What Is Imposter Syndrome and How Does it Relate to Art?

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Ok, I have to talk about this. It has been on my mind ever since I learned about it a few weeks ago. Imposter syndrome.

Since then it has been popping up everywhere! It is amazing how that happens. Something you were never aware of before is suddenly all up in your face everywhere you turn.

I first heard about it while watching an episode of The Draftsman Podcast on YouTube. I highly recommend checking out this podcast either on youtube or on your favorite podcast app. Featuring Stan Prokopenko and Marshal Vandruff, you will find it inspiring, informative and entertaining!

Skip to 16:40 to hear about imposter syndrome! Pretty much the rest of the episode after that is on imposter syndrome.

What is imposter syndrome? It is a feeling that can manifest in a variety of ways. Feelings of being a fake, of minimizing your successes down to luck or downplaying them as being easy. A feeling of being undeserving of success or compliments.

(reference: https://hbr.org/2008/05/overcoming-imposter-syndrome)

I want to discuss this because as a beginning artist who is creating a website to help other beginning artists I struggle with this feeling of “who am I to be teaching people how to do art? I barely know how to do it myself! I’m still learning a ton every day and have no right to be teaching anyone else art skills!”

These feelings can bubble up in any endeavor really. Learning to recognize them and utilize them to your advantage or simply to ignore them will help you on your journey.

While the purpose of this website is multifold, one of the main driving forces towards me creating it is so I can more deeply understand how to create a variety of great-looking pieces of art myself. Creating the website requires a greater depth of submersion in the techniques and styles I am studying.

To try and explain it to you requires me to try to do it myself numerous times to fully understand how I might be able to put it in a presentable framework. It relies on the principle of “if I can’t explain it to someone else simply then I don’t fully understand it myself”.

Even when I have figured it out and proven to myself that I can get acceptable results, they’re just that, acceptable. You may feel the same way when creating your works of art.

I personally use this to drive my development when it comes to my artwork. As an example, one day I drew a picture of spiderman and I was very dissatisfied with how the hands looked.

So I decided to try and draw just sets of hands. Thus improving my ability to render those features. I believe this is known as a conscious practice? Conscious practicing? Maybe something to dig into for tomorrow’s post…

As for dealing with imposter syndrome, do as I do with my website and try to ignore it. While I’m not a world-renown artist, yet…, I am a beginning artist thus making me qualified to speak with my peers. The rest of those concerns of inadequacy I need to just ignore.

Marc Spagnuolo

Hey there! Thanks for reading my article! I'm Marc the creator of this website. I'm a growing artist and web creator seeking to share what I'm learning in the hopes that it helps someone out there like you. I hope you found this information useful. If you're interested in learning more about me and my story click on my name or on my picture!

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