It’s a very scary world out there, yes, but don’t be afraid! In truth, there is always someone better than you, than me, than the artist you admire so much. The most you can do is do your very best in what you love most!! So focus more on improving yourself than be worried about your more skilled neighbor- aspire to reach their level someday! You’re not going to go anywhere if you sit around fearing for the worst. There’s only one direction and that is to move forward, as boldly as you can.
It would be a lie if I said I didn’t have the same fear every semester of my college life so far. What helps me get through those hard times is remembering why I decided to become a professional artist. I do it because I love telling stories, ideas, inspiring other people, and remind myself those are valid reasons to keep on going fearlessly. Maybe you need a step back to the beginning, to your initial inspiration. Remember why art is dear to you, and use that passion to motivate you! Would you rather be doing art or some other job? Why did you start?
Majoring in art isn’t all about just talent and skill, the people who are in it truly love what they do, and the key is to keep that passion strong so you can improve and (cheesy but,) reach your dreams!!
But alas, it is always about a strong work ethic. Heart is important, but skills are too. I believe talent is worked for, and although some people may have naturally gained a talent, I believe that anyone can reach that level of talent with the right amount of hard work.
Figure out what your weakest point in art right now and attack it. Attack it relentlessly! Ask lots of critiques from your professors/peers/other artists! You say you’re afraid you won’t know how to learn, but in that case, just ask all sorts of questions, never be afraid of asking too many questions. If you don’t know how to learn… ask someone how you can learn.. to learn!
Do not be afraid of challenges, and never look at your work in a degrading manner. Sure, you have a lot of work to do to catch up… But never let that discourage you.
Set up a regular schedule. Art is like workout, the more you do it and the more you practice, the more better you will get! Artists of our time do not become masters overnight, of course! As they say, it takes 1000 bad drawings to make a good one. And I myself also have countless throw-aways before I got as good as I am now. So draw lots! Draw what you like! Also draw what you don’t like! Also draw something you’ve never drawn before! The more things you draw the better!
And of course.. the most important thing of all: Have fun.
That is always the difficult part, even for me nowadays. You have to push past the scary facts that you will have to deal with finding a career in art, the finances, and your skills. You’re not doing art for a living to torture yourself, remember that! You’re doing it because you enjoy doing it, and the only way to remember that is to just add some sort of fun in the work you do… Whether it’s commissions, or homework, or even studies! (ok maybe studies aren’t always that fun… but do a butt drawing or something on the corner of your canvas, cheer yourself up!)
TLDR; Keep up a positive attitude and remind yourself why you want to join the art industry! Work hard, make sure to have fun and treat yourself, this isn’t a torturous, dull grinding office job!
Also don’t compare yourself to others in a negative fashion, just focus on getting better yourself, bit by bit! Aspire big hopes for yourself!
I hope this helps you anon, I completely understand what you are going through, and to be honest, it’s stuff I deal with everyday.
Every time I start a drawing, the fear of trying to find a job… the fear of not being good enough.. it comes up. But I mean, I have to keep my head up, and you should too! If we worry about those things too much… How will we have time to really do what we love most?
Godspeed anon, I wish you the best of luck!