Don’t Fear, Dive!

Abstract Study in Pink and Yellow, Stephanie Kilgast
Abstract Study in Pink and Yellow, Stephanie Kilgast

“Abstract Study in Pink and Yellow’
Sounds fancy right?
I really have to laugh at this title. I always thought artwork titles were kinda dumb sometimes, and now I’m just adding to those stupid names…
The funny thing is I don’t even know if it’s finished yet! Ha!

But wait… are you stopping miniature sculpting and doing abstract paintings now??? (you might ask)
I want to see miniature cakes, not weird art!! (you might add)

Well.
Yes and no. Will I stop miniature food? It’s unlikely.
Will I do more abstract paintings? Oh yes!

Which brings us to today’s theme!
Fear!
(ironically I see a smiling demon in my abstract painting. I didn’t mean to do it, but it is there and I can’t unsee it)

Fear of Failure

As usual, I’m trying to decrypt my own working process. And I’ve always been fascinated by abstraction. My favorite paintings are abstract. I was always afraid of not being able to make abstraction, as it’s pure composition without meaning. (mostly)
Abstraction is very freeing to me now, but as I’m a little bit of a control freak, lack of meaning and only composing with colors sounded very scary to me. I was afraid of being unable to produce something from thin air.
Now let me tell you. That is complete bullshit.
As an artist, you owe nothing to nobody but yourself. You can fail as many times as you want, you don’t have to show it, you don’t have to expose yourself to being judged and even if you choose too (which I do in my work), you still are totally allowed to fail as many times as you want.
In fact, I believe it is impossible NOT to fail when working on ones personal artistic road.
It is something you have to go through and most of your artwork will look awful to you in a couple of years, so better get used to it. You are and will most likely always be your hardest critic anyway, so at least create art that can be criticized, rather than sitting and wondering what if.

Fear of not Being Liked

As a professional artist, you are bound to your fans and people who support you. You build up a community around your work, you interact with them and within that community, some will support you financially so you can continue this life.
This is all great, but usually artists will work on a specific theme for a couple of years and build an audience around that theme.
Inevitably, the artists will feel bored and seek for a new road. This decision can be daunting, as you have no guarantee that all those years of building up an audience will guarantee the audience stays or just goes away.
This is were I am right now, and I’m tackling my fear (mainly because I’m so bored of mini food) and am diving into something different, more fine art oriented.
Never hold yourself back because your audience might not like what you do. If you are very unsure about your new road, you can work aside, until you feel confident enough to expose your work. I personally like to share the phases I’m going through, because it helps me and also pushes me to continue, that doesn’t mean this is the best way for you.
But do try new roads if you get bored.
There is no worse artwork than something that is done for money and out of security.
Worse for you, as it’s killing you slowly, but also for the viewer, because eventually the lack of passion will sift through your creations.

Fear of not Succeeding

Money, the invisible hand that holds us back of being awesome.
This is (again) very personal, but my income comes from the miniature food jewelry. I consider it my job right now, while I’ll be working on… something else… abstraction, mixed media, researching about the art market, contacting galleries at some point, etc.
I have no clue if what I wish will work. (Especially since I’m not quite sure what I wish yet) Or if I’ll be able to earn enough for a living.
And that has been holding me back a bit.
Paradoxically, my “job” is the best example it can be done. I have decided in 2009 I wanted to live from sculpting miniature food and made it happen. Sure, it was a lot of work, but I was starting from scratch, without any business knowledge.
So if you want to earn money from your art and new art musings, you can, you just have to work and find the best ways of doing so.
Where there’s a passion, there is a way.

Hopefully I could help one or another of you and let me know your darkest fears 😀
xx
Stéphanie

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