Can anyone relate? You see a beautiful piece of art and instead of responding with “Oh, that’s so gorgeous,” …you find yourself experiencing more of a longing akin to: “Oh how I wish I had painted, created, or written that.” Perhaps your thoughts drop down a notch and you think: “Some people just have ALL the talent.” Or even worse, imposter syndrome sets in: “I could NEVER EVER do that, and I’m just a fake artist anyway.”
It reminds me of seeing something gorgeous in a home catalog - knowing I lack the funds to purchase it. Or, in this case, it’s the feeling that I don’t have the skill, focus or inspiration to paint, create, or write what I’m longing after. It’s not necessarily a great feeling and seems to border on jealousy. At the very least, it’s a negative, discouraging, uncomfortable emotion.
So, is this just life? Well... I’d like to propose another view for all of us creatives to contemplate. Consider this quote:
If you limit your choices only to what seems possible or reasonable, you disconnect yourself from what you truly want, and what is left is a compromise. ~ Robert Fritz
Interesting premise, isn’t it? Instead of thinking of those thoughts as negative responses, it's considering them as signposts. Perhaps those yearnings and longings are clues to who we REALLY are. Maybe when they surface, they are asking to be acknowledged and nurtured. In her book The Artist’s Way, creativity guru - Julie Cameron puts it this way, “What we really want to do is what we are really meant to do.”
Now THAT to me is exciting. Granted, the path to getting there might be hours and hours of practice, instruction, and just plain hard work. But instead of beating ourselves up over what we aren’t, or can’t or didn’t do, we need to be encouraged that something excitingly creative and unique is whispering to us - just waiting to be discovered and developed. Will it be exactly the same as what we initially admired? Absolutely not. It will be beautifully unique to each of us and the person God created us to be. So listen and lean into those nudges and longings, and BE ENCOURAGED all you wonderful creatives out there!!
(*I copied the painting above by Frank Webb. Not only do I admire his ability to simplify shapes in his compositions, but I love how he uses color by joyfully mixing and merging colors together.)