These are the drawings of yours truly circa 2005 (thanks, Mom!). I was adorable, wouldn’t you say? (keyword: was, right?) There are a good amount of pictures, so you can skip to the end. Prepare for a blast from my past.
I love seeing where I’ve come from, and how much I’ve improved, and all that, trust me. But somehow, my hands get clammy, and my feet start tapping nervously whenever I look through my old art, especially with company. Of course, I love to show off with my latest and best work, but when it comes to the disproportionate doodles at the front of my sketchbook and the dark charcoals that seem a little too morbid I get uncomfortable. I always want to put my best metaphorical foot forward.
The same obsessive compulsive thoughts flit through my mind: “I’m not really a creepy person, I just draw ghosts sometimes.” “I’m not totally feminist; I just feel more comfortable drawing girls.” “Okay, so the feet I draw look like shoes. don’t judge me, I’m fourteen!”
The thing is, everyone may be a critic, but my harshest critic is my future self. No matter how I try to prepare my present self, I’ll never be ready to endure my future-self’s criticism. And my future self will always have the right to look down on me… she has (will have had) more experience, and is (will be) more accomplished. My future self is always going to be better than me. At no point will we(?) be equals- and why would I want to be anyway?
Maybe I love the fact that I’ll someday be a much better artist/writer/blogger/person than I am now, but I also hate the idea of being inferior. Who doesn’t?* My mind contradicts itself more often than not.
I almost want to quit, because what’s the point? There will always be someone better than me. (Being the best isn’t the goal, you say? pfft.) And hey, if I quit, my future self won’t be better than my present self. Yes, I know. That wouldn’t fix the problem.
I just have to admit to myself that whatever I do (or make) won’t be the best thing I ever do. That goes for my future self, too. Whatever she does (will do) will not be the best thing I ever do either – up until the day I die. I’ll just keep improving and improving exponentially! Man, I wish I had all my horrible ideas now, while I have a limited skill set, so I could save the good ideas for when I can better communicate them. Makes sense, right?
I know that whatever I do (even this post will be inferior to my future posts) isn’t the best I’ll ever do. But it will also be the best thing I’ve ever done up until the present.
Note: I wonder how the artists of serials, like TV shows, comic books, and even animated movies deal with improvement. they must have improved in skill over the course of the series, but we (the reader/watcher) aren’t supposed to see the difference.
*If you are immune to the hatred of self-inferiority, please share your secrets. With everyone.