Doubt by Larissa Pham
Doubt is a destroyer. Nothing is left in its wake. Ideas, plans, objects, doubt can devour them all. Fighting doubt takes a lot out of a person because it happens so slowly. When it first emerges in one’s mind the thought is typically discarded. Eventually though the doubt gets one or two pieces of evidence that convince a person that maybe the doubt is right, maybe the doubt should win, maybe one must obey doubt. This becomes problematic for those who are trying to create abstract expressions, i.e. artists. For an artist, their work already has a nebulous quality to it. Not quite informative, art rests within perimeters of taste, aesthetics, style, etc. Art’s meaning is versatile. It can be a hard thing to cope with when an artist is already suffering from a dearth of work, wondering whether or not their art is even worth it.
Artists tend to be their toughest critics. Few are able to tap into a boundless sea of enthusiasm for themselves. They feed off of the feedback they receive from others. Even within this purview, even with positive feedback, the doubt makes its way to the forefront. Without knowing if their fans actually ‘mean it’ or if they are merely being nice, an artist finds themselves at a crossroads. Thus reinvention or a refocusing of a person’s art can be close to impossible. Oftentimes the winds shift for a given art form, style, subject, etc. When this happens an artist can be left out in the cold, practicing their craft well, and suddenly wonder what happened to everything they did. Does it still possess the same level of care that it had before? Is there a way to fully know this?
Imperfection is probably the most important aspect of an artistic form. By opting for the aesthetically impure, or the flawed, an artist is able to explore a wider variety of substance. Such is the case with a great degree of abstract art. Even within representational art it finds itself deciding to further emphasize the stranger, the surreal aspects of reality. The rush of the world is one that can inspire fear and awe in unequal doses. How one tends to view the world depends on what has currently happened to them. Is their doubt a thing that could consume them or is it something that can serve as a form of inspiration?