The Artist’s Struggle….

All artist’s struggle from time to time. I can’t even count how many times I thought I sucked so bad that I should just give up. But beyond the fucked up self-deprecation that always haunts us is the very reason we do what we do. And that is because we don’t know how we could live, breath, touch, taste or feel without it. It IS what defines you as an artist and all artist’s for that matter. It is your complete and utter reason for being, and without it, you feel like the lost soulless wonder roaming the vast expanse of nothingness.

This is “The great letdown”, as I like to refer to it and I’m sure others have before me. The depression and the what the fuck do I do with myself now sensation that follows the intense birth of an incredible creation. And then wondering to yourself how in the hell am I going to top this? How can I keep the momentum going? How can I possibly please everyone and still be somewhat satisfied myself?

It’s taken me many years to come to grips with my own battles on this subject and my own perceived personal letdowns even though everyone else seems quite satisfied…I still think I’m fucked and can’t please anyone. And the very simple fact of the matter is that you DON’T have to please everyone, especially those that are pushing you to mass produce bullshit all in the name of adhering to a specific politically correct  agenda or their own personal monetary agenda.

Money is still no where in the equation for me and I still strive and fight tooth and nail every day just to survive, produce and learn as much as I possibly can from the few and far in between more experienced peers who are actually willing to share their knowledge. As well as continuing to learn from the mistakes that we all will and do make.

Scraping pennies together every month to keep my dream alive, consumes me at times but it also serves to remind that just having a place to go to everyday that I can call my own is absolutely priceless. Not to mention that it only makes me work harder to prove to everyone that this is who I am and what I am and that I WILL succeed despite the elitist mentality that seems to prevail in this medium. To some it’s not about quality, client satisfaction or integrity. Many push quantity and substandard work for cold hard cash to buy their “toys”, drugs, pay for their lawyers, etc…  Perhaps “the struggle” is the integral and missing element and the very mentality that allows a true artist to thrive? The “all or nothing” that drives us to produce our very best or to not eat for a few days if you don’t…

Hell, I’ve even learned that pleasing myself is over-rated. I’m just as happy when a client gushes about my work even when I think it could have been better and see nothing but flaws. The sheer ability to put a smile on what was once a stranger’s face, has become all the motivation I need to keep pushing forward, to continue to hone my craft, to keep creating, to keep pushing the boundaries of all that is “safe” and”acceptable” by a so called “corporate” standard. ALWAYS, remember that where you are now is not the only place you can be….


Libby Mitchell

Owner and Artist

Conspiracy Ink Tattoos