Dear Anxious Artist | Little Brown Artist

Dear Anxious Artist: An Open Letter

Dear Anxious Artist

Dear Anxious Artist,

Take a step back. Look at yourself in the mirror. What do you see? Is it a haggard face with eyes as hollow as the pits in your soul? Is there a tangled mess of black, brown, blonde or any other colour imaginable on (in) your head?

‘Anxiety’ – Lee Thomason. (

Take another step back. Look at your easel. Look at your desk or screen or journal. Is it an abandoned piece of work? Does it pain you to look at, or even think of it? It just sits there, staring back at you: a personal failure that you attribute to you and only you. You could’ve just tried harder. You’ve been so strong, so creative, so passionate all your life. Where has it all gone now, when you need it the most?

Each day, you feel less talented. Each morning you wake up to one less idea. Every new sheet of paper feels like a dead-end before it’s even alive. Is this how it is to be, then? Did you peak too soon, back when you were still taking your baby steps? How come everyone appreciated your growth, but now when you’re finally comfortable with your own skill, not one person has a nice thing to say? You, who once were ‘uniquely gifted’ (Their words, not yours. Never yours.), are now commonplace.

‘Golden Boy’ – Adam Martinakis (

O’ fearful one, take a step to the side. Look at what you have become from the view of those who created you; your parent(s), teachers, partner(s), friends, colleagues – everyone who moulded your life in some little way, which then became a big way, which then became your way of life. Look how your baby steps have turned to giant leaps of imagination. Feel how your hands, which once shook at the very thought of a new beginning, now firmly create novel universes every day.

O’ zealous one, feel how your heart races with every stroke of the brush, every word written down. Move with the symphony your mind wants to compose, and dance like the world is watching you explode into a glorious supernova.

Dear eccentric artist, come take the world by its wrist and plunge it deep into your madness. Ravish your spectators with the exquisite beauty of your imagination. Fear not what they may think of your invention, but capsize their minds for your own pleasure.

‘Passion’ – smudge mikus johnstone (

Dear magnificent creator, take a step closer to your being. Learn yourself once more, and know what you have to offer. Remember that nothing ever goes unseen. Should the light of day cast a glare so bright you’re blinded, a million other stars will witness your shine in the dark.

Take a step forward and own your craft. What ever it is you love, hold it tight and never let go. Kiss its face and bless its heart, for out of 7 billion, it chose you.

Be grateful, for what you call mediocre, someone else calls genius.

Now take your gift, and go play with it.

That Little Voice That Really Should Be Louder.


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