Illustration Highlight: Mysterious Friends
We fear things we don’t understand but that doesn’t mean they’re actually scary.
The traveler is walking alone in the dark forest with only his flashlight to help guide the way. Weird ghost-like creatures that are watching him are all around. It’s up to the traveler to decide whether to be afraid or not. They are mysterious but might be friendly.
Fear is this weird thing we create for ourselves. The ghost in the illustration are meant to be friendly but you probably didn’t decide that until after you stopped to analyze them. Fear is a decision. We decide to be afraid and we decide to let that fear stop us from doing what we want. But, fear is something that can be recognized and overcome.
Before I started live-streaming my paintings, I was afraid to do it. I would sit at my computer and think terrible things. “What if no one joins?” or “What if people ask me questions that I can’t answer?” And even worse, “What if they see right through me and realize I have no idea what I’m doing?” I gave myself a lot of anxiety and always ended up not doing it.
One day, I called myself out for this terrible cycle of bad thoughts. I decided shouldn’t keep talking myself out of something I wanted to try. I needed to try it once before I determined that it wasn’t for me. So I did. I turned on the stream. I was sweating the entire time but way more people showed up to the stream than I was expecting. If you were there for that first, really awkward stream on Instagram, you’ll remember how much I struggled and also how much fun we had. After an hour, I was exhausted but, decided I would keep streaming as long as there was interest.
If you ever catch yourself being afraid, question it. Ask yourself why you’re afraid and decide if it’s a good enough reason. You might be surprised at the outcome.