The topic on creative struggles is one I want to continue to dive into more thoroughly using my writings and my artwork, but it feels like the perfect topic to touch on, today. I want to use this post to be honest. Speak to our readers, one human to another, reminding them to follow their passions, follow their vibes, their instincts, and their needs. Today feels like a more quiet, thoughtful day in my life. I am going to use that to write to you all today about struggles I continuously face as a creative and what I believe impacts these challenges. I don’t have a direct remedy for instant relief on the anxieties that may arise from these obstacles. I also am not here to provide direct answers. I am only hoping to share my experiences, ideas, and what works and hurts me, to continue sharing
posts that allow readers to hopefully feel understood and related to. I also want to create writings that can create conversations. Please always feel free to comment or reach out to our page on our social media pages. We would love to hear your feedback or any thoughts this post may spark! (@Allenhoustonmagazine on Instagram!)
The first struggle I began facing a couple years after taking art more seriously as I began to fade out of my portraiture stages is patience. Art tends to take a lot of time and can sometimes keep me from feeling truly productive when it doesn’t sell. This is especially true when a piece takes a long time to create. In addition to that, it is difficult to feel productive when I can’t see the progress in my creations due to them being tedious. I have found myself spending ours on the smallest details.
The next challenge I face is something I have to face all the time, and that is around the concept of value. I’ve definitely struggled with valuing my art on the basis of what sells / what doesn’t, interactions and traction on social media, and how my pieces compare to others’ creations. I have recently begun talking my art and creations up. Making sure my art knows I love it, even if its end result was not as desired. I actually recently discovered a piece of advice regarding art and that is you are always reaching someone.
The third obstacle is one that many people face in every aspect of life in today’s world and that is social media toxicity and stress. I find myself always stressing and feeding into many identity crises each month over my posts, account organization, etc. Back to previous statements, I always find myself wanting to be more similar or like or as good as other creators. I always want to match their energy, their content, their dedication. They have a good account following and seem happy in what they are creating, so if I post and act just like them I should be too, right? What you see online is not reality. This is a mindset that everyone gains from any presence on social media – they must be happy because their content looks happy; they must be successful because their content looks successful. I’m always reminding myself that 1. Just because of someone’s posts or content, you can never see what’s truly behind closed doors – they are human and are bound to experience the same turmoils of life as anyone else and 2. I want to work to post how I feel fits me, post the vibe that I want to represent or identify with me. This can be tricky, and I am still learning how to do this. No other artist can create just like me. That’s something that is truly special, and we should share that with the world if we choose to share our creations.
Another struggle I face was briefly touched on, but it is around the idea of Success. I want so badly to be successful, that I need it right now, tying into patience. This causes stress, pressure, and burnouts. Success is also a term that is self-identifiable, and I don’t want my definition to be based on follower counts and likes. It feels like it is sometimes, but it is something I want to work to adjust, mentally.
The last, and main, obstacle that ties everything together is our identity. If I’m tying my art to my identity, me feeling lost with my art means me simultaneously feel lost as a whole. I want to be able to learn to step away, and leave my work in the studio. I don’t mind exploring and being passionate all the time about art. However it is difficult and heavy when I can’t step away and enjoy doing something else to the fullest extent without my brain remaining so hyper focused on the current craft struggle.
There are so many struggles creators face beyond these, however these are a few I wrote down out of a thoughtful moment. Every career path comes with its challenges. These are just a few that I face in mine. However, being able to create is something I will never give up, and it is something worthwhile. I hope you all are able to hold on to that same creative hope and energy, even when life is trying to hold you back.