people saying I won't achieve anything

Postby rainy_unicorn » Sat Jan 20, 2018 3:29 am

So, the problem. I like to draw. My skill isn't very good yet. And it is okay. What is not okay, is that from time to time I hate myself very much.
I became interested in drawing a few years ago. Back then, I was a person much more confused, shy, depressed and in general couldn't stand for myself. Back then, I also wanted to leave university and go to art college. My relatives, soviet-headed as they are, didn't wanted me to follow my dream (or - to be mentally healthy at least, as the best cure from depression and anxiety is hard and unpleasant work, obviously). It's not like they are evil - they are just full of stereotypes. For some of them, life should most definetely include marriage (of couse heterosexual), kids, high education and stable job. Oh, and woman of course should be all girly, and know how to cook, and sh** like that... So, obviously, as a smart person I am , I should "stop fooling around", change my butch appearance, abandon my dreams, graduate as pedagogist and find a man. In other words, let my worst nightmare happen in reality. As they couldn't control me like they did in my school years (mostly with fear and blackmail), they decided it would be smart to destroy my will and faith in myself by telling me my drawings are sh** and I won't achieve anything ever (or maybe, of course, it was impulsive set of words said in the heat of argument, but I honestly couldn't care less if it was intentional or not).
Long story short, now I am still in Uni (it's okay, because I kinda like it), even though I am still drawing. I am pretty much happy with my life and I think my depression isn't there anymore (at least I am not planning suicide on everyday basis and quitted cutting myself). Though, from time to time I feel very bad and desperate. I start to hate my drawings, I start thinking that I won't ever achieve anything. All those mean words people dared throwing into my face suddenly show up in my mind. And it didn't help that some - they keep behaving like that. Everyone in my family knows about my passion as well as about my mental instability. Still, they can't say "it is good, keep trying, you will achieve everything". They usually don't even ask about this, and if they ask to see something I drew - oh, it is the 'best' part. It is usually awkward silence, dry "well...normal..." and maybe non-constructive criticism.
I understand, of course, that they full of sh** - none of them knows a thing about any kind of art (while I am kinda studying it). Still, when I am anxious and can't think straight - I am worried about this very much. I want to destroy them in all senses, but more than that - I am feeling that I won't ever be able to do things good enough and because of that I should kill myself (since better dead than not able to express myself). It is terrible. Maybe someone can advice me something? Give some tips about how to stay calm? Or advice some inspirational and motivational film or book?
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Postby Richard@DecisionSkills » Sat Jan 20, 2018 6:04 am

-1- Don’t put so much pressure on yourself regarding the quality of your art.

-2- Look for more objective critiques, through mentors/professors, peers (fellow artists), and by allowing for public comment (websites such as Patreon, Fivver, Designcrowd, or personal).

If you enjoy art, then enjoy it first as a hobby and enjoy the creative process. To improve requires feedback. Currently it sounds like your feedback is limited to those close to you.
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Postby bob7777777 » Sat Jan 20, 2018 6:32 am

I have two basic observations about your situation. These are things which I suppose you probably already know very well, but I will add my voice.

1. Feeling rejected by parents is both extremely common and extremely painful. It's a form of betrayal. Your reaction to it is totally understandable, and reasonable.

2. When we are faced with deep emotional pain, thinking about suicide is a very common and natural fantasy. In my personal opinion these thoughts do not in any way mean you have 'reached the bottom'. It might in fact be quite the opposite, that now is a good time for a breakthrough.

What might help is for you to increase your understanding of the situation and to think about the way in which you are perceiving it. You are becoming a mature adult, and it is now time for you to assert your rights to individuality, your power and control over your own destiny, and to step back from parental leadership and approval.

You can ask yourself: why are your parents behaving in this way? I suspect it is because of their own insecurities, their own patterns of conformity from their childhoods, their own peer pressure (comparing their own child to their friends child). I propose that paradoxically, their worry about you and their judgement of you is in fact an aspect of their deep love for you. From their perspective they want to protect you and secure a good future for you, from your perspective you feel judged.

For years, our parents are like gods who at the back of our minds represent some kind of perfection and almighty power. But sooner or later we have to learn more about their imperfections and flaws. Let them say what they want about you, understand that underneath what they say is love. And yet you now know how you want to live your life, and it is your right to make your decisions about it.

You can choose other, additional mentors - friends, teachers, like-minded artists. Add these people to balance the role of your parents in your life.

I don't have a book or film to recommend, but I think this is the heart of the matter.
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Postby Livetowin » Mon Jan 22, 2018 2:16 pm

I think some context is desperately needed here. How old are you?
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