Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
Where the fear has gone there will be nothing.
Only I will remain."
Oh Frank Herbert, how right you were. Fear has been my constant companion since I started down this artistic path, and it has done more to hamper my growth than any bad teacher, class or missed opportunity.
You can't be creative when you are afraid....or at least, I can't. When I am afraid, I fall back on the same solutions as I have used in the path - Which, in a setting where you are trying to learn NEW things, is not usually very effective!
My whole life I internalized the message that fear was a sign of weakness, and must be stamped out and overcome - usually by getting angry.
It hasn't worked. Herbert was right, for me to conquer fear, first I have to let it pass *through me* as well as over me. When I can acknowledge that I'm feeling anxious about a project, or my skills, or my future, only then can I grow and move on. Fear is not vanquished by repressing it or masking it with anger. Fear must be faced, it must be accepted and watched, and when that happens, it tends to go away.
I'm starting a new career in my mid-30s, and I want to work as a Vis-Dev artist for one of the top animation houses. THAT IS SCARY. I need to remember that, because it doen't make me a failure or a bad artist to be anxious when I try new things or try to put my stuff out there for the public.
Seth Rutledge is a visual developer and concept artist for the animation and video game industries, a photographer and a coffee snob living in Vancouver, British Columbia. Before he discovered illustration, he received a CSCI/Math degree from UNC-Charlotte, and has lived and worked all over the United States and Canada. He has run marathons, taught English in Japan, been CTO for a pharma marketing company and done fashion photography in NYC. Seth has two albums he wrote and played keyboards on, and he plays the theramin whenever he gets the chance. Seth spends so much time in coffee shops drawing that he is mentioned in online reviews. He would love a career drawing elves and goblins for a living.