Recently, a few people told me:
“Melissa, I wish I could paint like you do!”
When they tell me that, I think that what they really are expressing is that they wish they could feel a greater satisfaction while being in the act of painting, and that they wish they would feel better about their work when they look at what they’ve created when the painting is done. At least, I hope that’s what they mean. They would realize that painting like me (or like any other artists for that matter) doesn’t exactly rhymes with being satisfied with what I am painting all the time. While my satisfaction level can get pretty high at times (it even get ME high), it really only happens in waves throughout the whole development of each painting.
You have heard what I am about to say so often that it’s becoming so cliché to talk about it. I will say it anyways because it’s very important, and sometimes, you need to hear it once more to make sense of it. Maybe now is the right time for you to hear it and it’ll resonate with you.
One of the best ways to get satisfaction while going through the making of your art is to make it for yourself, and because you love doing it and because it makes you grow as a person and as an artist. Make it about the journey. Make it about your every day gains. Make it about learning from your mistakes. Make it about not giving up. Try to get your satisfaction in that ONE amazing stroke you did today that made sense and that made you want to redo all the other strokes around it. Get your satisfaction in that ONE particular colour you mixed perfectly.
When you compare your work with the work of the artists that you consider far better than you, let it just remind you of which direction you are moving toward. Let it just be a visual reminder of why you are dedicating your time, your heart and your soul to your craft. Let it just be a reminder of why you want to move forward with your art. Don’t make it another reason to be down on yourself. Don’t let it discourage you. Let it inspire you.
No matter what subject you paint and no matter how well or not you think you painted it, there WILL be people that will love it and there WILL be people that will not like it. You might as well stay true to yourself and paint what you love and also and foremost, love what you paint. ♥