As I’ve mentioned in a previous blog, I love learning about other artist’s processes as it helps me with my own. I just recently saw a documentary called Artifact, about the band 30 Seconds to Mars’s struggle with their music label EMI. They were being sued by EMI for 30 million dollars while they were in the midst of putting together their 3rd album, This is War.
The creation of an album or any long form art project can be a very intense struggle. You’re dealing with a timeline to get the project done so that you don’t run out of money, as well as creating something from nothing and making sure that something you’ve created is the best that you’ve ever done. It’s stressful to say the least. Add on top of that being sued for 30 million dollars, and you have to give the band credit for keeping it together.
What really hit my soul, was when the producer of the album was talking the boys through a rough patch in the process. Jared Leto, the singer, was doubtful of what they were making. Was it any good? Was it worth continuing on? With all of the struggles they were going through, why were they putting themselves through this? The producer told them that this was normal in the process. It’s supposed to happen. You are meant to be uncomfortable.
These words reminded me of what I am going through now as a creator of my own art. I go by instinct a lot when I’m creating. There is of course experience and technical skill when I am making something, whether it’s a graphic novel, children’s book or personalized illustration. But I often use my instinct to inform me whether something feels right or wrong. What I often forget is that if I feel uncomfortable, it isn’t necessarily that something is wrong. When I work on an illustration and I’m trying a new element to my process, this lack of comfort is good. It means that I’m pushing myself. Whether or not the experiment works, isn’t what it’s about. It’s about the doing, and I often forget that the feeling associated with trying something new is part of the journey.
In other words, it’s okay to be uncomfortable. It helps you grow.