Imposter Syndrome in Art Universities

At the time of my unveiling of my final grades from my BA in Digital Arts in UWL (Kingston College), I retorted with my grade results as a product of an averaging out of a bell-curve. As in, my 1:1 grade was only achieved because most of my class mates achieved levels lower than me, making my work jump to the upper threshold. I couldn’t have earned it. I was a natural loser, a person of underachievement. Throughout my youth, I did poorly in almost all my subjects, only scoring average. I came to settle in the idea of me being a low achiever. Although I was a good technical life drawer or a copy-and-tracer drawer, I came to find myself looking to the creative arts as a place of comfort for my imposter syndrome. Imposter syndrome has connections to an external locus of control, the belief that we cannot change external events or actions outside of ourselves. Whenever a barista or a waiter would get my order wrong I would find myself relinquishing a right to complain, or feel bad because I don’t have the right to say something, or I cannot change how people feel about me. I believe this is a universal feeling, a feeling of paranoia of the inability of melding people’s perception of you and your work. Over the course of a year doing my MA, I found a deeper┬álesion in my personality of being overwhelmed by attention and group-interaction. I could go on why I am phobic of gangs, clicks, and groups, but I’ll skip over that for now. But this overwhelming feeling of judgement, paranoia and a sense of not-belonging (being an underachiever) I relinquished my right to improve the situation or sell a better image of myself. Thus my fears of being left out and seen as an underachiever became true. For example, in my time as a ALS (Additional Learning Supporter) in a FE college, some students although attending a year long course in English, would refuse to attend the examination. They didn’t want to go through the feeling of being an underachiever and thus reinforced by not getting a resolve.

Artists and art are in my opinion one of the most personal expressions of individuality possible. Other than sexuality, protest, hatred, etc. To create art is to “put-yourself-out-there”. For me, I draw a lot of inspiration and creative energy from positivity and encouragement. When negative emotions, be it self-doubt or self-hatred, I find myself in a runt. Pain and misery are the hardest things to convey in art without causing the audience to look away, I’ll say most so than comedy and humour.

But I’ll finish by saying this, every once in a while remind yourself that you are you, you are good and you can always have the possibility of being good and you most of all must remind others of this.

 

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