The illusion of starting

Whenever we imagine starting something new, we build a giant ideal in our mind. If I wanted to start painting, I would think back to all the museums I’ve visited and all the masterpieces I’ve seen. At some point, I would think who the hell am I to believe I’m a painter? Compared to these works, my canvases look terrible.

All of the training to required to paint a great landscape would take years of education. I’m a busy person and I don’t have time for that. Conclusion: I’m not a painter, so I might as well not go to that painting class my friends are talking about.

Phew.

I’m off the hook.

The problem is that every painter started in my shoes. No matter what someone believes about nature and nurture, every painter started out thinking they were nothing compared to the greats. The difference between me and a future great was that they started and I didn’t.

The great news is that starting isn’t actually as hard or scary as we imagine it is. There’s nothing harmful in mixing some acrylic paints and putting them on paper. Once you try it, you might find you quite like it. But you never know until you take that first step.

What painting is it time for you to start?