The most debilitating thing from a creative point of view is what I call “fear of bad art.” It’s when, rather than make some piece of art that turns out badly, you’d rather make nothing at all.
Guess what: that means you’re doomed to never make anything. You might as well admit it now and start selling your paints.
Fear of bad art is really about fear of taking risks. If you aren’t willing to fall flat on your face you’ll never do anything. And guess what: you never completely get over it. I’ve been staring at a painting that’s not half bad, because in my mind it’s also not half good.
Rather than risk making it worse, I’m currently not willing to work on it at all. So it sits mocking me from the easel, going on now for around 3 weeks.
In the past I’ve found the only way of dealing with this is to just commit to utterly fucking something up. Once it’s reached that point, my twisted logic goes, I have nothing to lose, and so am willing to do anything. And friends, anything is generally better than nothing.
I’m not quite to that point yet on the current painting (why I’m writing instead of painting) but feel like I’m close to not giving a shit.