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MLA Full: "Fear in Art." YouTube, uploaded by vlogbrothers, 16 December 2016,
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APA Full: vlogbrothers. (2016, December 16). Fear in Art [Video]. YouTube.
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In which Tessa Violet ( fills in for Hank on the last day of his vlogbrothers paternity leave to talk about fear in art!

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Good morning, John and Hank; it’s Friday!

So this October, I had my first music release since my record came out three years ago. I was on tour at the time and spent the hour before the EP came out crying? Which I think was probably a surprise to my friends. Which, you know, it does seem like a weird response, but those and many of my other friends also had releases coming out in the next couple of months, and they all told me that they had a similar experience the hours before their EPs came out.

A few of my friends told me that releasing something is a bit like giving birth: It’s painful, which I think is like close to the — I think that’s close to the feeling, but I don’t think it’s quite right. I think a better analogy is it’s a bit like sending your kid off to college. For a year, my art was mine to have and hold and enjoy, and now it’s leaving and it doesn’t belong to me anymore.

This is especially hard if you, like many artists, put your identity in your art. What if people don’t like it? What if people think it’s not good enough? What if people hate me?

It’s hard to create anything, and it’s even ha—I don’t know if it’s even harder to put it out. They’re both very hard for similar reasons, I think. Before you go through the execution of making something, it exists in your head, and in your head, it’s a perfect idea, perfect execution, perfect everything. It’s beautiful. But when you go through the pain of creating something, you have to look into the face of your inadequacy. And sometimes this is like a lack of literal hardware, you know, you couldn’t afford something you needed. Or sometimes it’s: This is the first thing I’ve ever made, and I don’t know how to do it well yet.

Here’s a quote from Ira Glass about being a beginner and an artist: “Nobody tells this to the people who are beginning. I wish someone told me. All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste, but there is this gap. For the first couple of years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you in the game, is still killer, and your taste is why your work disappoints you.”

Ira Glass, I love you! So yeah, I do think that this fear of inadequacy and this fear of maybe rejection when it comes to actual release is the reason that lots of people never create at all. It’s very vulnerable to say, “I made this, and I like it.” Maybe even more vulnerable to say, “I made this, and I wanted to like it, but I don’t.” But that’s part of learning, and that’s a part of being a beginner.

I don’t know. What's my point here? I guess my point is, it’s natural to grieve the loss of ownership and the loss of the safety of what something was before you put it out. And when creating, it’s natural to fear your own inadequacy. But neither of those are good reasons to not try.

John, I’ll see you Friday. Tuesday. Tuesday.

Oh, also, hi, my name’s Tessa Violet. I make video blogs and original music. Ayyy.

[Tessa's outro plays]

I was on tour at the time [loud click off camera] Hello?