Creator’s Strife: Believing in our Art

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Flickr / James Baker

Kaetlyn Dembkoski
Staff Writer

In UNCG’s vast student demographic, there are thousands of students that have chosen a major or minor in the category of liberal arts. Just as in years past, the new school year’s arrival will see more freshmen flock to these fields. Liberal arts draws its followers from young ages where creativity and imagination thrives and continues into their adult lives where they seek to develop passions into a lifestyle.

Whereas most of these skills will likely be self taught, going to school under the liberal arts teaches the skills of growth that benefit students over a lifetime. Perhaps we change the way we write a sentence to add further detail or learn to use a different piece of software to make the job easier, but does this really matter? Does this meticulous alteration of how we proceed with making art actually make it better or are we better off moving on to something else?

Especially in a society such as ours where art as a whole, whether that be visual, written or aural, is critically placed in comparison with previous works created by other artists. The challenge lies in creating an original work while still in the favor of its audience, and that is extremely difficult to maintain. While society already finds means to overly scrutinize content creators’ work, more complications arise when the creators begin to question and doubt their own work, thus deciding whether that piece is worth being publicized or not before it’s given the chance to make an appearance.

While the aforementioned self-doubt thrives heavily in all creators, there are also external forces to consider when venturing into the world of creating. Not only does the general public add their opinions, whether positive or negative, when looking at works of art but some of the most detrimental critiques can come from those closest to the creator.

I am and have met others who are entertaining the idea of attending school for a liberal arts degree. For many of those creators, their parents were cautious about sending them just for that purpose. Even in my case, my parents wanted me to juggle either an extra major or two minors to give me other qualifications besides just one liberal arts degree.

In terms of the actual art itself, as someone who writes stories, I constantly find myself doubting my work and changing pieces of my stories to attempt to make them better. In actuality, I am simply biding my time trying to perfectly craft these novels because the strain of having my work be criticized against the professional, polished and already published work of other authors concerns me greatly. It is due to these fears that I know many creators are hesitant to showcase their own work to the public as well.

That cultivated doubt works against a creator from both outside as well as within, many creators I’ve met have left their dreams to find other career paths. These decisions usually follow constant personal let down where people close to the creator begin to insist upon finding success elsewhere.

For many of these people with close relations to the creator, their desire is only to help. They feel that the creator’s work will not be enough to sustain their life and they are certain that the creator would be better off keeping their creations as hobbies rather than a full fledged career choice. This, in turn, gives the creator the challenge of choosing whether to continue to do what they love or let others convince them to move on to other plans.

As content creators, despite whether an idea has already been done before, your brain has endless capabilities to create new content out of virtually anything. This is not limited only to people in liberal arts lifestyles; creativity has sprouted within all of our minds since we were young. The only difference is those who choose to cast aside imagination and those who choose to cultivate it and let it continue to grow with them.

I have been through this mindset of debating with myself to continue in my field of writing, contemplating if my work was worth the public’s eye. From what I’ve learned over the years, everyone is capable of creating; as such, we must learn to silence the overbearing critiques and put our work on display. From there, we can process and filter the constructive critiques from the unhelpful comments and utilize those beneficial ones to better our creations for future pieces.

There will always be obstacles for content creators with each new piece we opt to create, but so long as we filter the comments meant to improve our work from those that mean to diminish us, we can grow as creators and finally finish some of the projects we’ve been holding out on.



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