Remember when you were little – like, in Kindergarten – and it’d be time for art and you wouldn’t even think about it, you’d just finger paint the day away like a maniac? Then run up to your mom and proudly show her your masterpiece? (And maybe cry if she didn’t hang it up when you got home.)
And then, around the same time, you’d get told it was time for music class and like. Somebody grab the maracas. You knew what to do.
Maybe you noticed as you got older that this enthusiasm kind of stopped short. All the sudden music class is “lame.” You suddenly realize that you’re sitting next to a boy you can barely talk to cause you have a crush on him and like, what, now you’re supposed to sing in front of him??
And then art class…yeah, you’re okay at drawing a tree. You can make pretty good branches and you’ve got the little hole in the trunk with the squirrel in it. Aaaaand then you look over at the girl next to you who knows how to make like, textured tree bark and individual leaves building up this lush tree top. Um? How did you never notice that she could do that before??
Suddenly, we have begun comparing our talents to everyone around us. When we were little, we were so excited to just try new things, test our abilities, and find the next project that our mom or dad or teacher would tell us looks amazing. And they pretty much always did tell us we were amazing, even when our drawing of them had only stick legs and arms coming out of a round head. Like, we could entirely not draw a body on a picture of a human and people would tell us it was amazing.
Sometimes, we are lucky and we have parents and teachers and friends who continue to tell us that our art – music, drawing, writing, sewing, cooking, anything – is amazing. But as we get older, it’s natural to get more insecure. We start to believe they are lying to us. We start to believe they are just trying to make us feel good. We look at what our classmates and our friends and the girls on Instagram are doing and we compare our work with theirs, and we get down on ourselves.
This is normal. Don’t beat yourself up for beating yourself up. But let’s try to fight this feeling. Let’s try to look at another woman’s work and see the beauty in it….and then look at our work and see how that is also beautiful in its own unique way. Keep the spark of creativity alive in you. Keep practicing. Keep having fun with it. Keep doing it, just because you like it. You don’t have to show it to anyone if you don’t want, but give yourself a way of expressing yourself artistically. Don’t hide any part of yourself. Let your whole self shine.