Does Self-Doubt Stop Your Creativity?

Updated: Oct 9, 2020

Over the years I've discovered that the internet is both a wonderful place and the worst place in the world. I can be inspired by all the amazing works of art that I see, but then quickly become full of self-doubt because there are so many amazingly talented people out there. I start to feel like a talentless hack. Then, like many times before, I start to doubt myself once again. I will wallow in my "I'm not good, I can never do this" self demoralizing spot far too long several times before finding my way to pulling myself up and moving on.

In my quest to move from being an adult colorer to an artist, I have found that it is very easy to question my talent and I've learned that this is not something that just happens to me. That doubt is there even if I produce something that you think is good. I know it would never stand out in a crowd, right? Once again, it seems I was wrong so I want to share my self-doubt experience with you and how I pulled myself out this sinking hole.

One day I was watching YouTube, of course as any good crafter would do, when I came across an artist (with over 200,000 followers) painting a tiger. I stopped to watch the video because it said it had 1 million views - so it must be good, right. I was watching, but not because I wanted to learn how to paint because I

knew I was not that talented to be able to

pick up a paint brush and paint a tiger. I watched because I assumed she must be good to have a video with mover than a million views, and I like to be entertained by people who are creative. But you know me, I can't just sit idol as I watch YouTube videos so I pull out my coloring materials so I can work on one of my projects while her video plays in the background. Every once in awhile I would pop my head up from my project to see what she was doing as she talked.

As I was deciding on what colors to use on my project I hear her say,

"I will trace this image on my canvas".

That stopped me in my tracks. Wait--she traces the image .... WHAT? I have seen some of her work and it is amazing stuff that I assumed she drew and painted. In my ignorance I did not know that professional artists trace. I was stunned. This person that I had put on a high pedestal was tracing an image and coloring it. Sooooo, what is the difference between her and me? I find images and I color them too. Again, I asked myself, what is the difference? In my mind the gap between the two of us got significantly smaller.

I will tell you I tried drawing once years ago when I first started coloring. My naive way of believing I can color well must mean I can draw too. That theory was busted the moment I completed my first drawing. At that point I became pencil paralyzed. I made the decision then I would never draw something again. I resolved to the fact then that I had no talent for drawing, but now here I was looking at a YouTube famous artist showing me she does the same thing I am doing. That rocked my boat. I started to question who are artists - if she is an artist does that make me an artists? I dont feel like an artist?

I started asking Kathy these questions too because I wondered if other people think of themselves as artists or colorers.

Mostly I wondered when do you become an artist. I went on a quest on social media because everything is true on the internet right? I started talking to artists that I found on instagram and Facebook to find out what they do and how they do it. This is when my mind shifted from I dont have talent to draw to I can do this. I found artist who were just like me who work in non artistic industries but come home to be creative everyday. They told me the secret that I now shout to the world every chance I get. They all told me they are not talented they just put in a lot of practice. So going back to my original question when my mind got busted open watching YouTube "what is the difference between myself and the artist on the screen" the answer is NOT talent. The correct answer is practice.

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