"I think every artist at some point has the sinking feeling that they're a complete fraud and utterly untalented." – Lauren Groff
In 2018 I started Tiny Art by Anna. I was painting daily and getting more comfortable with acrylics. I came across some 3 x 3 inch canvases at Michaels and was immediately in love with their tininess. I began translating my abstracts onto these minis and they were adorable – then throw in a mini easel and cuteness overload. I started a new Instagram account and my little paintings were a hit.
I signed up for a local artist market, armed with freshly printed business cards, and I even ordered a Square reader – things were getting professional. I remember being so intimidated by the other artists setting up their tables. They’re probably rolling their eyes at my art. Imposter syndrome at its finest. I don’t belong here. I didn’t go to school for art, I don’t know how to paint, I’m a fraud.
I sold some tiny paintings – it was fun, but it felt off – like something was missing. Like, was this it? Was this the best I could do? I had more to offer than cute and whimsical. A lingering sense of dissatisfaction haunted me
I started feeling patronized with comments like “these are so sweet and oh how adorable!” No, no, no. I wanted to be an artist. I wanted to be taken seriously, but how serious can you take a cute sloth sleeping on a tree?
I think every artist has a little devil perched on their shoulder whispering nasty doubts. Yet, instead of shying away from these conflicts, I embraced them. It felt reviving – was the tortured artist coming to life within me? Was this inner critic actually a guide pushing me towards my true potential?
I've come to believe that our response to these fears and doubts is where the true magic of artistry lies. If we allow these voices to halt our progress, we lose. However, if we listen, truly listen to this inner turmoil, it can morph into a powerful ally. It’s in this partnership with our deepest fears and aspirations where the growth of an artist truly blossoms.