With Halloween just past, I have thinking about scary. There are lots of scary things in the world: crime, violence, war, hate-the list goes on and on. But there also the things we personally find scary: putting ourselves out there, doing new things, taking risks. These things are not life and death but in our mind’s eye, they loom large, can fill the room.
Being a creative person has led me to confront a lot of these fears. I am constantly trying to put myself out there, to be seen by people, to have others view my form of communication-my artwork. It’s a very scary world out there when one is endeavoring to reach out. You lay yourself open to judgment and rejection. But neither of those are a fearsome as invisibility because that is when you have no voice. Invisibility cuts you off from the rest of the world. Like a ghost that can’t touch and can’t be heard. So that is one of my big fears. It’s what keeps me confronting judgment and rejection.
My other big, scary place is the “imposter syndrome.” (That term, so aptly coined, by Alyson Stanfield in her article that inspired this one.) This syndrome says “what if people find out I don’t really know what I’m doing?.” I’ve been in this place plenty of times. Sometimes, even as I’m finishing a work, I wonder how it became what it is. I don’t remember exactly what I did to create an effect. Or more pertenently, I don’t know how the concept, the process, worked that created the piece. I realize I don’t know because the creations are not born out of the logical mind. They are born from the right brain, where all invention is, the non-linear side of the brain. So, figuring out what I’m doing defies analysis. In a certain way, as long as I am being creative in my work, I will never “know what I’m doing.”
Therefore. I urge all of you who have been caught up by the imposter syndrome to be reassured. Your beautifully creative, colorful, intuitive right brain is working overtime to keep your inventiveness a bit of a mystery. Because, really, if we knew exactly how to do it, we would be creating anything new?