Imposter syndrome

imposter syndrome

I think I might have said this before but anyway…I suffer greatly from ‘Imposter Syndrome’. Apparently, it’s a common complaint. You set your heart on something, usually artistic, have a go at it but during the process you have a sever lack of confidence. You tell yourself that ‘you are not a proper author, a proper painter a proper dancer etc’. You start to believe that ‘you’re not from the right social background. That a council boy like you has no right to set himself up in any of those professions. That you went to a secondary modern…etc, etc, etc.

This kind of negative thinking has plagued me for most of my life and has definitely stopped me from moving forward, even causing me to turn my back on things I have been passionate about. Consequently, and I know I’m at a late stage in my life, I’m trying to change things, especially my way of thinking.

The thing is the artistic world has been hi-jacked.

This notion is of course nothing new. What happened was,  but somewhere along the way those with power and influence realised long ago that art could pay.  ‘They’ then went about corralling artistic institutions. Theatres, art galleries etc became the province of the powerful. The realisation was, that if enough people with talent could be found and (this is the point) controlled, money could be made. Hence, the birth of institutions like the Royal Shakespeare theatre, playhouses, publishing houses and major art galleries, places where the buying and selling of art and artists in all forms, could be controlled.

With this in place, the entrance of those with ‘dreams’ and new ideas found themselves vetted and more often than not rejected by powerful and monied forces. In short, such are the barriers to success that many give up before they have begun. Ergo, ‘Imposter syndrome’.

I think that because of all this, the artist has fallen into a well-crafted trap. A trap that tells him or her that there is only room for a ‘chosen few’ at the top. This mantra, if it is to be believed (which it is) allows those at the top, absolute control. The ability to control the market. To set prices and rewards. To control when and where new works can be seen. Even controlling ‘the trend’.

Unfortunately, all this has the effect of spreading in the delicate minds of the artist (like me) self-doubt and tremendous lake of confidence. Which leaves considering the whole purpose of any art is sharing one’s self-expression and interpretation for the pleasure of others, totally nullified.

One more thing about Art. (At least one more thing about Art, that I believe).

Art is not just about the finished product. Art becomes Art from the moment you say you are going to produce it. Before, paint touches the canvas. Before pen scribes. Before the photograph is taken. Art is thought. Producing it is merely a record of a thought you once had that you want to share.

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