Fear keeps me from beginning. It keeps a person from putting one foot in front of the other and walking toward a desired destination.
When Miles was learning to say his first words, I noticed that if he couldn't say it the way he wanted to (the way we were speaking a word), then he would stop trying. As early as eighteen months I could see perfectionism already plaguing him. He didn't want to say it wrong, or in a way that was dissatisfying to him. He still suffers this, but we work a lot on risk taking and enjoying the process with him, and it seems to be letting up a bit. The lovely side to his perfectionism is that he receives a lot of praise from his teachers and the moms who work at school about how concentrated he is when he's cutting with scissors, painting, coloring. What I think gets missed here, though, is that while it brings him great satisfaction to make something that he is pleased with the result of, he seems less free-spirited in the process of creating. I, controlling mother that I am, want him to enjoy the bloody journey!
This may be more important to me than it is to him, so I just sort of let him do his thing until he really begins to suffer, and then I step in with a bit of coaching and "it doesn't have to be perfect... as long as you're having fun" sort of momtalk.
When I begin a new project, especially one that's out of my comfort zone or area of expertise, I can feel trepidation creep in. It requires a lot of trust, even stubborn faith, to face off with it. What it boils down to is that I don't want to screw it up. I don't want my vision to corrupt before my very eyes at my own feeble hands.
There are some of you who have asked me technical questions about printing your own artwork and creating an Etsy store- and I can hear the fear in your voices: you don't want to get it wrong. Maybe if you have a little bit more time, you'll feel more confident. At no point as an artist do I feel like I have everything I need to get started with full confidence. When fear of beginning strikes, I'm wondering if we can try be more persistent at fueling our tanks with pure vision and determination.
That being said, here are a few of my favorite creative business resources:
HP7280 Photosmart PSC: I use the same printer this year as I did last year. Soon it will be due for an upgrade and I do believe I'll buy the Canon 9000 series if I insist on printing hands-on. But this cheapie has allowed me to scan my work at high resolution, print on the heavier artsy papers like Moab and Hahnemuhle, and also use the copier to tweak the drawings and images that I use in my work-with minimal issues. The ink is archival (Vivera 02) and the thing was a steal on Amazon. (It seems like a lot has changed at HP since I bought my printer. I'd recommend making certain that the printer uses ink that's archival quality. I wanted to point you to something that already works for me, but it seems like your own research will be required here. I learned a lot by reading about printers in Etsy forums.)
Moab Entrada Rag 190GSM: I get this paper through Amazon, shipped by Adorama Camera and I love it's weight. There are nicer papers out there, but for some reason, this is the one that my brightly colored work looks and feels best on.
Shipping Supply: I get kraft no-bend mailers here. Love 'em.
Clearbags: I buy the rigid backing board and cello sleeves for prints here. I love their biodegradable options.
Overnight Prints: Business cards and postcards from here are the best. Love the rounded corners option. They have sales about once a month and postcards can be bought for up to 60% less than their list prices.
Don't let fear of doing it all wrong stop you. Be willing to do it anyway and screw it up! In the end, you'll be just fine.