Congratulations! You have found one of the few Deranged Detours scattered about this site, where I take a moment to spill my brain on some particular struggle I'm experiencing at the moment. Call it some form of a therapy exercise, I just need to get this off my chest. This is about as raw as it gets for me, for the very, very few who care.
Warning: content may be offensive.
I struggle with perfectionism. more like, it wrangles with my life and keeps a chokehold until I can barely breathe.
I cannot take compliments for the life of me. instead, ive developed a system that involves how many compliments I get and gauge things from there. for instance, if I post a drawing in a server with my friends and get 2 responses, I deem that as a failure becuase that means my drawing wasnt meaningful enough to invoke the response of more people. only 2 responses? surely I wasnt competent enough, I need to work on X and Y next time. even if I just get straight compliments, I just brush them off and accept that theyre a baseline, not anything to take in and cherish. oh, you think how I painted X was good? well, it's not as good as how artist Y does it, so I dont see the point in that comment in the first place. ive recognized that people didnt like hearing that, so instead I just give a "Thanks!" and try to move on despite the same internal thoughts bouncing within my head.
I've basically developed some internal metrics to determine where I stand. Stand against what, you may be wondering? Well, paradoxically enough, stand against the entirety of the world, past, present, future. My drawings are nice and should get more attention? Yeah, well I constantly see Twitter accounts that had virtually no followers blow up because they post a piece of art that's geniunely good. If it's good enough, it will command attention. Of course that's flawed thinking because I don't know what connections they actually had, or whether the kind of stuff they're drawing will speak to the greater masses (think: fan art, porn, etc), not to mention the heavy survivorship bias at play here. Regardless, I've become stuck with the mindset that if it's good enough, it'll get the attention it deserves, which consequently meant that if the post didn't get that many likes, that meant it was subpar at best. And even if it did get a decent amount of attention, the thought that it could invoke a response from more people if I was a better artist wouldn't stop plaguing my mind. Yeah, social media is lovely for a neurotic person like myself. In fairness, I've basically dropped most of social media for many other reasons at this point, but the mindset still stays with me.
However, I welcome negative comments, and I sincerely group constructive criticism and negative comments as one and the same. not good enough for you? I completely agree, it's a trash drawing anyways and I'll just scrap it. Thank you so much for reminding me where my place is. It's a dangerous source of comfort and familiarity for me, and I'm always trying to squeeze them out from people if I find I'm not getting any negative feedback from them.
It's gotten to the point where I cant even look at my old drawings without wanting to purge them off the net, which I wouldve done in a heartbeat if it wasnt for the fact that I knew I'd regret it.
So where does that leave me today? Well, the same it's always been: putting off a task because I fear how difficult I perceive it to be to do properly, despite being aware that failure is part of the process and something to learn from. For instance, my drawing process usually goes something like:
If I'm lucky, I get into the zone and suddenly those things don't even cross my mind. It's getting into the flow of things that reminds me just how much I enjoy drawing, but otherwise, I'm just in a perpetual cycle of pain. I beat myself up over this kind of stuff all the time. It can take me days to just get something done that's actually only taken an honest hour of meaningful drawing. That is, drawing where I don't spend my time redrawing and fixing one random stroke, one small tuft of fur within a coat that's going to get overpainted anyways.
Even when I'm making this website, I'm still tormented by thoughts of it not being good enough, not engaging enough to people. Can you believe it? My own personal website isn't good enough for me! What does that even mean?! And of course, when I shared my website with my friends, I gauge how they respond because I'm sick in the head. What's that? I've only gotten responses from 5 different people giving 1-2 sentences each? They're not absolutely gushing over it? Guess my website was a failure, I'm a failure, nothing I do is worthwhile in the grand scheme of things.
And even if they were to gush over it with pages and pages of praise, at most I'd just feel a fleeting moment of happy, and then brush it off thinking that I had more work to do to improve the website anyways. I'd even start thinking that these people aren't the best to gauge from in the first place, and that I'd brush off their comments thinking that they're not experienced web designers or something stupid like that, because that's what all of this is. Just stupid. Why can't I just enjoy things for the sake of enjoying them? There's always some kind of standard I hold myself to, which means I can never forgive myself for making the smallest of mistakes.