I was watching an episode of ‘Portrait Artist Of The Year’ and one of the artists was explaining how she was sometimes scared that she would approach the canvas and find that she had forgotten how to paint. It seems kind of silly, but I could totally relate to that. Quite often I feel hesitant to sit down and create because I’m worried that I’ll have forgotten how.
It happens a lot when I’m programming, a fear that somehow all of that syntax knowledge will be erased from my mind. Of course that has never happened, but sometimes I’ll flick through a programming book just to re-assure myself. I have had bad days where the logic just doesn’t seem to come to me. I’ll sit there staring at the screen unable to process what it is that I need to do; apparently writers are not the only ones to suffer from block.
I’ve been feeling it recently with my art too. Regrettably I don’t always have the time to draw, but even if its been a few weeks it will always feel natural to me again when I return. I don’t suppose I’ll have improved, but I have found that once you’ve honed those drawing skills you never seem to lose them. Yet this still doesn’t stop me from having that brief moment of anxiety when I first put pencil to paper.
I’ve found the trick to conquering this is just to learn to trust yourself and to go for it. Even if something takes a while at first, eventually it’ll get there. There’s also no reason for why any well-practised skill would just suddenly disappear. All creative people have good and bad days.