn how to walk away when necessary.
Artists have to be consistent.
They have to build their skills, share their work, and grow constantly.
When talking about growth, we’re often taught to practice a lot and to practice often. Making a daily habit and doing the same thing over and over is highly encouraged.
I’ve always struggled with this frame of thinking because doing the same thing everyday is…well…really effing hard.
You might be able to cultvate the discipline to show up everyday, but to make somethting “good” on a daily basis may well be impossible (not impossible because I bet Beyonce could do it).
But the thing that sets creativity aside, is that when you’re making art, if you have even the slightest hope to make something good, your heart has to be in it.
You can’t just show up and put in the mindless reps. You need to be motivated, excited, and passionate about what you’re doing.
It’s a tricky spot because all artists make bad art.
Failure is something that everyone in this world has become accustomed to.
So in a way, the artist is plagued when it comes to growth.
They constantly have to walk a tight rope between a spectrum of both discipline and emotion. On one end, they have to show up and put in the reps on a regular basis and on the other end, they have to keep themselves interested, motivated, and passionate about what and why they’re creating.
This is why walking away is so important (and a skill you should develop).
If you dwell on your failure, you’re going to get frustrated.
If you’re frustrated, you’re not going to want to make cool shit anymore.
Learn how to walk away when you’re beating a dead horse.
Learn how to be patient and understanding with yourself. Take a break and try again tomorrow. Or better yet, try approaching it from a fresh perspective.
At the end of the day, being an artist is a very subjective task…but so is being human. You’re going to have to try a lot of different things and fail in a lot of different ways to find out what really works for you.
But be kind to yourself in the process. Take breaks, walk away, try new things.
Discipline isn’t everything but neither is freedom. You’re just going to have to figure out the happy medium on your own.