Sep 19, 2011

Shawn Barber on the Ego

"I think that the single most detrimental barrier in becoming a better artist is the brick wall facade of ego. Most artists are raised in an environment surrounded by accolades- at an early age, being praised for their artistic talents.
Positive reinforcement from your peers, especially at a young age, can lead to the misconstrued belief in ones own genius. Years of being 'the best in class' and winning chunks of brass trophies may definitely stroke the 'masters' subconscious.
It's a high hurdle to jump, but it's possible with the leap of critical faith. Sincerity, honesty, self criticism and a big ole piece of humble pie are a perfect starting point. Understand first that you're actually not that good at what you do and you'll never be as near as good as the greats- and you're ready for the life long journey as a student of your chosen craft. 
If you step outside of your comfort zone and challenge yourself to acknowledge your weaknesses, are completely critical of your shortcomings, and sincerely internalize your habits (good and bad), you will be amazed by the progression waiting ahead of you. Critically analyze how close your work reveals it's influence, however narrow or broad, and consistently add new influences into the mix. Fear of change or, even worse, external judgement from fans of your art, will destroy any hopes of real progress. Authenticity comes from fearlessness. Take the leap."

Awesome blog post by Shawn Barber. You can check out his blog here.