Hi there,
Ever since I started my site a couple of months ago I've been wondering about the kinds of things I should write about and which things someone else might find interesting or relevent. Lately, I've been struggling with things to do with art and where I want to be in the future, so I figured this might be the kind of thing people would like to know about. That there were probably other peope out there who thought about the same things and would find it reassuring to know that other people did too. I know when I realised I wasn't alone it was a great relief - not because it solved any problems right then but because it wasn't just me.

It probably helps to explain that I've had Depression for most of my life and Chronic Depression at that. Most of this stemmed from being bullied at school and it created a template and a pettern of thinking that I took into my adult life and have only now begun to shake. I'd like to say I'm sorted but I'm 'almost' sorted. This template was full of the most negative and self-destructive stuff that created negative movies of me, in the future, where I was never going to succeed and never going to be good enough. As such I have spent most of my life frustrated and confused as to why things never worked out for me even though I so desperately wanted them to, with all my heart. I always looked at people who seemed 'happy' and 'successful' and wondered why I wasn't one of them. I always saw it as working for them and not for me. I know now that this isn't true and that my depression and negative thinking was my minds way of protecting me from change which it saw as harmful but which had gone way over the top. There was nothing wrong with me, simply that I needed to re-train my mind and stop it being over protective.

Artistic Temperament
I've always struggled with Artistic Temperament and all the things that went with it. I thought that these were things that all artists went through. When I began exploring Self-belief, Artistic Temperament started to conflict with it which made me even more confused and frustrated. The things I'm talking about here are things like comparing yourself to other artists, perfectionism and never being good enough, self doubt and second guessing, thinking that your work is cr*p and it will never sell. I now realise that these are simply insecurities that don't help becuase when viewd this way they are negative things. When you come to realise that what you do IS good enough and you truly BELIEVE that you will succeed then these same things are no longer a problem. For me, I started to see them as things that are part of being an artist but without the feeling that somehow I had failed or was inadequate. I understood that I was never going to be perfect no matter how hard I tried but that not thinking about it didn't mean I wouldn't try to improve and do the best I can neither did it mean I had taken my eye off the ball. I understood that there will alwyas be people who can do some things better or differently than you but what you do is unique and just as good to some people. I understand that your work is never cr*p. It has value to someone! Just look at modern art and how some people rave at it and how others (like myself I'm afraid) can't stand it yet these same artists are making huge amounts of money and gaining lots of recognition. Perhaps the most important thing I have learned is that YOU are your own worst critic and that if you can't please yourself and like what you do then you can't expect or be surprised if no one else does. In fact I have found that if you really enjoy what you do then it shows and people pick up on it. Maybe you're somehow putting some positive energy into your work or it's just better, I don't know. I just know that it seems to be true and 'why' doesn't matter.

Believing in myself and my goals is a lesson that's taken me a long time to learn because it's one I've found incredibly difficult to get my head around. Put simply, Belief states that 'If you Believe - you WILL. If you don't Believe then you WONT.' My primitive mind was feeding me all these negative thoughts as too why that wasn't or couldn't be true so I kept resisting. But thanks to a very persitent therapist and I guess, perstence on my part, I kept going until it hit me! Well, more like slapped me about a bit until I finally twigged. And when you do believe you inderstand it has nothing to do with being good enough, with how good other people are, with your work being perfect or the stuff you've done in the past not being the same standard as it is now. It's knowing that you have the desire to want something and belief that you WILL achieve it, regardless of where you are right now. In fact it's understanding that success has nothing to do with 'being good enough' at all. You know that you will do whatever you need to in order to get there and you'll have fun doing it. I'm looking at my list of goals and thinking 'this is going to be great when I've got these done' and I NEVER thought I would hear myself say that!

I have to mention that in my quest to 'get sorted' I've come across some very nice and helpful people, either in person or via web sites and a couple of them deserve a quick mention. The first is Jeremy Thorpe who is a Hynoptherapist living in Devon and I can't recommend him enough. (I'm sure it's ok to put his details here but I'm gonna check first.) 
If you would like to know more about what he does (and Hypnotherapy is just one of them) then please let me know and I'll get back to you asap. The other perosn I wanted to mention is a lady called Helen Aldous who has a website called Artonomy, which is dediacted to helping arty and crafty people become successful as well as offering lots of wise and helpfull advice, mainly though her (and her contributors) blogs. She took the time to reply to my emails and is a very nice person. Her site is - http://www.artonomy.co/

Anyhoo, I hope this blog has been of some help to someone. If anything I hope it helps to know that no matter how cr*p you can feel or how low your self esteem and confidence you're not nuts and there's nothing wrong with you! It's something that with some effort and perseverance can be turned around and you can become one of the 'happy people' without the happy pills. Good luck!

Take care. . . . .



Jean Ford
05/31/2013 6:46pm

Paul, I found your site via Artonomy.
Thank you for the two blogs on self-belief and toxic friends. Looking at your artwork, which is so fine, it's incredible to me that you were not given the recognition you deserved.
I know how debilitating a negative environment can be, and your story of overcoming your circumstances and history is inspiring. Thank you for sharing your life and your art.

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