Disclaimers on art. I've spoken of it before. I've often found a strong urge to justify my work, to explain why I'm sharing, and to point out all the flaws in the piece and why I don't like it.
But what good does that serve?
It comes from insecurity. Fear of not being seen as a real artist. Fear of being derivative, or of others judging the quality of not only my work, but of my thoughts, feelings, and ideas. It's a fear of being seen as an uncreative person.
Put simply: Imposter syndrome.
It's as if criticizing myself, or my work, allows me to maintain a creative self-perception and my credibility as an artist. It's an attempt to convince myself, or others, that I do know what I'm doing, even if this piece doesn't look like it.
I've been trying to intentionally restrain myself from putting disclaimers on my art, knowing that this approach has been unhealthy. And not only has it been a disservice to my work, but also to any who may be touched by it.
And still, I battle these insecurities. Feeling that somehow my art isn't real, or isn't valid when shared, because it isn't perfect.
I've said before that I don't struggle with validating my art, and it's true... When it's done in private. But sharing it, that's a different story. Because sharing anything with the world is a statement of this is what I value, this is what I like, this is what I think is good. Even if it's not a true reflection.
But maybe I'm looking at it wrong.
Maybe it isn't about saying that the work is good. Most of the time, when I share, that's not where I'm coming from anyway.
Rather, art is about creating something that resonates, even if only with ourselves. And sharing is about connecting with others, and about validating that art is worth creating, whether or not it's any good.
We all have stories to tell, emotions and experiences to express, and perspectives to share. Creativity doesn't have to be about getting it right and convincing others to understand us, maybe creativity is more about helping us to better understand ourselves.
Whether or not the final result matches our vision, creativity is always worth pursuing.
So I'll continue to create, and share, and learn along the way. And my hope for you is that you will too.