Think about the first thing you ever truly created, something on your own. Be it a macaroni dog, a song, a poem, or a drawing of cat eating a rainbow.
Think about why you created it. Was it something in your head you wanted to get out? Did your heart whisper inspiration in your ear? Did the right side of your brain scream at you so loudly as you attempted sleep that the only way to make it go away was to sculpt an ashtray for your parents to collect loose buttons and paperclips for 15 years?
Where is that art now? It probably resided on the family refrigerator for a few months, then hidden in a stack of magazines, then in the trash.
Because it was complete crap. Toddler art is only beautiful in the Mother’s eye, elementary school-aged art is dribble, high school art is undefined, and college age art is pretentious. But you have to start somewhere and keep at it. Each time you create something, you get a little better, whether it’s a baby step or a giant leap off a high cliff. Every word, sketch, film edit, and chord is a notch towards that slow climb to awesomeness.
And man, it’s SO SLOW.
But we shouldn’t EVER give up. Why should we? This whole process started off because we felt the need for creativity.
From creativity, stems desire.
Then desire evolves to a hobby.
From there, a hobby transforms to your job.
And if it’s not your job, it should be. If it’s not your job because you don’t think you’re good enough, then you’re 90% of the way there. Recognizing that you could be better is one of the greatest gifts you could ever have. As a filmmaker I can look at a movie and tell you it’s bad, but it doesn’t mean I can make it better. That goes for my illustrations, my writing, or anything of skill I imagine I excel at. The fact that I know everything I do should be better is why every day it gets close to being there.
We’re all artists, and we’re all our biggest critics. It’s okay to be harsh about your work as long as you give internal dialog to make it better and never give up. Writers write, artists paint, singers sing and filmmakers all steal from Wes Anderson. But remember, there was a time when his work was shit.
So, think back to the drawing of the cat eating the rainbow, and how proud your parents were when they first saw it. How excited you were to give it to them.
Think about how proud that little kid would be to see what you could do now.