I received a really challenging idea in my inbox this week, courtesy of Ariane Goodwin’s smARTist Mailing List. She was discussing artistic self-esteem, and how sometimes low self-esteem is actually pride in disguise (“pride and ambition running amok” as she put it). She suggests that sometimes artists are too focused on the highest levels of recognition, ability, and income, beyond their current level. So instead we convince ourselves we’re worthless rather than be content with the moderate success we can have now.
“…If you really want to see your work on the walls of MOMA, you might find it easier to believe you’re no good than to keep making art that simply sells.”
I know I’ve been guilty of this. Just because I’m not the best doesn’t mean I should give up. God sovereignly distributes gifting as he chooses, the good servant is the one who invests what he has and brings a proportionate return, not the one who hides for fear of inadequacy.
If only the best birds sing, the forest would be a quiet place!
– Rachel Naomi Remen