walking through doubt

Monday, July 8, 2013

poppy love / that Miss Betty / our lil' veggie garden / it's strawberry season / no cats on the table ! / chillaxin'/ we heart salads / crescent beach / cats, the nest and a good book / Betty get's around ...

I must say a word about fear. It is life's only true opponent. Only fear can defeat life. It is a clever, treacherous adversary, how well I know. It has no decency, respects no law or convention, shows no mercy. It goes for your weakest spot, which it finds with unerring ease. It begins in your mind, always. 
One moment you are feeling calm, self-possessed, happy. Then fear, disguised in the garb of mild-mannered doubt, slips into your mind like a spy.

Yan Martel - author of Life of Pi

So I've just finished a 5 week incredible, intense, stressful, fun & fabulous e-course Make Art That Sells with Rock Star illustration/art rep Lilla Rogers. With over 500 students from all all over the world, all with varying degrees of experience, talent, skill & wow factor & many with big time star power talent. I think it's only natural that I'm left this first week after a course like that with DOUBT stuck to me like crazy glue, smothering me with the demon doubt, questions and insecurities. Where am I going? Who I am I ? What am I doing ? Should I be doing more of what she's doing ? Who am I ? What's my style ? Is my style good enough ? Am I good enough to be playing in this field ? Am I worthy ? Are my expectations out of whack ? ... and just to make it extra painful let's put these questions on a looped tape, let's play them on repeat (over and over again). 

But hey ! I'm used to this pattern, this roller coaster of up, down, sideways, way down, way up - I don't know one creative person be it artist, writer, musician who doesn't feel these feelings ... deeply and often. I believe it truly is a part, however painful at times, of the process. The secret I've discovered and actually have begun to practice is to embrace the doubt if I can, and if embracing doubt feels uncomfortable to me, which at times it does. I just begin walking (doing) right through that big wall of doubt, sometimes I have to walk a very long time, I have to make and do a lot of unsatisfactory art/design, sometimes it seems way too long this journey back to confidence and often just as I'm ready to give in to doubt ... the air begins to clear and I feel fine again.

I've been quiet here on this blog for a long time. That's a lot about doubt also, feeling self conscious about what I want to say and how I might say it. I think I'll try walking through that  doubt also ... 

Action will remove the doubt that theory cannot solve

Pehyl Hsieh


  1. Hey, Susan.
    I know that sadness after the high and busyness of a course ending. In my case, I have to tell myself to just keep showing up and practicing. I was depressed with that "where I am going for a couple of weeks" but then went to a beautiful place and took photos and realised immediately that that was what was missing. (I can't draw so that is my chosen medium!)

    If it makes you feel any better, I see an exuberant brilliance in all of these photos today! The colours! The light! The colours in the blur! Those great relaxed cats from lovely angles. Your feet, reading. Oh, I love every single one of them. If this is not art, then I don't know what is. :-)

    Just keep on trucking. Sitting and stewing is much less efficient. (Not to mention less mood-improving.) (OH, and I am talking to myself here....!)

    Have a lovely Tuesday. :-) (I am thinking it is Monday night there, your time?)

  2. Susan, love the images, the kitties, your garden, your salad, your honesty.

    You are a wonder you know -- wonderfully talented.

  3. Beautiful photos of flowers and especially of the kitties, dogs, your toes.
    I love the photo of Betty and Miss Winnie walking together, it reminded me of the album cover of Abbey Road.
    Try not to doubt yourself dear Susan, you are doing a great job in all aspects of your life, just look around at all of the love and beauty you have.
    xoxoxo ♡

  4. Hi Susan,
    I read your blog every day, it's been a couple of years now. You are unbelievably talented, so please don't doubt it! I love your illustrations, photos and most of all your musings. Thank you for sharing your life so intimately with us all. I would love to meet you but live on the other coast of Canada. Keep on creating, you have such a signature style!


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