After switching fursonas a few years ago, I really want to know how to get motivated to create more and more inventive art for my character, Crafty the California Coyote. How I came to know him is a long story and I wouldn't want to bore you with the details, but I have grand designs for him. And yet, I find myself often wondering if it would be even worth it to go ahead. I love him, I dream of writing children's books or marketing him somehow. I want to make this a reality but sometimes, I just don't know how.
* * *
You love Crafty, right? So the only thing holding you back is your fear of not getting the approval of others for what you are drawing and writing with him as the focus. You worry that if you come up with a children's book, it won't sell, or that people will not like the art you draw.
The key, then, is to lay this fear aside and not worry about the approval of others. Once you stop wondering what others will think of your work, then you will no longer be second-guessing yourself, and this will set your creativity free.
Many great artists, past and present, did not get the approval (at first, or sometimes ever) of what they were doing. That goes for scientists, musicians, and other forward-thinking individuals. This is often because they were ahead of their time. No one was doing what they were doing or in the way they were doing it. But now, in retrospect, these people are considered masters and innovators.
If creative people who broke the mold had censored themselves, we would not have Van Gogh's Starry Night; we might not have reached the Moon had Robert Goddard listened to the newspapers call him a mad scientist; George Lucas might not have gone through with making the first Star Wars had he allowed nay-sayers to influence him.
Progress and creativity were never born from the loins of those who only did the things that were guaranteed to be approved by the mainstream.
Go. Create. Have fun!
And once you have something in hand you think is marketable, that's when you start worrying about how to sell it, okay?
A note on comments: Comments on letters to Papabear are welcome, especially those that offer extra helpful advice and add something to the conversation that is of use to the letter writer and those reading this column. Also welcome are constructive criticisms and opposing views. What is NOT welcome are hateful, hurtful comments, flaming, and trolling. Such comments will be deleted from this site. Thank you.