The Struggle and Compulsion to Get Better

Illustration and design is something that I oddly feel compelled to do. I use the word “compelled” not because I am trying to portray myself as “the artist” that is moved romantically toward his craft. Nothing that deep. I am simply saying I don’t do art and design only because it is fun. It is a struggle sometimes. And yet, when I am home, I often feel like I am wasting the evening by entertaining myself with tv and video games. Art is an endeavor in which I feel like I am accomplishing something a bit more constructive.

Why do I say this is a struggle? Because, quite frankly, I feel like my art sucks sometimes and I don’t want it to suck. I have a grand idea about how I will create this wonderful, beautiful order out of chaos with my art. In the end, the “order” I create does not come close to approaching the splendor that was in my head. I constantly overestimate my abilities and when I bump up against this reality, frustration sets in.

I think it is important to push through this frustration and keep working to improve. Romanticized and inspiring movies about a protagonist working through a struggle are inspiring because of the struggle. In real life the struggle never feels romantic. Only after you have come out on the other side is it a good story that may encourage someone. I realize even now I am being overly dramatic. We are talking about art and design, after all. But I believe this same principle applies.