Die, Delicate Male Artist Ego, Die

I was in a bad mood yesterday. It lasted for most of the day. It kept me up tossing and turning last night and thinking too much. And truth be told, I mostly just let myself be in a bad mood and didn’t do anything to combat it or at least take my mind off being pissy. 

Why was I in a bad mood? The surface answer would be that I provided a solution for a client that the client wasn’t 100% pleased with. This is fairly common in the creative design business, and isn’t really a huge deal. You take the feedback, make changes based on the feedback, and do your best to make the client happy with quality work that you’re proud of. In other words, the surface answer isn’t something that should normally put me in a bad mood.

I spent most of the rest of the day trying to figure out WHY I was, for lack of better phrasing, depressed and annoyed. I think it boils down to some male-specific ego drivel, to be honest. I’m not one to be too attached emotionally to the work I do, but I do think there is an innate fear (oh, the f word) of somehow “being found out.” What I mean by that is that if i’m honest with myself and with everybody else, I am probably actually scared that I will at some point be unmasked as something other than what people perceive me as or what I perceive myself as. I’m not sure how much of this is rooted in reality and how much is rooted in my own insecurities, but it is nonetheless a real part of my thought processes most of the time.

It manifested itself yesterday when work I provided was (in highly melodramatic terminology) rejected. And while I was of course running all the feedback through my head and figuring out how to solve the problems, the main thought I was camping out on was probably something along the lines of, “Oh no, now someone knows that I don’t know what i’m doing.” I know what reality is in this situation. I know that I am very young and have much to learn in terms of how to provide graphic (and especially photographic) solutions to clients. I know it… but that doesn’t keep me from fearing scenarios that i’ve made up to haunt myself.

My Christian faith tells me a very different story. It tells me that this is all a bit ridiculous when you pull it out into the light and expose it for how illogical and childish it is, but also that it doesn’t make it any less real or a part of my life. It tells me i’m not alone in this; that this is a part of the human experience, especially as a male. And more than anything, it tells me that my fears aren’t true, and therefor they can be overcome by embracing what is true. 

In short, yesterday sucked. And it sucked because I let it… by focusing on the wrong things and believing in things I don’t need to entertain. I just want to learn and become better at what I do. I want to make good art. And I want to figure out how to do that without my (alarmingly) delicate male artist ego getting in the way.