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More Awesome Than Tacos

Okay, the affirmational monsters are kinda addictive...

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Either they're talking to someone UNSPEAKABLY awesome.... or someone needs better tacos. :)

Haha, so true. Tacos are the best. Especially when you live in Texas.

British Tacos, not so much... so plausible.

Poor, poor Brits. I would share my Texan Tacos if I wasn't too busy shoving them in my face.

That's pretty darn awesome...

... and the timing's not bad either. I predict a run on taco-stands and other Mexican restaurants for lunch today.

That's great! And good timing for me -- I just sent a link to a friend who's got a job interview today. :)

Awwww! Another adorable one.

And how lucky for us that the affirmational monsters are becoming addictive. ;-)

Obviously the person that Motivational!Hyena is talking to must bear a strong resemblance to Green Corn Tamales, because, well. GREEN CORN TAMALES. Kitchen technology has reached a state of Perfect Food with those things.

Yay, another happy monster! Love the mohawk^^

These would make some really awesome postcard-sized prints.

Agreed! Take my money!

I too, think this would be great as a postcard.

What do you think people want for Father's day? A sombre looking card discussing family responsibility and example, or a cheerful monster exclaiming that Dad is more awesome than awesome?

These should be on every office and kindergarten wall.

I think I may explode from motivational cute.

We all need those affirmation monsters-- see my post of this evening...

... also completely adorable...

So the affirmational posts make this thought seem like a reasonable tangent...

I've been in a cycle of back episodes of KUEC (you might have gotten the impression based on the email about helper ponies a month or two ago), and today was listening to one in which you mention going on a studio tour and angsting because these are Real Artists. And, well, this is my exact mental state right now. (I'm at the tail end of my MFA, having gone to art school with no formal training since high school, and I'm surrounded by talented and driven people who ask me things like when my next solo show is and I bite back responses like, "the word next implies that there's been a first" and then fumble around awkwardly until someone changes the subject.) So I was wondering how you deal with this. Do you work and then the impostor syndrome goes away? Do you work until you forget to worry about it? Do you tell yourself that you're really a children's book author who just has this strange compulsion to put paint on things? Does anyone ever feel like a Real Artist, or are we all just faking it? What's your answer to yourself?

Okay, this is an awful answer and I feel bad, but it's a true answer for ME, so I will give it to you, even though it violates everything the therapists tell you about a healthy psyche. (And this is a general "you" not you specifically, incidentally, so feel free to take what you need and dump the rest by the side of the road.)

You level it up.

The first couple hits of recognition for your mad artistic skills will help. You'll immediately dismiss them at the time as "Oh, just fooled everybody," but sooner or later, as you realize that somebody else there sucks more than you, and maybe you get a few awards and the art sells and you get nice fan mail (and I am certain you will get nice fan mail...) And you force yourself to finish things, so that you can no longer tell yourself "You never finish anything!"

Then...one day...

...you will get an unaccustomed sense of competence, which you will immediately dismiss as arrogance and the prelude to crushing failure.

Congrats, you've leveled up! Now you're worried that you are both an imposter and an arrogant sod!

The next step is to do big things that you are proud of. "Digger" was a big thing for me. Writing novels is a big thing. (I humbly submit that getting an MFA is a big thing you should be super-proud of!) And when you do these things--and someday, when you get recognition for having done these things, when they hand you a Hugo or hang the Best-in-Show ribbon on your painting or the show sells out the first night or you get a starred review from That One Critic--

then...one day...

...you will go "Oh my god, my best work is behind me and now I'm just doing fan art of my own stuff and I'm not as good as I used to be and maybe I did something great once but NOW I AM RESTING ON MY LAURELS AND HEADED INTO AN INEVITABLE DECLINE."

And you level up your imposter syndrome. Again. And it still sucks, but at least you know you did something great ONCE, and maybe if you really wanted to, you could do it again.

Probably there's another stage after this, but hell if I know.

That was like the worst advice ever. But the point, if I have a point, is that it might not ever go away but it gets more manageable and you can chip away at the edges and anyway, everybody else is probably feeling it too.

P.S. I have only had two solo shows in a seventeen year career, and one was because my parents owned the gallery.

Thanks, that actually is a helpful answer. Especially since you're pretty much the only person I know who is A) a professional artist, B) doing more than scraping by, and C) isn't a member of my faculty. I know better than to compare my art to everyone else's, but it's hard not to compare my ambition to my classmates', and the impression I'm getting is that the only way to make it is to be aggressive as hell.

As far as therapists... I've had one fantastic therapist who probably saved my life as a kid. I've had one horrible therapist who made things worse. What I've taken out of it is that if something genuinely helps you, if it isn't hurting you or someone else, and it isn't just a rationalization or superstition that it's helping, then screw what they "know" about healthy psyches. That's pretty much the exact point that made me ditch the bad therapist -- I'd made a breakthrough that was finally helping me shake off my depression, and my therapist spent an entire session passive-aggressively explaining that it wasn't the right breakthrough and I should feel bad. If it works for you it works for you and that's the important thing.

I would buy a set of 24 of these for my entire school class.

I'm not so sure I want a monster to enthusiastically compare me to a food item.

On a completely different topic!

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