Artistic types, successful or not, often have issues in getting their works recognized. Some have issues with being recognized as being artistic in the first place.
Often family and friends just see it as a hobby that a person has. “It’s great that Bob has taken up <insert artistic endeavor here>, he even painted/carved/built/sculpted me this little <insert artistic product here>. That was sweet.” or “I remember great aunt Eunice used to make stuff too.” They oh and ah and nod their heads when you try and explain what exactly you are doing or did. They even give encouragement in the form of praise and adulation and point out to their friend that, “Oh, I think my Bob could do better than that…” when they see similar art in the real world.
They encourage up to a point. Quite normally that point is when it diverges from how they see “adult life” and “real world”. When you start to try and explain how it feels to not be able to create because of all the constraints and “responsibilities” which have been place on you, or which you took up yourself in an effort to do the right thing. But once you talk about pursuing it, whatever you own personal dragon is, you get those head shakes and reminders of, “But does it pay the bills?” or “What about your kids? How will you support them?” or worse yet, “Don’t you think it’s time you started growing up?”
Those friends and family mean well, they really do. They lived their lives how they felt they needed to, and they watched those around them live the same. They were happy, but happiness for one can be a far different thing for another.
Personally, I have issues with self-confidence when it comes to my artistic endeavors, and that stems from self-doubt. Growing up where I did, you rarely got a lot of people pushing you to follow you dreams. It was much more often you were pushed to conform. Deviate from the path, and you were told you were starting to act like a hippie or flake. Get that job, punch that clock, collect that paycheck was the normal mantra. Even when those few people showed encouragement, it was always up to a point.
I think a lot of my issues with this come from a youth were I stopped following my dreams and wants and took up the dreams and wants of someone else. I simply put myself and my needs second. Later, when it became clear that I needed to pursue them, that someone I supported so much belittled them to the point where I still have problems giving myself permission to work on my artistic endeavors.
But I am trying to overcome. With the loving help of a wonderfully understanding wife and kids, I’ll eventually be able to overcome it. But the enemy is always lurking, just below the surface, waiting to throw shade. It might be a stranger, it might be a perceived rival, it might be well meaning family, or it might just be that little voice in your own head. Whoever or whatever it is, you got to fight it. Create and Show
Peace and God Bless.