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I'm Not Really A Creator....


Ryan Dave Jimenez

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Impostor Syndrome

A psychological pattern in which one doubts one's accomplishments and has a persistent internalized fear of being exposed as a "fraud". (Wikipedia)

 

 

To anyone who has made something or attempted to make something, you know this feeling too well. 

"Can I really do this? Who am I kidding? I don't know what I'm doing."

 

I dabble in a lot of things. From web development, video editing, animation, web comics, making games, photography etc. But I never called myself a web developer, video editor, animator, artist, game developer, photographer. Because I never really felt I was one. 

 

I thought since I was a beginner and not as good as others, I shouldn't  call myself a (insert title here).  As it would be insulting to the REAL (insert title here). No matter what my accomplishments were, no matter how much experience I got, I was just a wannabe, a fake, an impostor. 

 

But then I realized.... you are what you do. 

 

Some people talk the talk and some walk the walk.

Some think they are cool while some ARE cool.

 

If you made a website, you are a web developer. If you made a web comic, you are an artist. If you took a photo, you are a photographer and so on.

 

Many if not all veteran creatives went through this stage. Where they doubted themselves. But chose to keep going.

And in the end, the feeling of being a wannabe disappeared. They became a real legitimate (insert title here).


Have you ever felt impostor syndrome? How did you overcome it?
 

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Yes, I have felt imposter syndrome.  Sometimes I look around at the people I work with and think, "damn.. how did I manage to get in with this crowd?!"  People call on me for answers that I don't know.  Often I get thrown in at the deep end and it is sink-or-swim time.  I can identify with people like Jen and Sorata in S1 of "Pet Girl".  :) There always seems to be another problem or deadline that people expect me to be able to deal with, and if the bosses think things are going too smooth they up the ante.

(Seriously.  The former chief boss at work - a guy who is fluent in half a dozen different languages, has 4 masters degrees in physics and engineering, an MBA, a doctorate in electrical sciences from CalTech, is currently a professor at CalTech, and who basically invented synthetic-aperture radar, at least as it is used in remote-sensing applications - was definitely a Rooseveltian at heart.  He once said at an all-hands meeting, "If things aren't breaking then maybe we're not pushing the envelope hard enough".)

I don't think you can overcome it, in the sense of getting to a point where you can relax.  At least I haven't found out how to do that myself.  I deal with it, if you can call it that, by quickly learning what I don't know and answering as if I'd known all along.  :)  Sometimes I think my only true skill is Google-fu.  (Though sometimes all I find is other people asking the same questions. 😱 It is stressful sometimes, but it also has its moments of awesome.

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that's actually the reason i deemed myself the title of "lame artist"

it's because, i felt unworthy, bad at what i did, and felt like i could never improve

besides, i never studied anything in the art-field, (sure, i look at referrences, but i dont look up tutorials, i used too, but now a days i dont TuT anymore), almost all my life has been thrown on playing games, surfing the net, and as of the recent year, just studying

 

-- but i did notice, i got better at drawing, comparing it to my old drawings (i did a 2 year-gap difference on my first OC), the style, the lines, it all feels different from when i started

 

but yea, long short, i can safely ditch the "lame artist" title, couse i feel like a worthy artist 

but i wont, because its a memento of what i used to be

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There were so many times that Hobbyist was my general title. Even when I was doing commissioned metal work (lamps, tables, creative pieces). I did photography work for birthdays, Quinceañeras, and graduations. My biggest job was a wedding and I was under immense pressure because I didn't think I was qualified for such a project. The couple had gotten a hold of one of my business cards. I took it as a learning experience and mentioned to them that they would be my first wedding event. It turned out great but the stress of so much doubt actually had me pack up and exclusively take work from close friends and family. 

When I was in art school there was always the debate of an Artist vs. a Hobbyist, i.e. the term Artist being reserved for all those Michelangelo's out there. With this standard of quality, I can see why the majority of creatives feel like they're lacking the gift. Then you have accounts, like Vincent van Gogh, that documented his doubts or Arthur Rimbaud—using doubt and destructive methods to spark creative thought. There's a good amount of perspective to be found in that, and what makes a skillset one you're personally satisfied with. 

Actually, having uncertainties and feeling less qualified can be a bit of a motivator if you tackle it the right way. Improving yourself isn't surrendering to the naysayers that you're unworthy of a creative title. Yet it definitely hinders wonderful individuals into this kind of mindset. 

But you're right. I've overcome so much by realizing that I do what I do because I love it. Future doubts welcome because it comes with the territory and you're always growing and learning in this gig! In the end you have a passion for your craft and whether or not it translates to others in a significant way is irrelevant. 

Edited by IIVIsouljam
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