Imposter syndrome is the worst. It really is. It can break your hobby spirit and really put a person down.
What is imposter syndrome? It’s quite that. It is the feeling of being an imposter like you don’t belong.
What is imposter syndrome in terms of art and hobbies? It’s a feeling that a person doesn’t have any talent. This could lead to feelings of not belonging in a community or their work has no value. It might feel different to everyone. Some hobbies may feel sadness, anxiety, depression, and so on. It’s more difficult in creative areas because there’s no true standard of what’s good or what’s bad.
When we’re creative, especially in a hobby like scale modeling, it can be difficult. We put a lot of our identities into our work. It’s about vulnerability. Sharing art is scary! Terrifying! So when we face criticism or something doesn’t work out, a person can really take that to heart. Or the opposite! You can get recognition for something in the hobby and feel like you don’t deserve it at all.
Our minds like to be jerks sometimes and make us think we don’t deserve what we do. It’s a pain.
I remember when I started painting gunpla. I felt like a fraud or a used car salesman. It was definitely nerve-wracking. I didn’t paint models the “right way”. (Granted, what is the right way? I’m still figuring that one out.) It hit harder when I started involving myself more in the community. I’m talking to people who have won more competitions than I can count and here I am with a haro and a dream. Who am I to be showing this off to people?
It felt like that for a long while until I started feeling more comfortable with what I do and found people who really helped me grow. Why shouldn’t I do what I want to do with my gunpla? Who says it has to be a hundred percent anime accurate?
I don’t have a lot of competition wins (only three in the past four years). I’m not an expert on scale models. I don’t know how to scratch build too well or use decals. I just paint and make funky stuff. It’s what I do and intend to do so till I can’t anymore. I’m going to be a painter for many years to come.
I remember going to Granitecon (A local competition) last October and feeling nervous on the car ride. I had only haros entering the competition that year. Four normal small haros and my large 1:1 scale haro. I felt goofy. Here I was about to enter my first in-person competition with nothing but haros while being surrounded by people who have been doing this longer than I’ve been alive. I’d be a laughing stock, right?
The opposite actually, turns out the community was really chill! Even for scale modelers who didn’t build gunpla.
I won the competition. It was very unexpected, as I was packing up and they called me up.
I found that throwing myself out of my comfort zone has really helped with my imposter syndrome. I made mistakes, yeah. There are many failed haros and kits that got cleaned and repainted. Some were really bad. It’s like learning how to ride a bike. You fall off a few times till you get the hang of it.
Fake it till you make it!
Imposter syndrome is a drag, it really is. Don’t give up on what you’re doing because that stupid nagging voice wants you to. There’s really no way to get rid of imposter syndrome. It’s something that you have to learn how to deal with. Even professionals who have been doing what they do for thirty-plus years have dealt with it and still do.
Some things that may help with it:
- List a small daily achievement and give yourself some praise
- Ditch the people who make you feel bad about what you do
- Practice self-kindness, what would you tell a friend who was dealing with the same thing?
- Join wholesome, welcoming communities
- Step outside of your comfort zone a little!
Drop a thought or comment below if you have any!
Happy Monday everyone! Best of wishes,
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