😏 proudly exclaimed by some humble unknown artist

I read this article on DifferenceBetween, and the gist of it was:

A proud person always considers himself superior to others whereas a humble person doesn’t.

Of course, this is a generalisation, in reality things are a bit more nuanced. However, the desire to learn of one’s own volition is mostly based on recognizing one’s flaws that need fixing, be it only partially. This requires some modicum—more likely a lot—of humility.

Since art is mostly about perspective (point of view), the artist has to keep an open mind to new ideas. The business of art, on the other hand, requires a cultivation of ideas, a confident persona. The pride of an accomplished professional artist is what draws attention, sells their craft and vision to an audience.

This attitude is a performance, though, to market oneself. On their own, the artist is (or should be) full of self-doubt and humility. Most people only see the art selling persona, while the art making persona stays mostly out of sight.

Don’t think for one moment that the artist you admire so much never has a bad day, and never produces art that makes them dispare and feel like an imposter. Artists are humans that work hard to achieve their goals, and they do fail on occasion. And like most humans, they don’t like to share their cringeworthy mistakes, at least, not openly.

It would be prideful to think that every of one’s strokes on a canvas is to be a god-given masterpiece. The creative process requires exploration, and not every artistic journey is going to be succesful. The artist will often embrace their mistakes, learn from it, and finish the piece. Real artists ship, after all.

So humility drives the eager artist to do better next time, and only share their best attempts to the wider world. And yes, older pieces can make them cringe, a sign that even artists have moments in which they feel superior… to their past selfs.

To err is human, to forgive divine, as the English poet Alexander Pope would have it say. So forgiving oneself is what should follow embarrassment over past accomplishments.

I wrote this, because I needed it. I published, because someone else might too.