For the past year and a half, my confidence in my own artwork had been crippled. I didn't think much of it because it was some petty jealousy over my friend's artwork. I didn't realize how much it really effected me until recently. I haven't been drawing as often as I used to and I thought it was just art block. I thought it was just college eating up my time.
But no, it was more than that. I've been beating myself up personally about not being as good as her and I thought I could keep it separate from where it came from, a simple drawing application.
It was a drawing app called Draw Something 2 (now known as Art With Friends) and in the app you can draw using simple basic tools. When you've finish a drawing, it's posted on your gallery for people to like and comment. It's like a pocket DeviantArt, but where you can watch a replay of the making of the drawing. At first I was angry at myself for not being able to draw on the app when I know
I can draw. To me the app felt like it was insulting me. My friend seemed to know how to draw there effortlessly and the best of what I can do looks amateur compared to hers. It felt worse knowing my friend got thousands of followers fast from her drawings when I struggled to make any amount of followers. So through the app I felt like I wasn't really an artist. I thought I was able to keep the things with the app separate from my artwork here, yet it was hard to really avoid the envy I developed from the app.
Up until then I never felt so terrible over my own artistic skills. I knew art is practice. I know that as long as I'm expressing myself, I am an artist. Hell, around the beginning of this whole mess I was still able to make a video for my class on art and what it means to me. I recorded myself drawing and stating that I'm proud to be an artist. But that app kept looming over my head...
Even when I stopped spending time on it, just looking back really bothered me.
Within this past month, it was announced that the app is going to shut down. Instead of feeling relief, I felt bad. I felt I wasn't going to be able to accomplish what I wanted by the time the app dies off. So after a talk with the very friend I've been so envious of, she mentioned that I needed to face my root problem.
Long story short, I was bullied in elementary school and when one of my old friends recently got back in contact with me. She mentioned if I could, would I go for some closure from my past bullies? That question brought back a flood of memories I thought I had left behind many years ago. It was then that I started to bring up my past to the friend I envied and she said that I should face the worst one.
So I did. With the help of those two friends, I was able to message the worst of my childhood bullies. Remarkably, the guy apologized.
Then I realized...I was beating myself up for too long and I didn't
deserve it??! I was envious of my friends before, but it didn't really hurt at its worst until it started fucking with my artwork. This whole time I didn't know how much my childhood bullies really effected me. When people didn't pick on me after I moved I was happy about it.....but then I noticed some of my friends were treated better and then I felt I wasn't 'good enough,' so I became my own bully and had beaten myself up over not being 'good enough.' It felt like not being picked on was some sort of betrayal like people were just being nice, but only really
nice to better people.......youth logic is terrible. I've been dealing with this inner conflict since like...2007? The art envy didn't really come until late 2013...that was just fucking horrible. Art was my outlet and then it became my nightmare...
But now with that apology from the worst bully I've faced in elementary school, I now know that I didn't deserve what I went though. With that, I was able to let go of my envy.
It's been a few of weeks since I got that apology (and weirdly made a friend out of that former bully...I don't know how, but it happened)
I feel...alright now. Honestly I'm still insecure in my own artistic skill, but I don't feel like beating myself up for not being 'good enough' anymore.
I'm still a bit preoccupied with college, but I'm more determined this year to make more and better art that for a while I could have only wished
I could make! I'm reconnecting with my passion once more. I'm not letting insecurity bring me down! Art is passion and I'm never going to let it go for some stupid bullshit ever again.