When you make something, you risk living with the knowledge of your own assessment. Is it good? Is it worthwhile? Does anybody freaking relate to it or care?! The answer is sure to be no as often as yes. The thing you make might be mediocre, useless and ignored by all who know you. Who wants to grapple with that? If avoiding feelings is your number one priority, don’t make anything.
Uh, oh! There’s a problem. Not making art is also risky. You might have to confront the feelings you have about creating nothing and always turning outward for access to interesting stuff.
Art making puts you in direct conversation with your hopes and expectations. That’s some risky business right there because you might not be satisfied with the outcome. But who cares when the process is so fun! Of all the perilous things you could do, making art is the least outwardly consequential. There are no art police, there are no art laws. It’s great territory for private indulgence in extravagant, showy, badass behavior. It’s where you attempt to impress your self over and over. When you succeed, Woah! It feels good! It becomes the thing that makes sense of everything senseless, creating an antidote to the horrors of reality. It’s the vast void from which you conjure the tangible like a medieval wizard. It’s sure to happen if given enough time, space and respect. Personally, I find regular indulgence in the creative process the most satisfying way to know myself and generate love for the world.
All the expectations you encounter, all the self-assessments you give and receive, they can be useful. Mediocre art is always the first step to good art. Useless art is only a breath away from becoming treasure. You can and will find someone who relates to your offering, but only if you have one to give.
Be a delinquent in your art practice. Thumb your nose at whatever you disdain in your art practice. Be wild and daring and reckless in your art practice. Be risky where the reward is greatest and the consequence the least onerous. Otherwise pay your bills on time and call your mother. Everything in its time and place.