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I've put so much time into creating, why do I still feel like I suck?
Should I be trying a different medium?
Will I be happier doing video or animation instead?
Is it even possible for me to be a character designer?
Let's drop you a truth bomb, you will always suck—to a point. Art is a vast ocean with so many directions, you are never going to be the champion of every inch. And nothing will quite be that dream niche that will make all your problems go away. What you can do is throw a bunch at a wall and hope something sticks. And hey, maybe one will stop sticking, and you need to throw some more.
1. Finding Your Niche
Variety is the spice of life.
There's been a trend of trying to find 'the perfect job.' If only that existed. In truth, it's about finding what you can manage to do for enough hours to make a living. Who knows, maybe that will be a variety too. You might find yourself getting into video and painting. In truth, for many people, to find the supposed 'dream job,' they need to find skills to join together. Because, let's be honest, there isn't much people can feel fully absorbed and in love with for eight hours a day for five days a week for five years straight. With art and video for instance, that could allow you to go out and shoot video for a while, do editing for a while, and then paint and possibly record that and edit it. With that, you get one part that allows you to get up and move, enjoying your surroundings, then do something very technical and mathematical, and then do something fully with your hands that is a little more free (unless maybe you like really technical art).
Whatever your mix of things are, it is all about balance and hunting down your enthusiasm. For me, I have four main passions I use to fund my existence, letting them overlap where I can.
2. Allowing Discovery
Continually redefine your needs and success.
I cannot stress how important it is to not get too stuck in a vision of your success. Try everything! Even if you have something you absolutely love doing, there could be something else you love as well! And if you're lucky, they'll be different and similar enough that you can keep your love for both by bouncing back and forth and letting them be used together. Because, let's be honest, as much as you love something, you can learn how to hate it or at least burn out. And what does one when they burn out? Light a different candle. But hopefully, you can avoid burnout altogether (But hey, we're human, we are great at burning out. It's all about learning).
3. Take your time.
Give everything its time: you and each skill.
The first part is to let yourself keep flinging spaghetti at the wall that limply falls to the ground until something sticks, but also give each thing their fair chance. Just skimming the surface of something won't indicate if it's desirable for you. I used to have no desire for painting, and wanted to only use pencil and ink as my primary mediums. And yes, the first few times I tried watercolor, tempera, and acrylic, I thought they were not for me. My sister even watched me paint early on and told me "You have no talent for painting, do you..." Then (much later), I decided to do a year challenge with mainly watercolor (who even know what possessed me to decide to do that). From that, I grew to realize I loved the medium. Hey, I might get tired of it here and there and need to switch it up, but it is now my go-to medium for traditional color work.
I suppose what I am trying to get at with this post is to be patient with yourself and create variety. Creative fields are intimidating (so are other fields too, for that matter), but give them time, and give them space. You are bound to find your wall spaghetti if you just keep looking and throwing it at the wall.